11 Days Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park and Nong Khiaw Challenge Trek

11 Days Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park and Nong Khiaw Challenge Trek
Tour Itinerary

Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park and Nong Khiaw Challenge Trek – 11 Days - The Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park is one of the largest and most biodiverse protected areas in Lao PDR.The National Park tours are not only one of the few opportunities in Lao PDR to spot wildlife in its natural habitat, but are designed to support alternative livelihoods for local people and generate community support for wildlife conservation. Currently two tourism ventures exist in the National Park: the award-winning Nam Nern River Safari wildlife spotting tour since 2010, and various trekking itineraries focusing on the wildlife identification since 2016.

Day 1 :  Luang Prabang to Nam Et - Phun Louey National Park ( L , D )

7:30 Am pick you up from your hotel in Luang Prabang and long day transfer on van and along the way we will stop some local villages and market , Lunch on the way. Arrival in park stay at local home-stay and dinner .

Transfer - 255 km

Day 2 : Transfer and Walking to a Remote Khmu Village ( B , L , D )

(1.5 hour Transfer & 5km trek. Elev. Gain/Loss +380m/-240m; Avg. Slope +13%/-9%)


The National Park’s English-speaking guide and driver will meet clients at around 8:00am at the guesthouse in Muang Hiem.

First, visit the National Park’s headquarters and Visitor Center in Muang Hiam. The guide will share a presentation of the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park and introduce the on-the-ground efforts in protecting wildlife.

After around 1.5-hour drive along curvy roads through mountainous landscape and villages surrounding the National Park, you will arrive at Ban Nam Soy village.

From Ban Nam Soy, we will start walking along a 5 km trail overlooking agricultural fields to Ban Navene, a remote Khmu village. A village tok tok (a hand tractor used for plowing rice paddies and convertible to a transportation vehicle) might join us and give us a lift (depending on the availability). Once in Ban Navane, meet with the village ecotourism team and guide. Enjoy late lunch in Ban Navene, hosted by the village cooking group at the village visitor center.


After lunch, guides will show you around the village and you will be introduced to your homestay/dinner family. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon exploring the village.


You will spend the evening in the village and experience the tranquility of life in a remote, off-the-grid village with limited electricity. Dinner with the local family. Option: Bring pictures and maps from home and your travels to show to your homestay family.

Note Overnight: It’s possible to be a guest of a homestay family, or to enjoy more privacy and overnight in village visitor center. Please inform guide regarding your preferences

Day 3 . Enter the National Park and enjoy waterfalls along the way. Overnight in a jungle camp.( B , L , D )

(10 km trek. 7 hours. Elev. Gain/Loss +850m/-275m. Avg. Slope +12%/-8%)


After an early breakfast and saying your goodbyes to your homestay family, we depart for the first of the two-day ascent to the peak of the Phou Louey Mountain.

The first 5 km of the trail climbs up through a mosaic of shifting agricultural fields. Your guide will explain about local agriculture, which villagers depend on for both their food and income.


After approximately a 2-hour walk, the trail enters the National Park. Trek through the forest for around 2 hours passing by the former ranger substation until arriving at Tad Ang Waterfall, an amazing waterfall that has bowl-like jungle infinity pool. Enjoy swimming while the village cook will prepare a lunch.

After lunch, the trail continues a gradual ascent until finally reaching the first campsite where you will stop for the night, Houay Kaneng camp. The camp is located nearby a waterfall where you can relax and refresh. Walk silently to the waterfall as you might spot some animals if you are lucky.


Follow the guide to the nearby camera trap to change the memory card. Once back at the camp see the camera trap photos and enjoy a traditional Khmu dinner by campfire prepared by the village cooks.


Overnight in Jungle Huts (two person per hut).

Day 4. The Challenge day. Conquer the summit of Phou Louey Mountain ( B , L , D )

(12 km trek. 10+ hours. Elev. Gain/Loss +1270m/-1250m. Avg. Slope +18%/-17%)


Wake up with the first light and enjoy breakfast to the sounds of early morning bird calls.

Please be prepared to wake up early and get prepared in a timely fashion as today is the challenge day! The final climb up to the Cloud Forest and Phou Louey Peak is a very steep 5-6 hour climb (average slope +18%), followed by a very steep 4-5 hour descent (average slope -17%). The relatively short 12 km trek of today can easily take 10 hours or more!

The Phou Louey summit is a Cloud Forest, and as the name states the peak is usually covered in clouds, however, if you are lucky with good weather conditions and clear sky, you may see a breathtaking view of thick, old growth forest covering “Forever Mountain” for as far as the eye can see. Please do not pick any plants from the Phou Louey Peak area and please stay on the trail to reduce the footprints on this rare plant community.


After 6.5km climb (5-6 hours), enjoy lunch nearby the summit. At the summit additional camera trap will be opened to change memory cards. Phou Louey is known for its abundance of wildlife, and so the chance to see some great camera trap photos of different species is quite high. Together with the guide view the wildlife camera trap images.

After enjoying the wonders of the cloud forest, the trail descends down to Tad Loy camp, which is 5.5km (4-5 hours) from the top.

Arrival to the camp in late afternoon. Enjoy free time to relax and bath in the nearby river.

Evening – Dinner

Enjoy a traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cook and porters.

Enjoy the dinner at the campfire and the wild outback of Nam Et-Phou Louey. Your guides may tell you some Khmu folktales and stories about dragons, wildlife and ghosts.


Overnight in Jungle Huts (two person per hut).

Day 5. PhouPhaMai Mountain Pass. Wildlife Observation Tower and overnight in the Nests ( B , L , D )

(12 km trek. 7 hours. Elev. Gain/Loss +895m/-660m. Avg. Slope +11%/-11%)


Wake up early and before breakfast walk up to a nearby mountain to check for wildlife photos on camera traps set there, bird watch, and possibly have the opportunity to hear the calls of the rare Northern White-Cheeked Gibbons.

After returning back to the campsite, enjoy breakfast. Today you will trek from the foothills of Phou Louey Mountain across the rugged and mountainous landscape to The Nests campsite located nearby the Poung Nied saltlick and the wildlife observation tower.

The route traverses some beautiful forest and landscapes and trench remains from the war. The trek is approximately 12km and takes around 7hours with a steep ascent to the top of Phou Phamai Mountain Pass (Elev. 1’500m) followed by a gradual descent down to the camp.

The top of Phou Phamai Mountain Pass offers great view over the National Park. Enjoy a picnic lunch with a view.


You will arrive at The Nests camp in the mid-afternoon and will be shown to your accommodation – the hanging spherical “Nest”. Enjoy free time to relax, bath in the nearby river and enjoy the nature.


Enjoy traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cooking group at around 6-7 PM. Dinner is eaten at the camp and is not allowed at the observation tower.


After dinner, you will receive a briefing about wildlife viewing at the Poung Nied salt lick – one of the largest salt licks in the National Park. The guides will inform tourists about the species of animals they may see and explain the rules and expectations for spotlighting.

It’s important to follow the introduced rules, such as: no talking, no eating at the salt lick observation tower. We will stay at the observation tower for a few hours (depending on your curiosity and patience) until no later than 11:30 pm.

The most common animals that you might spot include Sambar and barking deer (AKA muntjak) and various species of civets, although, if lucky, you may see also other protected animals such as bears, dhole, several species of wild cats and others.

Please wear warm clothes as it can be quite cold in the late evening/night time.


Overnight in The Nests (two people per Nest).

Day 6. Last day. Morning Gibbon calls and Birdwatching. Exit the National Park ( B ,L, D )

(7.5 km forest trek + 5km local tractor. 4 hours trek + 1h tractor. Elev. Gain/Loss +420m/-460m. Avg. Slope +10%/-11%)


Early morning before breakfast, your guide will offer you two options:

First option, wake up at 6:00 AM walk back to the nearby salt lick to identify different wildlife tracks. Spend approximately an hour in the observation platform, as morning is a great time for bird watching. After, follow the guide to check the camera traps.

Second option, wake up early morning at 5:30 and walk for 20 minutes up the mountain to try your luck to listed to the calls of the critically endangered Northern White Checked Gibbons.  Enjoy sunrise and birdwatching from a small viewpoint platform in a tree. At 6:30 follow the guide to check the camera traps.

Once back to the camp, enjoy breakfast and view wildlife camera trap photos taken by the camera trap during the previous night.

Twelve surrounding villages involved in this project receive monetary bonuses in the form of a village development fund based on the number and type of wildlife, and wildlife proof identified and viewed in the camera traps. (This fee is included in the tour price.)

Afternoon – Trek from The Nests to Ban Nam Poung Village

Your final day of trekking takes you along a 7.5 km forest path. Pass by the ranger substation and trek through thick jungle and mixed deciduous forest. The local guide will show you medicinal plants and spot animal tracks along the way.


The trek has a couple moderate ascents before descending into agriculture fields. At the edge of the forest and fields, enjoy a picnic lunch. From here a tok tok (a small tractor used for plowing rice paddies and convertible to a vehicle for transportation) will pick you up and take you through the village rice and corn fields for about 5km to Ban Nam Poung Village, an ethnic Khmu Village, situated on the edge of the national park boundary.

Once in the village your village guides will bid you goodbye and you will be transferred back to Muang Hiem by private truck or van. We will be back in Muang Hiem in afternoon.

Day 7 . Muang Hiem – Nong Khiaw ( B ,L ,D)

Transfer - 168 km

Local breakfast and transfer back to Nong Khiaw - Arrival afternoon and check in local guesthouse and have dinner at the local restaurant .

8 : Naaluang Trek – Multi ethnic hiking (B ,L,D)

Explore nature, Lao cultures, villages, mountain trails & waterfall in Nong Khiaw, Laos.

After a short ride we start walking small paths past rice paddies and through preserved forest with huge trees and great views and sneaking between high-rising mountains. Colorful rice fields (seasonal) and gardens guide our way through this amazing scenery. We enjoy lunch in the jungle setting and make stops along the way.

Trekking is 5-6 hours medium to difficult depending on conditions. The first day of this tour will lead us to a perfectly preserved Lao-style village, still living traditionally. You will see traditional houses, farmland, and jungle covered hills. Your guide will give you an introduction to the local traditions, the Lao lowland style of weaving and other activities. A walk around the village can tell you many stories and shows you the difference between the ethnic groups. Explore the village with your guide and visit the Clay School operational since 2011.

We then prepare ourselves for an overnight stay in this remote village and enjoy the local “cuisine”. Take your time to explore the place by yourself in the evening.

9 : Jungle Trek to the river and cruise to a riverside village homestay (B,L,D)

After breakfast, depart on one of the most beautiful jungle trails in the area bound for the Nam Ou River. You’ll hike through bamboo forests as you make your way through this mountain pass extending to the river and taking about 4-5 hours medium hiking.

Board a private boat to cruise 16 Km upriver to a pristine riverside Thai Lu village famous for its weaving. Here you will overnight surrounded by scenery that is absolutely stunning and unforgettable.

10  : River Explorer, Caves, and Waterfalls – Nong Khiaw (B,L,D)

Bid your new local friends farewell and it’s off downriver by long-boat as we explore sites and communities on our return trip to Nong Khiaw. Our first stop is the famous Ban Muang Ngoi where we may explore the local agrarian community at our leisure including a short hike to a local cave, Tam Pha Noi.

From there we continue by boat to Ban Sop Khong village where we will hike to a waterfall (seasonal) for a splash. We’ll have lunch along the way and then return to Nong Khiaw on the river for another 40 minutes to conclude this three day Nong Khiaw adventure.

Day 11 : Nong Khiaw- Luang Prabang ( B , L )

After breakfast, Return by vehicle to Luang Prabang. En route we stop to visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, located at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers. There are two caves ‘Tham Ting’ and ‘Tham Phoum,’ and these photogenic caves are renowned for their collection of thousands of Buddha sculptures and images left over the years by pilgrims. Arrival your hotel late afternoon . End The Tour .

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Tour price: Contact us

Group size: 2 to 12 pax

Departure date based on your inquiry

Tour Cost Includes:

  • Meals in tours : L = Lunch , D = dinner , B = breakfast
  • Accommodation for 10 nights
  • Lunch in Midway restaurant/City Restaurant or Pack Lunch
  • Boat trip, local ferry in tour
  • Back up AC vehicle for the complete tour
  • English speaking Local Guide - Cum trekking guide
  • Fresh Fruits/Snacks (Only trekking part)
  • Unlimited filter water during trekking (Only trekking part)
  • Entrance fees and permissions
  • Toll and Parking charges
  • 10% Government Taxe

Tour Cost Excludes:

  • Accommodation in Luang Prabang
  • Tips and Gratitude and bank fees
  • Travel insurance and Other personal expenses
  • Any Hard and Soft Drinks with meals

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