Travel Guide to Phongsaly

Phongsaly, Laos’ northernmost province, pokes into China and northern Vietnam, and remains one of the least visited provinces in the country. Small pockets of little known ethnic groups live in remote mountain villages that were once part of neighboring nations. There are several ways to get to and around the province, and accommodation can be … Read more

Phongsaly’s Top Attractions

The Green Tea Pavilion & Plantation Take a trip 18 km from Phongsaly Town to Ban Komaen’s Green Tea Pavilion and its 400-year-old tea plantation, which some say has the oldest tea trees in the world. You’ll learn how the trees’ far-reaching root systems extend deep into the mineral-rich soil, which gives Phongsaly Tea its … Read more

Getting around Phongsaly

Tuk tuks, sawng taews (Pickup trucks with benches), and boats are available in district centres, and offer an easy way to travel around the province. You can also rent bicycles for about $1-2 per day. Motorbikes are available for hire in Phongsaly, Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, and Oudomxay. Tour operators offer transportation and itineraries to … Read more

Phongsaly History

Little is known of the history of Phongsaly, but historians believe the Phou Noi left Muang Sing and Burma and arrived in Phongsaly at the end of the 18th century. Groups of Hmong settled there at the end of the 19th century, having migrated from southern China. In 1895, a Sino-French treaty transferred the Tai Lue’s Sipsongpanna principalities of … Read more

Phongsaly’s Ethnic Diversity

The Akha migrated from the Tibetan Plateau several hundred years ago, and live in the mountains of Phongsaly. They follow a cultural code called Akha Zang, the “Akha Way”, which defines traditions and laws, as well as how they farm, hunt, treat illnesses, and relate to each other and outsiders. Women wear black cotton miniskirts, … Read more

Things to Do in Phongsaly

Old Phongsaly Town Phongsaly Town remains much as it was 100 years ago. Having avoided the ravages of the Indochinese Wars, the old quarter still displays old wooden Yunnan architecture, which is rare, even in southern China. Most residents are Haw and speak Chinese, and China had a consulate in town in the 1970s, which … Read more

Phongsaly Accommodation

  Phongsaly, Laos’ northernmost frontier, borders China, Vietnam, and three Lao provinces. While tourists are just discovering this remote mountainous province, regional governments and businesses have been visiting for years, and some of the 7 hotels and around 60 guesthouses have been upgrading their standards to 2-3 stars, albeit for Asian tastes. Though some rooms … Read more

Getting to Phongsaly

  Lao Skyway offers four flights a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) at 13:00 from Vientiane to Phongsaly Province (Boun Neua District Airport). The trip takes 1-hour, 40-minutes. Phongsaly can be reached by bus from the Northern Bus Terminal in Vientiane Capital. Choose either a direct bus to the province or board any bus … Read more

Phongsaly’s Buddhist Temples & Shrines

  Vat Ou-Tai: Visit the 500-year-old Vat Ou-Tai in Ban Or Village, originally constructed by Praya Chakkawattiraja. The Tai Lue temple’s Hor Thane Keo, which stores Buddha images, is made of mud and still displays its original dĂ©cor. Vat Ou-Tai’s foundation uses stone-based wooden columns with carvings and decorations of daggers, swords, flowers and flags. … Read more

Trekking in Phongsaly

  You can take a 1-day sightseeing tour, mountain treks to remote Akha villages, and a 5-day jungle expedition. Sample tours below reflect itineraries you can book at the Phongsaly Visitor Centre and with local tour operators. Phongsaly Nature & Tea Trek Take a trail past tea plantations, and forests, before following a trail to … Read more