An exclusive trek in northern Laos

Laos Tours

Territory of the Ikhos



An exceptional tour including a trek in one of the most isolated regions of northern Laos

Laos Tours - Territory of the Ikhos

An exclusive tour from Laos Travel Direct.


Tour Details: Territory of the Ikhos


  • The trek in "the territory of the Ikhos", exploring the least visited part of Phongsali
  • Overnight stays in a village of the Akkha people
  • A traditional Baci ceremony
  • Descent of the picturesque River Nam Ou
  • The ancient capital of Luang Prabang
  • Relaxation at Muang La Resort: a haven of tranquility


Day 1: Luang Prabang

On arrival in Luang Prabang, you check-in to your hotel.
Dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.


Day 2: Luang Prabang

At first light (before breakfast), you witness the daily Alms Ceremony as monks pass through the streets of the old town receiving donations of rice from the local people. It's an amazing sight. After breakfast, your tour of the city begins with the National Museum (housed in the former royal palace) of Luang Prabang. You continue on to Wat May and Wat Manorom; according to local legend, the latter of the two temples was built by King Sam Sen Thai in 1375. Your morning finishes with Wat That Luang which was once the crematorium for royal dignitaries.

Lunch (not included) in one of the many local restaurants.

After lunch, your first stop is at Wat Xieng Thong; considered by many to be the most beautiful temple in the peninsula. As you pass from temple to temple, you see the local people going about their daily lives. Your tour continues with Wat Aphay, the temple of Buddha's footprint - Wat Phraphoutthabat and the monastery stupa - Wat That. You continue on to Wat Xieng Mouane and Wat Choum Khong; the last remaining examples of Xiang Khouang architecture. At the end of the afternoon, you climb to the summit of Mount Phousi. The effort of climbing the 300 steps is rewarded by a spectacular panoramic view and stunning sunset over Luang Prabang. Before dinner, you can visit the Night Market where the local people sell their handicrafts and hand-made silks.

Dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.


Day 3: Luang Prabang and surrounding area

You set off by bicycle from Luang Prabang in the direction of Ban Phanom; a local village where silk is woven on the banks of the River Khan and stop at the tomb of Henri Mouhot who is renowned for being the first westerner to discover the temples at Angkor. You continue on to Ban Pick Noi, a village of the Youane people where you cross the River Khan in a fishing boat to proceed to Ban Pick Nyai, a village of the Youane and Khamu people. As you follow the riverbank, you pass small villages and ricefields until you reach Ban Kokyan - a Khamu village. You continue on to a Hmong village; Ban Bohae before starting your return to Luang Prabang. On the way you stop in the village of Ban Xang Hai where Lao whisky is distilled and Ban Xang Khong where rice paper is made.

You return to Luang Prabang at the end of the afternoon. Dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.

Villager in River Nam Pak

Day 4: Luang Prabang - Muang La

After breakfast, you set off for the province of Oudom Xay. The picturesque mountain route rises to 1,400m above sea level. You arrive at Muang La Resort, which nestles between a river and mountains, in the afternoon. With 10 rooms set in 5 villas, the Resort is a haven of peace and tranquility. You can relax in the hot-water spa, take a traditional Lao sauna or enjoy a massage in the "sala" (the sala is a pavilion of bamboo and wood open on one side) facing the river. The Resort is without doubt the "Pearl of northern Laos".

Dinner and overnight stay at the Resort.


Day 5: Muang La

In the morning, you set off by road for Pak Khai - this short transfer of 15 mins., takes you along the River Nam Pak with splendid views of the river, terraced ricefields and numerous small villages. On arrival at Pak Khai, you start your trek following a trail which snakes through the forest and mountain streams. You have the chance to meet the local villagers and learn how they cultivate their crops, fish and hunt for small game. After around 90 minutes of walking through the forest, you reach the village of Ban Phavie which is inhabited by the Khamu people and sits on top of a hill.

You take your picnic lunch in the village and have time to relax.

After lunch, you continue your trek to cooling waterfalls, where you can relax in the clear waters of the falls, cooled by the mountain breeze (weather permitting). At around 14h30, you begin your return to the Resort and arrive at the end of the afternoon. A relaxing foot massage in the massage "sala" (the sala is a pavilion of bamboo and wood open on one side) facing the river will soothe away any aches and pains. The massage uses pressure on the reflexogy points in your feet and legs to improve circulation, take away toxins and stimulate the organs of the body.

Dinner and overnight stay at the Resort.

Day 6: Muang La & Ikho Territory

After breakfast in the Resort, you set off by road, following the River Nam Pak, in the direction of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. After around 45 minutes, you reach the village of Pak Nam Noi where the local people hold a market every 10 days or so. The dates of the market follow the lunar calendar and it's the opportunity for the local people to meet and buy & sell supplies. It's from this village that a mountain trail snakes through villages that are some of the most secluded, hidden places in northern Laos. At your meeting point, small mountain horses are waiting, laden with all the equipement you will need for your 2½ day "voyage of discovery". The first leg of your trek, with a picnic lunch taken en route, brings you to a village of the Akkha Pala people. The women of the village, dressed in their traditional costumes, offer visitors a massage in keeping with Akkha customs that are still respected by the villagers.

Accompanied by one of the villagers, you discover the sacred forest around the village and the gates which protect the village from evil spirits. Your dinner in one of the village homes is the perfect opportunity to get to know more about this ethnic group and their traditions and beliefs. Overnight stay in the house of the village chief.

Day 7: Ikho Territory

After an early breakfast, you set off crossing the cultivated hills surrounding the village. The trail is steep and walking is difficult in places, so you have plenty of stops to enjoy the magnificent mountain scenery and catch your breath. You reach another village of the Akkha people, the Akkha Phouli, where you take your lunch with your village hosts who will offer some of their home-made rice alcohol to go with your meal.

After lunch, your trek becomes easier and in the middle of the afternoon, you arrive in a village inhabited by both the Khamu and Laobit ethnic groups. The villagers are always curious and surprised to meet foreigners. After bathing in the river, you are invited to a Baci or Welcome ceremony hosted by the village. 

Diner and overnight stay in the home of the village chief.


Day 8: Ikho Territory & Nong Khiau

After breakfast, a trek of around 2 hours brings you to your meeting point with your driver. As you follow the mountain road, you meet several villagers looking for bamboo shoots in the forests bordering the road. Your drive takes you to Muang Khua which is the start point of your superb cruise on the River Nam Ou. This cruise down the Nam Ou takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside in Laos. From the comfort of your private boat, you discover numerous villages and stunning limestone cliffs, covered in vegetation, that rise majestically from the water's edge. You take a picnic lunch on one of the beaches along the river. After lunch, you continue your cruise and arrive in Nong Khiau at the end of the afternoon - the small town offers several beautiful panoramas.

Dinner (not included) and overnight stay at Nong Khiau Riverside.

Laos - Northern Laos - Nam Ou River


Day 9: Nong Khiau - Luang Prabang

After breakfast, you continue your cruise down the River Nam Ou to the point where it joins the River Mekong. During your cruise, you will see local villagers panning for gold and fishing using their traditional fishing nets. Before arriving in Luang Prabang, you make a stop at eh famous Pakhou Caves. The caves contain literally hundreds of statues of Buddha, in all shapes and sizes, which have been placed in this sacred place over the course of many centuries. 

Lunch (not included) is taken in on of the local restaurants on the banks of the River Mekong.

After lunch, you continue your cruise down the Mekong to Luang Prabang. Your arrival is scheduled for the end of the afternoon and your minibus is waiting to transfer you from the pier to your hotel.

Dinner (not included) and overnight stay at your hotel.


Day 10: Luang Prabang

A free day to relax or explore the former capital of Laos.


Day 11: Luang Prabang

You have free time to relax or take one last stroll around the peninsula before your transfer to Luang Prabang Airport.






About this tour...


- An exclusive tour from Laos Travel Direct. An adventure in some of the most remote villages in northern Laos

- An interaction with villagers who are not disturbed due to the exclusive nature of the trek and because they actively participated in the development of the trek

- We are very respectful of the well-being of these isolated communities. We ask you to share the same respect and be aware of the fragile nature of these communities. Ask permission before taking any photographs and never give presents or sweets to the village children.

- Remember that there is a large cultural gap between the villages and western life-styles