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Phongsaly Map
Phongsaly Info
Phongsaly Province Overview
Phongsaly Province is one of the remotest of the Lao PDR Provinces, and is dominated by rugged, mountainous terrain and an abundance of thick forests and fast-flowing rivers. Most of the land is between 500 and 1,500 meters elevation, which moderates the heat of the surrounding areas of Southeast Asia and makes the climate more suitable for trekking and other physical activities. Its capital, Phongsaly town, is the highest city in Laos PDR at 1400 m above sea level. The population is made up of officially 28 different ethnic groups, each one having its own culture, traditions, costumes, and languages. Several trekking tours have been established by the Provincial Tourism Office Phongsaly.The forests contain an abundance of animals, birds, insects and plant life, and there are certainly many undiscovered species, new to science.
Akha in Phonsali, Laos
Most visitors of Phongsaly province get a feeling of “no longer being in Laos, not yet having reached China”. History tells fascinating stories, though much of it still lies in darkness. Between China and Laos the territory of north-western Phongsaly and southern Yunnan once was the independent Tai Lue kingdom of Sipsongpanna. In 1895 the French colonialists drew new boundaries along the watersheds of the Nam Ou River, claiming Sipsongpanna’s eastern part to Phongsaly incorporating it into French Indochina.

Its bigger part went into Yunnan Province, China. Unless many other cities in Laos, Phongsaly town has not been destroyed in the American war. It features a remaining old quarter with Yunnanese wooden architecture now rare to find in Yunnan itself. Most of the people living here belong to the Hor ethnic group, speaking Chinese. Until the 1970s there has been a Chinese consulate in Phongsaly town, now the “Phu Fa Hotel”. In the “Museum of Ethnic Groups in Phongsaly Province” you can admire the various local cloths, artifacts and handicrafts.

The town itself is surrounded by rolling hills and is built into the side of Phu Fa Mountain (1,625m). The 45 min hike up to its stupa on top offers spectacular views of the town from above and the mountains in the far distance.

Although a bit off the main tourist circuit, visitors can spend plenty of time in Phongsaly province trekking to remote villages around the provincial, Boun Neua, Muang Khoua at the Nam Ou River and in Boun Tai district’s “Nam Lan Conservation Area”. In the northern most district of the country, Gnot Ou, visit Vat Luang, a magnificent Tai Lue style Buddhist monastery dating back to 1445 AD.
Muang Khua Boat Landing
The province offers a delicious variety of Lao and Yunnanese cuisine that consists of wild forest ingredients such as fragrant herbs, bamboo and rattan shoots. After dinner try a shot of the local Lao Lao, smooth, strong and tinted green! During the final stage of the distillation process this rice whisky is running over fresh picked raspberry leaves absorbing the green color.

Chinese-style green tea of Phongsaly receives worldwide recognition for its highest quality and superb taste. Tea leaves are picked by Phounoy minority women from up to 400 year old tea trees, standing 6 m high with a stem up to 30 cm in diameter. These precious tea leaves are compressed in bamboo cylinders and sold in cigar-shaped tubes. In this wild tea grove fertilizers and chemicals have never been used. Drinking a daily cup keeps the body in good health, reduces fat and preserves a clear mind.

Boun Neua and Boun Tai are thriving little market towns, and now do a lot of trade with nearby Yunnan Province, China. Mouang Khoa is a small river port on the picturesque Nam Ou River. Phongsaly town is more hill station with cooler climate and centre for trekking to the surrounding areas. All of these small towns have guesthouses and small hotels which welcome both international and local visitors.
   


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Laos Travel Guide-Laos Tourists Information-Laos Ecotourism Info, Guide to Laos, some info from:
| Eco-Tourism | Laos National Tourism | Phongsaly | Luang Namtha | Bokeo | Khammouane | Xieng Khouang | Saravanh | Savannakhet |
| Luang Prabamg | Sayabouly | Oudomxay | Houa Phanh |

This website offer info, design and edit by: Somsavath NAMINTHA, Luang Namtha Tourism Department
Tel/Fax: +856-86-312 047; Mobile: +856-20-22 39 01 97, E-mail: coo_vath@hotmail.com
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