Established in 1993, the Nam Ha NBCA is one of Laos’s most convenient and easily accessible conservation areas. Covering 1470 square kilometres contiguous with the Xieng Yong Protected Area in Yunnan, China, the park straddles two high mountain chains and boasts two peaks in excess of 2000m. The NBCA is an important biological habitat for many forest creatures, including 37 species of large mammals and 288 species of birds. However, it’s unlikely you’ll see much in the way of wildlife on a trek into the park – though the forest teems with birdsong. The best known of the park’s rivers are the Nam Ha and the Nam Tha, both of which are developed for kayaking and rafting trips.

The park is accessible by car, with Route 3 crossing the NBCA in two separate places. Within the NBCA itself are some 25 hill-tribe villages, the most populous ethnic groups being Akha, Hmong, Khmu and Lantaen, and multi-day trekking tours between these settlements are also possible. More information, as well as bookings for organized tours within the NBCA, can be obtained through the Luang Namtha Guide Services Office, Green Discovery or the Boat Landing Guesthouse.

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