The population with 13 minority ethnic groups: Khamu, Tai Dam, Thai daeng, Yao, Leu, Hor, Hmong, Akha, Yang, Bid, Lolo and others. Each minority ethnic group has their own identity, language and culture such as wedding ceremonies, handicrafts, silver wares and jewelry. Boun Neua and Boun Tai are thriving little market towns, and now do a lot of trade with nearby
Where to Visit
The large and very remote Phou Den Din NBCA is accessible most easily by small boat up the Nam Ou river. The trip only for most adventurous: You must be well prepared, and take food, light camping equipment and a guide which can be arranged from PhongsalyTown. You are in the remotest part of
covers 22,000 ha of mostly densely forested, very steep terrain, at between 600 meters and 1,850 meters elevation. Picturesque villages, mostly growing lowland irrigated paddy flank part of the northern and eastern boundaries of the area. Ecotourism lodges are being set up in five of these villages. The attractive little town of
Nestling under the thickly forested Phoufa Hill, Phongsaly at 1,400 meters elevation has developed around an old market centre with cobbled streets and picturesque wooden buildings, including a very old Chinese quarter. Climb the jeep track up the Phoufa Hill (1,650 meters) and enjoy a spectacular view over the town and the surrounding mountainous terrain. The high ridge line which forms the horizon to the west is a Jurassic escarpment-the geology of the Province is a full cross-section of the age of the dinosaurs. Look for plant fossil (and dinosaurs!) just below the summit of the Phoufa.
Phongsaly is good base for trekking
Easy trekking along the ridge lines to the Northeast and Southeast, or more vigorous treks along the Jurassic escarpment (about 30 km to the west of Phongsaly on the Boun Neua road), or along the foot of the escarpment (km 37, take off to the south through forest and paddy fields on the new Nam Boun Kao trail).