As one of the largest protected areas in Laos, Nam Et-Phou Louey is a beautiful green space of over 4,000 square kilometres, with lots of secrets to uncover. It’s one of 20 National Protected Areas (NPAs) in the country, and sits in north-east Laos. The slightly unusual name comes from two of the area’s main attractions: the Nam Et River and Pho Louey Mountain (which translates as ‘forever mountain’).
Nam Et-Phou Louey is culturally significant as it’s home to several different hill tribes, including the Tai Dam, Tai Kao, Tai Yuan, Hmong Kao and Yao. Each year, thousands of intrepid explorers come to visit the area, and it’s easy to understand why. This is a fantastic region for trekking and wildlife watching. So, while you’re here, see if you can spot animals like the gaur, Sambar deer and white-cheeked gibbon. There are a few endangered species here too, and it’s one of the only places in the world you might see wild tigers (but this is incredibly rare).
Opt for the Nam Nern Night Safari and Ecolodge. It’s a 24-hour overnight tour that starts off in a long-tail boat. You’ll spot wildlife, explore medicinal plants and hike among the trees. Most of the profits from this tour go into teaching locals about conservation and sustainability, so it’s a good way to give back to the community as a visitor.
You can take a trip out to the nearby town of Vieng Thong. It used to be known as ‘Muang Hiam’ (which translates as ‘watch out’), a reference to when tigers used to roam the area, although it’s not so relevant these days! Here you can enjoy picturesque green rice fields and pretty villages.
This entire area is a very special place. The locals are making an incredible effort to make the region sustainable and repair some of the damage humans have done to the natural wildlife. There’s even an area of 3,000 square kilometres where people aren’t allowed to enter case it gets ruined! This means that while you’re exploring the forests, you can be part of these efforts to preserve the area during your stay. We say what a fantastic bonus!
Plan your trip to Nam Et-Phou Louey today.