Voyagista likes to stay… at Muang La in Laos

I am going to introduce you to a charming address in the North of Laos in a region where the ethnic minorities still live in relative isolation from modern life and where mass tourism has not arrived. Muang La is for Laos what the Songstam Lodges were for me in Yunnan – enchanting accommodation offering an opportunity to be close to the locals and close to nature, while being very comfortable.

laos muang la
Getting to Muang La is not easy because what roads do exist are not well maintained. Dealing with potholes and trucks undertaking trade between Laos and China can make the road trip a tiring and a testing experience. But once you make it to Muang La you will be able to quickly forget the journey as you relax in a place where life flows slowly.
The hotel is integrated into the local community: except for the French Manager all the employees including the guides are local. Most of them can not speak English much but their smiles and welcoming nature easily overcome this the communication barrier. The hotel sits next to a hot spring and a river, where the villagers bath, carry out their day to day activities, gossip and play… we had the impression of living in a Laotian village while enjoying the comforts of a high end hotel.
muang la laos
At lunch times we dined on the small island in the middle of the river one day, which is reached by a small suspension bridge called the sala. Here, we could watch the river and village life go by (there are many ethnic minorities in this area). In the evening we took a outdoor hot spring bath overlooking the river, which was followed by some time in the hammam prepared for us each night, and then dinner of wonderful Franco-Laotienne cuisine. Traveling down the Nam Ou river at the end of our stay was also a highlight.
This is the kind of place I like, a unique and friendly environment where you will feel quickly at home thanks to the nice staff. It was hard to leave knowing we were heading back to the city and mass tourism in Luang Prabang. After our stop in Vientiane, Muang La was a real oasis for disconnecting and relaxing.
The food, the setting, the welcome, the discovery of this beautiful region, the hot spring bath with the family …we loved it as you can gather!
muang la laos

Baci Ceremony

Some Details…

 

  • Room: from 200 euros per night including breakfast and dinner for two adults

 

  • Booking and Payment:  the full price of the stay is charged at the time of booking. Demand is high and the number of rooms limited, so you should look to book well in advance.
    There is a minimum stay of two nights but I recommend you stay three – after making the long journey to this remote area you might as well take some time to enjoy it.

 

  • Activities: once there you can plan your activities with the lodge – they are very well organized and very enjoyable.

 

  • Access: a good half hour from the airport of Oudomxay, where there are daily flights from Vientiane. It also can be reached by a drive from Luang Prabang. On the way out, taking a day trip of a car and then boat to Luang Prabang down the beautiful Nam Ou river is my recommendation.
muang la

No bridge but a public boat to cross the river

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