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China Daily

Focus> Life & Art> Content
Sunday, February 02, 2020, 14:54
Mountain garden provides a visitor haven in Laos' Luang Namtha
By Vientiane Times/ANN
Sunday, February 02, 2020, 14:54 By Vientiane Times/ANN

VIENTIANE - Luang Namtha is well known as a place for nature-based adventure and is home to the largest protected area in Laos with more than 85 percent of its terrain being mountains.

The mountains rise to between 800-2,000 metres above sea level and cover an area of 9,325 square kilometers.

Luang Namtha is the top choice for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the natural world among some spectacularly rugged landscapes

Luang Namtha is the top choice for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the natural world among some spectacularly rugged landscapes.

Activities have been provided by the government and private and local travel groups, to enable visitors to make the most of this natural beauty.

ALSO READ: Stupas: Must-see historical gems in northern Laos

One of the more accessible locations is Phouphet Phoukham Garden (also known as Diamond Golden Mountain Garden), located in Prang village in Viengphoukha district.

This is somewhere that comes highly recommended and has some excellent viewpoints scattered throughout an organic orchard and vegetable plots. There is also a tea and coffee farm, some beehives, river-based activities, paddle boats, a restaurant, and a small zoo.

Entry costs 20,000 kip (around US$2.2) per person. The riverbank has many picnic spots and food and drink is on sale. You can place an order at the counter and the staff will bring the food to you.

The Phouphet Phoukham Garden is 30 km from Luang Namtha town and is on the way to Huayxai district in Bokeo province. It’s a great place to break the journey and stop off for an hour or so. You can park in front, admire the views, have a nice cup of coffee or tea, and order some food and a drink.

If you want to stay in the area overnight, you will be richly rewarded by camping or staying in a traditional house with the local Khmu people. You will learn a little about their way of life and get to see a performance of traditional singing and dancing as well.

One thing’s for sure, you will get to enjoy the refreshing atmosphere, eat some excellent local food, and experience a unique culture.

During the day visitors can try out the zipline or take a stroll through the garden among the beehives and fruit and vegetable plots.

ALSO READ: Luang Prabang luring larger numbers of Chinese tourists

Close to the garden is a restaurant, an entrancing waterfall and a pool where you can swim or just relax in the water. Or you can sit on one of the decks placed in the water under some large trees, and play on the log swings that hang over the shallow river.

Another popular activity is taking a ride on a horse through the bamboo forest.

Phouphet Phoukham Garden is located within the Nam Ha Protected Area, so the environment is clean and peaceful.

The garden is still quite new and not many people know about it except locally. It’s busiest on weekends when people come to play in the river and take a boat ride, but it’s not nearly as crowded as some other places. If you would like more privacy, it’s probably better to go on a weekday.

The aim of the garden is to create nature-based activities that are in harmony with the local ecosystem and to give visitors a place that provides both education and recreation.

Luang Namtha is full of interesting places for people who love nature, culture, and history, with the best of these to be experienced in Namtha district and Meuang Sing.

The province’s main industries are agriculture, wood processing, lignite and copper mining, handicraft production, transportation and tourism. Most people make a living from agriculture, and grow rice, sweetcorn, other vegetables, cassava and peanuts.

Like the rest of the country, Luang Namtha’s weather pattern is characterised by a rainy season lasting from May to October followed by a cool dry period from November to February. March and April are the hottest months. On average, the daily temperature is a pleasant 25 degrees Celsius but during the cool season it can dip to zero on the coldest nights.

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