Phu Den Din NPA

Northern Laos

This vast area of partly unexplored, relatively pristine forest is layered across inaccessible mountains that climax at almost 2000m near the Vietnamese border. At present the only legal way to get a glimpse of its grandeur is on irregular boating or kayaking trips down the Nam Ou (Ou River) between Ban Tha and Hat Sa. An army checkpoint currently prevents any access to the NPA. Sneaking past it you risk being shot as a suspected poacher.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Laos attractions

1. Phu Fa

23.09 MILES

For great views across town climb to the stupa-topped peak of Phu Fa (1625m); it's a punishing, tree-shaded climb of more than 400 stone steps. A ticket…

2. Chinese Temple

23.31 MILES

This Chinese temple, with its red roofs animated with myriad green and blue dragons, enjoys pretty views over a nearby pond crowded with old Yunnan houses.

3. Yunnanese Shophouses

23.38 MILES

These atmospheric one-storey wooden houses make you feel, as you peer into their Chinese-decorated interiors, that you are no longer in Laos but already…

4. Wat Keo

23.43 MILES

This modest Buddhist temple is more memorable for its petang-playing monks than its architecture.

5. Market

23.57 MILES

Make a dawn visit to the earthy wet market (camera in hand) and thread through the labyrinthine collection of rickety stalls, with all manner of…

6. Museum of Tribes

23.58 MILES

This museum gives you a chance to deepen your understanding of the ethnic peoples of Phongsali Province. It contains a wealth of cultural information on…

7. Ban Komean

24.4 MILES

Phongsali's famous tea village, Ban Komean, lies 14km out of town and commands stupendous valley views that sweep nearly 360 degrees when you stand on the…