Ban Komean

Northern Laos

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 promontory behind the school. The tea bushes are reputedly more than 400 years old and said to be the world's oldest. A fair percentage of the village's authentic Phu Noi homes are set on stone-pile platforms. Rent a tuk-tuk from Phongsali (250,000K return) or hire a bike from the tourist office for 50,000K per day.

If getting here by motorbike, take the Boun Neua road, turn left directly opposite the inspirationally named Km4 Nightclub (not the asphalt road just before), then curve steadily around on the main unpaved road, keeping left at most junctions but avoiding any turn that descends into the valley.

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