The Mekong Subregion offers a near-infinite selection of trails that healthy travelers can explore.

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The arts and crafts of the Mekong Subregion countries are intertwined with religion, culture, and the abundant natural riches available locally: the natural pigments, textiles and precious metals come together to create unique works of the imagination.

The Mekong Subregion offers a near-infinite selection of trails that healthy travelers can explore. Find out what you can discover when you go off on foot: rustic villages, hidden waterfalls, thick jungles, and an experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Lao PDR: Nam Ha Biodiversity Conservation Area

Luang Namtha is one of Laos’ most popular trekking areas, its popularity dating back to the 1990s. Multiday treks can be arranged to explore the Nam Ha Biodiversity Conservation Area, though day and overnight treks are also available.

One of the most popular options, the Nalan Trail, combines an overnight stay at a remote Khmu village with a diverse trek through rice fields, cardamom forests, and local communities. Treks can be arranged at a tour company on Luang Namtha Town’s main street.

Yunnan, China: Nujiang Valley

Lying on the border between Myanmar, China and Tibet, the 300-kilometre Nujiang Valley hosts some of Yunnan’s wildest and most scenic trekking trails, starting from the towns of  Bingzhongluo and Dimaluo.

The latter is the starting point for a scenic four-day trek to the town of Cizhong on the banks of the Lancang River; the trail skirts the Nu River and passes by Nu and Lisu villages. Trekkers will not be alone on the hike—the trail is also used by Tibetan, Lisu and Nu locals, who shuttle between towns to trade.

Cambodia: Ratanakiri

The trails heading through Virachey National Park covers both provinces of Ratanakiri and Stung Treng in Cambodia. A thriving community-based tourism project in the park includes a choice of multi-day trekking itineraries: a three-day “Kalang Chhouy Sacred Mountain trek” that includes overnight camping near a waterfall and the Chour Preah rapids; and a four-day “O’Lapeung trek” that includes trekking through part of the Ho Chi Minh trail and a return trip via inflatable kayaks.

The most challenging trail takes up to eight days to complete, and terminates at Veal Thom near the border with Laos.

Myanmar: Kalaw

Myanmar’s most popular trekking route begins at the town of Kalaw and ends at Inle Lake. The dry landscape features gentle meadows and stubby scrubs, instead of near-impassable jungle, taking trekkers three days to navigate Shan State’s small towns, farms and temples, before terminating at a dock at Nyaungshwe, just a short boat ride away from Inle Lake’s towns.

Located about 1,320 metres above sea level, Kalaw was founded by British colonists as a cooler getaway from the lowlands’ heat and humidity. Beyond simply enjoying the scenery you pass as you walk by, you’ll also get the chance to talk to the ordinary Burmese you’ll encounter on the way to Inle.

Thailand: Phu Kradeung National Park

In the Mekong-side province of Loei, Phu Kradeung National Park invites seasoned trekkers to make the ascent to the Pha Lom Sak viewpoint, an 8km-long, relentlessly uphill climb that rewards trekkers with an awesome view of Loei’s landscape, and a photo-friendly stone slab overhanging a cliff.

For overnight campers, a 5am start on the 2km hike to Pha Nok Aen viewpoint gets rare views of sunrise over a sea of clouds. Beyond these stunning viewpoints, other Phu Kradeung trails lead to hidden waterfalls like Phen Phop, Khun Phong, and Than Sawan.

Viet Nam: Bach Ma Mountain

 Located in Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Hue Province, Bach Ma Mountain offers five trails that take least one day each to explore. These trails ascend to 1,450m above sea level – a temperate transition zone where abundant green vegetation stands against scenic brooks and waterfalls.

The popular Hai Vong Dai Trail is beginner-friendly, and ascends to the peak viewpoint at Hai Vong Dai, where you ca take in views of Cau Hai Lagoon, Hai Van Pass, and Hue City.

 

 

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