Gently rolling hills and picturesque farmland dotted with ethnic minority villages and hot springs: Muang La is a place to unplug and sync up with the rhythms of countryside life.
With little to do but steep yourself in a riverside hot spring and explore the gently rolling countryside, Muang La is not a destination for the fast-paced. Or maybe it is – since even the most tightly wound have no option here but to slow down for a day or two. It's just that kind of place: perfect for some pure and simple downtime.
Sitting on the banks of the Nam Pak River, in the heartlands of the Tai Lü ethnic minority, Muang La first appeared on the travel scene with the opening of the luxurious Muang La Lodge in 2008. Since then, this unassuming little village has become one of our favourite places in Laos to get away from it all – without sacrificing a single smidge of comfort.
As tempting as it is to do nothing but relax with an aromatic tea (or an aromatic G&T) and enjoy this luxurious sanctuary, don’t miss this chance to get out and experience a region of Laos that’s truly remote and untouched by mass tourism. Though there are plenty of challenging hiking and biking trails if you want them, a leisurely stroll through some of the nearby farmland is all it takes to find yourself in a Khamu or Hmong minority village – where chickens and pigs wander beneath stilt houses, and the locals still practice baci spirit-calling rituals to encourage good luck. The natural springs, in particular, are a people-watching delight: come down to the banks of the Nam Pak River in the evening and you’ll see locals armed with splash buckets, pumice and herbs, floating on bamboo rafts while they catch up on the day’s gossip.