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Image © Fraser Reid/Creative Commons

Luang Prabang may be Laos’ most avidly-visited tourist destination, but tourists only need to step out to the surrounding countryside to go off the beaten track into some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.

As you tread the local countryside paths, you’ll also venture into villages populated by Luang Prabang province’s three main ethnic communities: the Hmong in the highlands, the Khmu in the middle heights, and the Lao at the lowlands. For multi-day treks, you’ll have the opportunity to stay at one of their villages and experience life as they live it – often with little electricity or running water, but with plenty of joy for life amidst some of Laos’ most breathtaking natural surroundings.

Luang Prabang province’s variegated landscape makes for equally diverse trek experiences – you can choose from river treks, hill climbs and forest trails.  Key natural landmarks along Luang Prabang’s trekking trails include two rivers, the Mekong and Ou; the Kwang Si Waterfall; and the Pak Ou, Tam Ting caves.

You’ll get safer trekking trails when you schedule your trip during the dry season between November and April, though the first few months of the wet season between May and July herald light evening rains that won’t affect the experience too negatively.

Elsewhere on the Web: Read Tourism Laos’ official page on Trekking in Luang Prabang.