Phou Pha Kahm Mountain

Picture 062  Starting at the “cultural village” of Ban Luang Pa Kham home to the Akha people, the guide will take you on a walk, meeting local artisans and pointing out distinct ethnic traditions, while you can admire the characteristic costumes, which are still worn by many of the women. You will visit important landmarks, as the wooden swing placed at the highest point of the village and the entrance and exit gates, warding off evil spirits.
After this interesting tour the actual hike begins at the foot of the mountain on a narrow trail winding through a sugar cane field (where you might try the delicious taste of a freshly cut piece!) and some bamboo brush, then continuing up through pristine forest of centenarian trees, while crossing enormous boulders. The guide will provide explanation on some characteristic trees and herbs, indicating traces of wild animals populating the area. After ascending app. 1-1/2 hours under the refreshing shade of green the woods provide, you reach the top of the mountain. Picture 076There you’ll have to climb a characteristic pile of sharp volcanic black rock, which seems to have been thrown there by a giant, to be rewarded by the fantastic 360′ view of the valley below with the town of Muang Long at it’s center and various mountain ranges all around it. Now the guide will find a pleasant spot under the trees for lunch, which consists of a typical Lao style picnic with local delicacies as grilled fish, laap, pork sausage, sticky rice and vegetables all served on a tray of leaves! Somebody might want to favor the digestion with a chug of home-made herbal whiskey as well. Resuming the hike, the trail leads down the Western part of the mountain, continuing through the beautiful untouched woods, descending for app.Picture 083 1 hour, before entering the fields around the Tai Lue village of Ban Nong Kham. You pass through a cassava grove, some rubber trees and banana plantations, before actually reaching the wealthy hamlet with a small temple, a school and some nicely designed houses. As the day nears it’s end, you’ll have a chat with the farmers busy on their vegetable fields (such as pumpkin, tomato and the local Broccoli), before crossing the Nam Ma river with a refreshing wade through the shallow waters on your way back to Muang Long.

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