Akha Village in Luang Namtha. Bicycle tour Laos
There’s one main road that runs right through the middle of Luang Namtha.
Off to each side of the main road, there are dirt road offshoots that lead to the minority villages like Akah, The Tai Dam, Lisu, Lanten, Ban Nam Dee, Khmu, Tai Lue and Pounoy.
If you stop in at one of the motorbike or bicycle shops in Luang Namtha, you can find maps of the city and all the roads to the outlying villages.
The Akha are an indigenous hill tribe who live in small villages at high elevations in the mountains of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and the Yunnan province in China.
- Early in the 20th century, they made their way from China, where they once belonged to the Lolo hunter tribes, to Southeast Asia.
- Civil wars in both Burma and Laos pushed the Akha even further, and now there are some 80,000 living in Thailand’s northern provinces. By population the Akha are one of the largest hill tribes in Thailand’s northern provinces.
- As far as communicating with the villagers go, you’ll need to learn their own unique language, Akha. Because the hill tribes can be in such remote locations, they have unique dialects that you might not hear anywhere else.
The women of the Akha are easily recognizable by their distinctive costumes. They wear a black cotton mini-skirt and a black, tight fitting bodice which they cover up with jackets decorated with embroidery and other designs. They also wear an intricate head-dress.
Besides the breathtaking countryside that offers some spectacular views, you’ll get to experience a totally unique culture that will leave a lasting impression on you and your camera lens!