Day 5 - Vieng Kham - Nam Et Phou Louey NPA (B,L,D)
Our guide with driver will meet clients at around 8:30am at their guesthouse in Muang Hiem (Viengthong). After a 30-minute drive in a private car or van through gorgeous mountainous landscapes, you arrive at Ban Nam Poung Village, an ethnic Khmu village situated on the edge of the national protected area boundary.
The village guide, porters and cooks will meet clients at the village visitor center and give a brief orientation about the area and itinerary.
At 9.30 clients will get on a hand tractor (tok tok) – a tractor for plowing rice paddies that can be converted into a transportation vehicle and pass through this Khmu village. This is a good opportunity to see the daily village life and briefly learn about Khmu culture. The following 7km on the tok tok will continue through the village’s rice and corn fields with moderate climbs, learning along the way about upland rice cultivation and rural livelihoods.
At about 12:00 on the edge of the fields and forest, enjoy a local picnic lunch inside a farmer’s hut. The guides will explain the different management zones of the park and how local people coexist with nature.
After lunch, start trekking into the forest following a 7km trail built and maintained by the village. This trail passes through a thick jungle and mixed deciduous forest. The local guide will show you medicinal plants and spot animal tracks and birds along the way. After approximately four hours of walking, you will arrive at The Nests campsite and will be shown to your accommodation – the hanging spherical “nest”. Enjoy free time to relax, bathe in the nearby river and enjoy the nature.
Enjoy traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cooking group at around 6-7pm – before it becomes dark. It’s important to take an early dinner so that the smell of food and fire is not strong when you visit the wildlife observation platform later this evening. Dinner is eaten at the camp and is not allowed at the observation tower.
After dinner, you will receive a briefing about wildlife viewing at the Poung Nied Salt Lick – one of the largest salt licks in the protected area. The guides will inform tourists about the species of animals they may see and explain the rules and expectations for spotlighting.
It’s important to follow the introduced rules, such as: no talking, no eating at the salt lick observation tower and how to return to the camp in case you need to use the toilet.
We will stay at the observation tower for a few hours (depending on your curiosity and patience) until no later than 11:30 pm. Overnight sleeping on the tower is not allowed in order to reduce any negative impacts and disturbances to the wildlife.
The most common animals that you might spot include Sambar and barking deer (AKA muntjak) and various species of civets, although, if lucky, you may see also other protected animals such as bears, dhole, several species of wild cats and others.
Note! Please wear warm clothes as it can be quite cold in the late evening/night time
Overnight in The Nests
Distance and journey time:
Transfer: 30 mins
Trekking up to: 3-4 hours