Summit Mt. Phou Louey Wildlife Challenge. 5 Days

A challenging trek through the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park to discover Laos’ wildlife with local guides. Be part of protecting endangered wildlife. 5 days.

4 Nights
June, October

A 5-day challenging trek through Laos’ largest national park. Along the way, you will trek up mountains, through jungle and around paddy fields while discovering Laos’ secretive wildlife through viewing hides and camera traps.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 4 nights accommodation
  • English speaking guides
  • All meals
  • Water, tea and coffee
  • Protected area entrance fees
  • Cooking and porter service
  • Transfers to and from Muang Hiam

Perfect for:Nature loving adventurers looking to experience Laos’ wild side. This is a challenging trek, you will need a good level of fitness and some previous experience.

Adventures for Good: Your local host for the trip is the awarding winning National Park. They are dedicated to protecting Laos fantastic wildlife from hunters and supporting sustainable community conservation through ecotourism. See all of our ‘Adventures for Good’ here.

Need To Know

Not included in your adventure: - Flights - Travel insurance

This is quite a challenging hike involving tough ascents on challenging terrain. You need a good level of fitness for this adventure.

Yes absolutely. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

You will need to carry your personal items during your journey. Your local hosts ask that you leave suitcases/large backpacks in the village. If you would prefer to have a porter carry your bag this can be arranged in advance for an additional fee.

Your local hosts recommend:

  • Daysack to carry personal items
  • light rain jacket or poncho (strongly recommended)
  • fleece jacket (strongly recommended as November to February can be very cold)
  • both sun hat for daytime and wool cap for the night
  • long pants for walking in the forest
  • good walking shoes and sandals for bathing
  • an extra t-¬shirt and shorts for sleeping/bathing.
  • snacks (food is provided, but you might want to bring something to snack on)
  • water purification tablets (for multi-day treks the water is boiled)
  • towel and toiletries
  • insect repellent
  • flashlight
  • binoculars (we have just one pair)
  • reusable water bottle


Your own sleeping bag and/or sleeping sheet (we provide a sleeping bag and sleeping sheet, but you can use your own if you have)

Camping equipment is included.

Trips are run during the dry season between October to May/June. The weather can be hot during the day reaching above 30 degrees Celsius but can also be quite cold at night (down to 10 degrees). It’s important to bring both cool and warm clothing.

Rain is infrequent but does occur during the dry season. Downpours tend to be short-lived but heavy.

Food is local Lao food such as barbequed meats and vegetables. Vegetarian food is also available.

You will be provided with boiled water. Please bring your own water purification tablets. Please bring your reusable water bottle to help to reduce the waste. Filtered drinking water is available in most hotels and restaurants around Laos.

You may book any flights that fit with the start and end points of the trip.

Your hosts are the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been supporting the NEPL Management Unit since 2003, and has assisted with the development of ecotourism programmes commencing in 2009. They won the World Responsible Tourism Awards in 2013 & 2014 for Best Responsible Wildlife Experience.

They are dedicated to conserving the habitat and wildlife of the national park. Their aim is for sustainable, community-focused conservation. Eco-adventures like this one are an important way of generating revenue and sharing their natural heritage with the outside world.


View map

This South East Asian adventure takes place in Laos. Unlike its neighbours, Laos has not yet experienced the rapid development of many of the ‘tiger economies’. As a result, Laos retains an adventurous and timeless feel where life moves at a different pace.

You will be trekking through the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park, the largest national park in Laos. It is a home to a myriad of fantastic beasts from clouded leopards to Asian elephants and it is one of the best places to view wildlife in Laos. Many of the forest creatures live secretive lives and are seldom glimpsed, luckily you will be checking a network of camera trips to see who has passed by.

The rural landscape of Laos changes through the country and through the seasons. Along your trek you will experience Laos’ diversity, wandering through networks of paddy fields, along jungle paths and ascending up through cloud forests.

Start point?Your trip begins at 08:00 at your guesthouse Muang Hiam where your local hosts will meet you.

End point? Your trip ends at your guesthouse in Muang Hiam where you will be dropped off by your local guide around mid-afternoon.

Getting there and away?

By Bus: The bus from Luang Prabang takes around 10 hours. You will need the bus heading to Sam Neua, it leaves daily between 07:00 to 08:00 from the Luang Prabang Northern bus station.

By Air: The closest airport is Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ) with 10 airlines operating flights predominantly to a few regional airports like Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrival and homestays

Your adventure begins at 08:00 when your local guide will meet you at your guesthouse in Muang Hiem. From there it’s a 1.5-hour drive to Ban Nam Xoi village where you will meet your village guide.

You’ll catch a ride on a tok tok, a hand tractor Laotian farmers use instead of a water buffalo, for 9km through farmers’ fields to the remote Khmu village of Ban Navene. Here you will meet your host family and experience village life.

Day 2: Climbing Phou Louey Mountain

Today is the first of your two-day ascent of Phou Louey Mountain, the third highest peak in Laos and the highest one accessible to trekkers. For the first two hours, you’ll make your way through a maze of paddy fields.

After that, it’s into the forests of the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park. From there the climb continues, with a break at Tad Ang waterfall. You’ll help the local guide check a camera trap near camp to see who has passed by before settling in for some well-earned dinner.

Day 3: Trekking to the top

This is a hard but rewarding day. You’ll rise early to tackle the final 12km to the summit of Phou Louey. It’s a steep and direct route up through the Cloud Forest, sure to get your legs pumping.There will be a quick lunch stop before the summit.

Being in Cloud Forest the summit is often surrounded by clouds, if you’re lucky the sun may offer you a glimpse of the surrounding view. On the 8km trek down to your next camp, you’ll check more camera traps. The afternoon is free time to relax and enjoy the camp.

Day 4: Wildlife and trekking

In the morning you will check a few of the camera traps in the local area, maybe a sun bear, a sambar deer or even a clouded leopard may have passed by. After breakfast, it’s a 9km trek with a steep ascent of Phou Phamai Mountain and down the other side to your next camp by mid-afternoon.

You can relax and swim in the river before a traditional Khmu dinner. After dinner, you will be briefed by the local guides before going to the wildlife viewing spot at Poung Nied Salt Lick. Using a spotlight, the guides will show you some of the amazing local wildlife like Sambar and Barking deer. You’ll spend the night in the camps unique hanging pods.

Day 5: Wildlife and trekking

Before breakfast, you will head back to the salt lick with the local guide to look for animal tracks and check the camera traps. The surrounding local villages receive money for development based on how many animals are captured by the camera traps, a great incentive to conserve the forest.

The last day’s trek is 7km along forest paths through jungle and mixed deciduous forest. Your guide will point out the many natural marvels along the way. After that, it’s another tok tok ride then a transfer back to Muang Hiem by mid-afternoon. Time to bid your local hosts a fond farewell and head home.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.


You will have a mixture of accommodation throughout your trip, one night in a village homestay, 2 nights in a jungle hut and 1 night in the hanging pods of Nest Camp.

Accommodation is basic camping style and based on two people sharing. The village you will stay in is off-grid and remote with limited electricity. One option is to bring some photos from your life to show your host family.

The jungle huts are simple two-person bamboo huts. The hanging pods are a great finale, they have been inspired by bird’s nests and offer a unique perspective on the forest. Sleeping bags and sleeping mats will be provided.

Bathroom facilities are shared and simple. Squat toilets are common throughout Laos.