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Akha or Ikhor Trek in Muang Sing Town, Northern of Laos

Akha or Ikhor Trek in Muang Sing Town, Northern of Laos
Akha trek is an experiential tour which will take you on a 3 day learning experience into the tradition, culture and daily life of the Akha in Muang Sing. You will have personal interactions with the villagers and have the opportunity to experience firsthand from the Akha themselves the Akha culture and way of life.

Akha trek provide 3 day 2 night trekking tour is about cultural exchange, about gaining knowledge about Akha life-trekking in remote jungle areas is not the prime focus of the tour.

The tour is led by 1 guide from the town and 1 Akha guides depending on tourists, who introduce you to their home villages and their customs. You will stay overnight in an Akha style house. The sleeping area is dormitory style, with comfortable mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets.

All meals served on the trip consist of local food. This includes vegetables collected in the forest like bamboo shoots and mushrooms; fruits, chicken or other meat, eggs, all depending on season and availability. All meals are served with tasty upland rice.

All tours include an English-speaking guide, water, meals, transportation, as well as a gift for those villages that we visit but don’t sleep in, to ensure that they receive some benefit from our visit. Tours can be arranged for various group sizes, up to 8 people.

Your guide and host family will try their best to keep you happy and healthy, but accidents sometimes happen. During the rainy season, the treks may be difficult and slippery. Our guides are trained in first aid. Please ensure that you have a current health insurance. | To Top |

What you should know
What to bring

  • Bring sturdy shoes, especially in the rainy season (May to September).
  • Absolutely essential are sun protection (sun lotion as well as a sun hat.) and mosquito repellent. Mosquito nets are provided in the lodges.
  • Rain coat during rainy season (May to September)
  • Warm sweater or pullover during the cold season (October/November to February)
  • Flash light
  • For women a sarong if you wish to shower at the waterfall.
  • Sweets or snacks for your own consumption if you wish.
  • Special medication, if needed. The guides are equipped with a basic first aid kit.

What you don’t need

  • Blankets are provided, so there is no need to bring a sleeping bag.
  • Mosquito nets are provided. | To Top |

Benefits for Villages
Benefits for the villagers

There are different ways in which the villagers benefit from this tour.

The villagers gained and gain new knowledge and skills.

  • E.g. there are now 8 Akha, 3 Yao and 1 Tai Lue villagers who have basic knowledge in English language, continuing to receive language training.
  • Some villagers gained basic skills in management
  • There have been trainings in hospitality, cooking, hygiene, first aid, housekeeping and handicraft production and selling.
  • Villagers can learn from you about the world through conversations. | To Top |

Benefits for project
The tour helps to preserve Akha culture.

Many young Akha people don’t value their old traditions any more, they want to live the same way as lowland people and not be considered “stupid mountain people” any more. But now the 12 villages are beginning to understand that tourists come especially because of their culture and traditions and some young people, especially our guides, have gone back to their village elders to find out about some old stories and histories and songs. Some people were very surprised that tourists come to their village because of these old stories and their way of life and they have told us that they are now proud of their culture. In this way your being here will not spare this culture from change but it will give the young people an incentive to at least gain the knowledge of their ancestors and to be proud of it.

The tour helps to preserve nature.
Since the villagers receive an income through tourism they will hopefully recognize that it is important to preserve nature. That is why we hope they will at least try to protect the forest which the trails go through. There is a high pressure to get involved in planting rubber since Chinese traders are trying to persuade villagers to grow these trees, promising them that they will earn a lot of money from rubber. So giving them an alternative income from the forest (tourists don’t want to only walk through rubber plantations) is one way of preserving nature. | To Top |

The tour generates income on village and on household level.
There are many villagers earning money through this tour. This includes

    • the guides
    • the housekeepers
    • the cooks
    • the managers
    • the villagers leading the activities
    • the villagers producing your ‘village gift’
    • the people providing the food (vegetables, chicken, rice, …)
    • the women massaging you | To Top |

Management Fund
In addition to this income on household level each village receives a fee for its development fund, which the whole village uses for activities concerning the development of the village. This includes the building of schools, roads, trails, toilets…

The Donation Box
Money donated by tourists will be divided among the eight villages. Villagers decided to use this money partly for their ceremonies and partly for the village development fund, because in that way everyone in the village can profit from tourists.

Handicraft Store in Ban Sai Leck
The handicrafts in these little stores are produced by the women of the 12 villages. Through the sale of these, women have the opportunity to earn some money.

For your consideration
Please do not bring any gifts like pencils or sweets to hand out to the children. This way they learn that tourists bring gifts and will ask the next visitors for these-and thus they will be perceived as beggars.

If you would like to further assist the villagers, you might give these pencils or books to the school teacher who can then distribute them; you could bring toothbrushes and toothpaste, also to give it to the teacher or the village health volunteer.

The best way to help probably is through the donation box which you can find in either lodge. The money contributed there will be split among the eight visited villages and be put in the villages developing funds. Villagers use this money for community projects (like building latrines) or for community ceremonies. In this way the villagers can do with the money what they most need. | To Top |
     
Copyright © 2011 Akha or Ikhor Trekk in Muang Sing
Tel: + 856-20-99 44 00 84, 55 68 69 09, 22 39 01 95; E-mail: info@laos-cbt.org