Situated on Laos’ most Northern tip, Phongsaly province is bordered with China and Vietnam and cut off to overland travel from Oudomsay to the South. The province has 6 districts including Phongsaly (provincial capital), Muangmai, Muangkhua, Samphan, Sombounxay and Yot Ou. The culture in this province has been heavily influenced by China.
In Phongsaly, there are more than twenty ethnicities and population approximately 153,400. Today, the local still remain their original culture, language and religious beliefs. Besides, their most obvious difference is women’s dress in each tribe. The traditional handicrafts of this region are well-known as weaving, embroidery and making silver jewellry.
Most of the local people work in agriculture, the farmers cultivate crops and harvest. Annually, roads are improved and built in remote regions to allow farmers to bring physical heavier and larger crops to market.
Phongsaly can be reached by road and river, from Oudomsay it is possible to travel by road as far as Muangkhua in Southern Phongsaly then continue from Muangkhua by boat. From Luangnamtha it is possible to travel by road via Muangla (Yunnan province, china). From Luangprabang it is possible throught the Nam Ou river straight north into the hearth of Phongsaly. Another way, you can travel by Lao Aviation which provides two flights per week.
Phongsaly can be accessible by boat, bus, car and airplane. The bus routes are from Vientiane via Luang Prabang and Oudomsay, from Luang Prabang via Oudomsay and from Oudomsay.
Moreover, the Nam Ou provides boat service to Phongsaly with beautiful views of nature and culture. From Oudomsay catch a bus to Muang Khua. From there a boat can bring you to Hatsa, a 20km truck ride from Phongsaly. Similarly, boat trips can be had from Hatsa to either Muang Khua or to Nong Khiaw. Slow boats and speed boats are available. Slow boats make the journey from Hatsa to Muang Khua in about 5 hours and speed boats make it to Luang Prabang in about 6 hours.