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Community Based Tourism & Adventure Specialist in Northern of Laos
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Village Visit Tips in Luang Namtha, Laos
  Akha Woman in Muang Sing  
Akha Woman in Muang Sing
  Village visits and homestays have long been fixtures on travelers’ must-do lists for Luang Namtha. You’ve read up on the different ethnic groups and their traditional ways of life, and yearn to turn your expectations into an authentic experience. To make it happen, consider these village-visit tips.  
  • Keep Smiling: Putting on a grin and saying “sabaii dee” to all you meet gives villagers a good impression. Laugh at embarrassing moments. Relax, be patient, and never show anger. Respond to mistakes with “Baw pen yang” (Never mind).
  • Get Involved: For a truly authentic experience, participate and don’t just observe. Try your hand at weaving, basket making, cooking, farming, or fishing. The locals love showing you how, and you’ll walk away with memories for a lifetime.
  • Interact: Cultural experiences are two-way streets. Your hosts will open your mind, but they’re also interested in you. Share stories about your home and lifestyle, but never act superior. Compare and contrast with humor. Ask questions. You’ll leave feeling more fulfilled.
  • Notice Details: Look beyond the big picture, and focus on little things to enhance your experience. Observe the architecture styles used by various ethnic groups and examine the construction. Investigate paddy irrigation methods, or try to figure out how a loom works.
  • Living the Life: Part of immersing yourself in a remote village is experiencing the simple life. You’ll sleep on a thin floor-mattress, rely on people and not electronics for entertainment, and use barebones toilet and washing facilities. Your hosts do it everyday.
  The New Zealand government’s CBT-SED project is supporting an “English Language for Tourism” program in Luang Namtha using phrasebooks designed to provide fun and educational experiences for visitors and locals to share. Please look for These  and partake in this opportunity to have fun, learn and teach. You will leave with new friends, fond memories, and much-appreciated benefits for your hosts.  
Update: 05 July 2016
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