Bokeo has a lot to offer people interested in nature and outdoor adventures - huge tracts of protected forest, clean waterfalls for swimming, staggering cliffs, majestic mountains and beautiful rock formations.
Heading North from Houay Xay, you will reach Pack Ngao bridge in 15 minutes. On Saturdays and Sundays, fish restaurants open at the bridge and you can swim in the river. Continuing along the river road, you can reach a small village of the Panna people (a small Sino-Tibetan ethnic group), through which you can access Tad Nam Nyorn waterfall. The waterfall is small but very pretty and easily accesible - it is just a 15-minute walk from the village. Also in this region are Phou Pha Ngoi and Pha Daeng, scenic rock formations with beautiful mountain views.
The Northern highland is also home to an abundance of precious wildlife, with many species having only been recently ‘discovered’ by researchers. Remarkable mammals of Bokeo include the Slow Loris (a grey-brown creature with bright round eyes and no tail), the Giant Squirrel (the world’s largest tree-dwelling rodent), and the Asiatic Black Bear (which is poached for its gall bladder and bile). Perhaps the most famous is the Black Crested Gibbon, a long-armed primate. Notably, male gibbons are black while female gibbons are yellowish or grey-brown.
An interesting array of birds can also be found, including the Lesser Racket-Tailed Drongo (identifiable by its two long narrow tail feathers which fan out at the ends), the Scarlet Minivet, the Blue-Winged Leafbird, the Green Eared Barbet and the Pale Blue Flycatcher. Together, they make up a beautiful rainbow of tree-top bird life.
Moreover, the nearby Muang Meung is rich with non-timber forest products. In the centre of the forest stands a cluster of ancient tea trees. Climbers can also scale the Phou Nya Kha, a peak which offers spectacular views of Thailand and Myanmar.