The Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park (NEPL) is the largest and one of the most biodiverse protected areas in Lao PDR. Nam Et-Phou Louey is unique in its rich wildlife biodiversity supporting a wide range of species, many of which are endangered, including wild cats and bears, wild dog “Dhole”, the critically endangered Northern White-cheeked Gibbon, Phayre’s Langur, binturongs, otters and many more. NEPL NP is also great for birding. Almost 200 bird species are recorded in NEPL NP, including: Blyth’s Kingfishers, Eared pitta, and Red-Collared Woodpecker.
The National Park tours are not only one of the few opportunities in Lao PDR to spot wildlife in its natural habitat, but are designed to support alternative livelihoods for local people and generate community support for wildlife conservation. Currently two tourism ventures exist in the National Park: the award-winning Nam Nern River Safari wildlife spotting tour since 2010, and various trekking itineraries focusing on the wildlife identification since 2016.
The Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park covers three provinces, Houaphan, Xieng Khouang, and Luang Prabang. The National Park is situated between the UNESCO heritage town of Luang Prabang, Sam Neua-Viengxay,- the birthplace of Lao PDR, and Phonsavanh,- famous for the UNESCO Plain of Jars sites.
The National Park Headquarters are located in Muang Hiam town in Houaphan Province.
If you are traveling from the direction of Luang Prabang or Nong Khiaw, you can either meet your guide in Muang Hiam and take public bus to the start next morning or you can travel to Ban Son Koua, the Night Safari start independently and meet your guide there. If you are traveling from Phonesavan or Sam Neua then we recommend that you meet your guide directly in Ban Son Khoua village. All trekking tours start from Muang Hiam.
Departing from Luang Prabang
PUBLIC BUS: Take the bus heading to Sam Neua, which leaves daily between 7-8 am from the Luang Prabang northern bus station, and get off in Ban Son Koua. The bus trip to Muang Hiam is about 10 hours, with an addition 1.5 hours to Ban Son Koua.
PRIVATE CAR/MOTORCYCLE: From Luang Prabang go north on Road #13 about 100 km and turn right onto Road #1C at the Pak Mong junction (follow the sign towards Nong Kiau). Travel 200 km on Road #1C northeast past Muang Hiam. The drive is about 9-10 hours.
Departing from Nong Khiaw
PUBLIC BUS: Take the bus from Luang Prabang heading to Sam Neua that stops at Nong Khiaw daily around 12o’clock. You can either get off in Muang Hiam where the Head Office is located and stay overnight here (the bus trip to Muang Hiam is about 5-6 hours), or you can continue to Ban Son Khoua (additional 1.5hour after Muang Hiam) where you can stay in overnight in a village home stay.
PRIVATE CAR/MOTORCYCLE: From Nong Khiaw travel 175 km on Road #1C northeast to Muang Hiam. The drive is about 5 hours.
Departing from Sam Neua
PUBLIC BUS: Buses and public mini vans leave from the Sam Neua bus station towards Muang Hiam daily between 7-8 am. The trip is about 3.5 to 4 hours.
PRIVATE CAR/MOTORCYCLE: Follow Road #6 southwest towards Muang Kham/Phonesavanh. Veer right at the Ko Hing junction and follow Road #1C for another 7km.
Departing from Phonesavanh
PUBLIC BUS: There is a daily bus leaving Phonsavan at 8:30am from the “Bus station of Xiengkhouang province” to stop at Kor hing three junction and villager go to pick you up to Ban Son Khua or if you have more time you can travel to Sam Nuae to visit the Viengxay caves and after that take the bus from Viengxay to Sam Nuae to take the bus from Viengxay to Ban Son Khau on the day after.
PRIVATE CAR/MOTORCYCLE: Follow Road #6 northeast towards Sam Neua passing Muang Kham along the way. Turn left at the Ko Hing junction and follow Road #1C for 7km.
Departure from Nam Nern Night Safari in Ban Son Khoua village:
PUBLIC BUS: The buses to Nong Khiaw, Laung Prabang, Sam Neua and Phonsavan are driving through the Ban Son Khoua village daily between 9.30-12am. Please inform our guides in advance about your further travel plans and they will make sure that you catch the right bus in time.