About Us

Yao in Muan Sing

Dear Traveler,
If you found the Phou Iu Bungalows homepage after wading through tons of links to find a unique travel experience in Northern Laos, then you have arrived at the right place. Because Phou Iu Bungalows is a real treat to those who long for a little retreat in Mother Nature’s lap. Tucked away in little valley at a stone throw away from the Night Market and at five minutes walking distance from the Nam Tha River, the bungalows, unique in their setting, is what you need! Surrounded by verdant scenery and mountains in the mist (during the rainy season) one truly can let go of all the hustle and bustle of travelling of crisscrossing Laos. In 2005 seven bungalows were built called “Phou Iu II Bungalows” the bungalows equally located in Muang Sing. Next the “Phou Iu III Bungalows” were built in 2010 in Luang Namtha. The bungalows are constructed in traditional ethnic group’s style with all modern comforts, they come with comfy beds and bamboo furniture. From your cozy porch you can enjoy the colourful garden, teeming with all sorts of butterflies, and from morning until the evening one can hear all types of birdsongs, roosters crowing, the occasional laughter of the children who play by the river or at home. By contrast, during the rainy season the evenings will mesmerize you with the sound of cicadas, frogs, and the sound or the pouring of rain.

The bungalows were called “PHOU IU”. Phou Iu is not just a random name, though. “PHOU” means “Mountain” and “IU” means Yao. Yao is the name of the small minority group living on the mountain in the northern Lao to which your host, Mrs. Noi’s husband so proudly belongs too. Just as most ethnic minorities the PHOU IU hauled from China. So basically, “PHOU IU” means “The Yao living on the top of the mountain.”

Besides the fauna and flora there are also the Laotian villagers who live by and around the bungalows. They are mainly the Tai Dam, one of the fifty-three ethnic minorities that live in Luang Namtha! However, as your humble hosts they are proud of their heritage, as they have Yao (Mien), Tai Dam, and Phou Noi blood running through their veins… Mrs. Noi is the charming lady who runs the place and guarantees you that your stay and activities with Phou Iu will be memorable. It was Mrs. Noi’s husband who in 1999 had the brilliant idea of building the first bungalows in nearby the town of Muang Sing. That town is only two hours away from Luang Namtha, heading North-West. Just as the latter Muang Sing is also inhabited by diverse ethnic communities with many trekking opportunities and homestays.

“PHOU IU TRAVEL” organises Eco-Tourism in Luang Namtha in combination with branch offices in Muang Sing, Vieng Phoukha, Muang Khua. Phou Iu offers a large variety of trekking/hiking/jungle camping, homestay/ interacting-with-natives-activities, kayaking/rafting/river trips, cycling/mountain bike, slow boat trips/local boating, city tours/mini-van/Tuk-Tuk, motorbike tours on the Off-Road, 4 wheel drive tours-off-road, combined tours/multi tours.

The tours are designed to last from 1 to 14 days within National Protected Area, Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Phongsaly, Muang Khua, Oudomxay, Xieng Khouang, Nong Khiaw, Muang Ngoi, Xieng Khaeng, Bokeo, Mekong River and Golden Triangle “Laos-Myanmar”.

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