I am not saying that an elephant’s mahout is waiting for you inside the bungalow, but once indoors you will appreciate the vista straight on the acacias in the orchard, through which you could stroll at leisure. Come rain come shine, but all moments are enjoyable in their own time. Hey, that rhymes!

The “PHOU IU III Bungalows” are premiered Eco-lodges, sandwiched between the Nam Tha River and the Luang Namtha Night Market, which is but at ten minutes walking distance with OASIS place.  Phou Iu, is also a travel agency that can offer you guided treks from 1 to seven days to various destinations in and nearby Luang Nam Tha. Perhaps even tailored to your specific needs. They work with ethnic guides who know the National Park and nature like the back of their hand. All legal with governent permits assured.

Phou Iu offers comfortable clean rooms at reasonable prices. The bungalows are constructed in Luang Namtha ethnic community style with all modern day comforts. The bungalows offer five separate bungalows with four twin, five double, and one family, rooms. The bungalows were built with local materials and have been designed such, bearing in mind the Tai Lue, Khmu, Tai Dam, Hmong, and Akha house styles, however, reinvented a little for your comfort and pleasure. Your verandah ‘sits’ in a grassy acacia grove, from where you can observe giant butterflies, and other insects. That is, If you are patient and fortunate enough. The rooms aspire to emulate the native style traditional architecture yet not forgetting the need for modern homely comfort from our guests.

Each bungalow has been divided in two private ones, separated from your neighbour with a thin made-of-bamboo wall. The walls are about four metres high. The bedrooms with a double bed are about 4,5 by 6 meters next to the bamboo-roofed verandah, which is 4,5 by 3 metres. The balcony has two big reclining chairs made of bamboo. The door to the balcony has two sliding doors that cover one another; one with glass and one with an anti-mosquito window.

The beds have a spring mattress but come with fine duvet bedding and a cotton cover. The entire interior of the bedroom and the adjacent lounge (5,5 by 2 metres, fully equipped with coffee table, two chairs, curtains with ethnic design on them, a polished brick foot, pegs on the wall for the clothes, a big standing fan. Two energy saving light bulbs on the ceiling (lounge and bedroom) which are not too strong in light as to keep you in a romantic mood in the evenings. There is an electric kettle and every morning daily free tea bags (Lipton tea) and instant coffee sachets are provided. The lounge and bedroom are two in one space, the bathroom, however, is private.

There is hot water throughout the day, and the showerhead can be adjusted to strong or normal jets of water. Every morning your room is cleaned and provided with fresh towels, soap, shampoo, and clean bed linen.

As I said, the hosts are at your service; if you have any questions, do not hesitate to approach the friendly Mrs. Noi. Close to the gate, you will find the private quarters of staff and family. The restaurant lies opposite of those. Breakfast is limited to a few dishes, which you can choose from the menu. But before breakfast, is you are into health or the New Age, and the sun wakes up before you do, you may salute him in yoga style. Your windows face the East, the rising Sun. A full moon is amazing here and with a clear sky you can see thousands of heavenly bodies, stars, and constellations, such as; Orion’s belt and the Southern Cross.

I am sure that everyone who travels with an open mind will enjoy a one night off, on the way to another city, or when on a break before a big trek in the morning. You will find everything to your heart’s desire. Peace, quiet, away from the humdrum, although by the weekend at a stone’s throw away, natives may be enjoying a loud Karaoke night. But the owner tries to find middle ground in concert with the amiable neighbours. Most of them belong to the Tai Dam community. Incase you stay longer than the usual one day, you might want to look at renting a mountain bike.

One has to adapt to the local culture, which might be hard for European and American visitors who are on a holiday and tend to stay up as long as they do back home. But here people take advantage of the climate, so to avoid the harsh sun and get the maximum of work done, they go to sleep early, as early as 9pm for most, so to get to up at 6 am to get work done in the cool hours of the day. Go with the flow, I would say, and enjoy your stay in this little stylish resort.


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