Muang Sing is a town with a rich history. Once closely associated with the Sipsongpanna Kingdom centered in present day Yunnan China, the town has been influenced by Chinese, Burmese and French occupants. Originally constructed in the late nineteenth century the town was set out like a chessboard with the palace and other princely buildings in its centre.
Getting to and around Muang Sing
By air: Flights from Vientiane to Luang Namtha depart 3 times per week and take one hour.
By bus: From Vientiane (Northern bus station) to Luang Namtha via Luang Prabang takes about 24 hours.
By bus/minivan from Houaxai to Luang Namtha about 3.5 hours at 55,000 LAK a seat.
From Luang Namtha small buses depart several times a day at a small bus station near the Lao Airline Office.
From Muang Sing small buses or song taews (pickup trucks with benches) go to Xieng Kok and Muang Long. To get around Muang Sing tuk-tuks are readily available at the morning market. Bicycles can be rented in town. There is no local public transport in town.
Post and Communications
The general post office offers postal services, faxing and public telephone for local, national and international calls. Phone cards can be purchased at many shops in Muang Sing town. Internet service is available at the town and some guesthouses offer phone services. Sending packages home through the normal mail service is inexpensive and generally reliable.
Bank, Money Exchange
Lao Development Bank, open 08:30-15:00. ATM is available at the Lao Development Bank. Exchanges US dollars, Euros and traveler cheques. The Agriculture Bank exchanges US dollars.
Where to stay?
There are about 17 guesthouses in Muang Sing town. The prices range from 3-50 US$ per night.
Where to eat?
Many local restaurants offer Lao, Chinese, Thai, and Western style food. Choose one of the restaurants located along the main road in Muang Sing. Excellent Lao coffee and baguettes are also available throughout the day. Some famous local dishes are kao soi (soft rice noodle soup) available at in the Muang Sing market, Akha tea, and Jeao, the local chili paste).
What to do and to see?
Muang Sing features a number of interesting tourist attractions. While trekking tours and village visits should always be booked through a tour guide office (to ensure the villages will benefit from tourism), the following attractions can easily be explored without a guide. Simply stroll around town and take in its history or sample some famous food and ethnic handicrafts.