Phongsali province the most remote in northern Laos is surrounded on three sides by China and Vietnam. The Phu Den Din National Biodiversity Conservation Area along the Vietnamese border with mountains as high as 1950m with over 70% forest cover is home to the Asiatic black bear, bantang, clouded leopard, elephant, guar and tiger.
The capital Phongsali, can be reached from Muang Xai with buses leaving once a day. Phongsali has a year round cool climate with temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius at night. Rain can be heavy – bring a jacket and warm clothes.
Muang Khoa is a small town situated on the junction of Route 4 and the Nam Ou river. The journey to Muang Khoa along route 4 from Udomxai takes about four hours. It is possible to travel up river to Phongsali from here, or down to Luang Prabang.