The Khmu or their ancestors probably settled the area of present-day Laos several thousand of years ago and are one of the most populous ethnic groups in Laos. They are part of the Mon-Khmer branch of the Austro-Asiatic linguistic family. The Khmu are divided into many sub-groups including the Khmu Lue, the Kwaen, the Rok, and the Ou, with the majority of Khmu in Luang Namtha being the Kwaen or the Rok. Like many of the ethnic groups in Northern Laos, the Khmu are not Buddhist, but practice their own form of animism (spirit worship).
Khmu in Luang Namtha generally practice mixed economies, growing rice, hunting, gathering forest products and producing handicrafts to generate some cash income. The Khmu are highly knowledgeable about medicinal plants and are highly skilled producers of woven rattan and bamboo basketry. Many Khmu villages have been and are frequently visited by tourists, who purchase handicrafts and hire native guides, so to guide them on jungle treks.
Tourism has become and important source of income for a number of Khmu villages in Luang Namtha, especially in the villages located on the Nam Ha and Khmu village around that area.
Nam Ha Village is located around 29 km along the Road A3 from Luang Namtha-Bokeo, and also located at in the heart of Nam Ha National Protected Area from which the Khmu village has derived its name known as “Nam Ha”, the latter being a proud preserver of tradition, culture, and lifestyle.
Nowadays Nam Ha Village organizes homestay and community based tourism activities, you can visit enjoy from the activities and return to town or stay 1 or 2 nights get more experience the Khmu culture and tradition, taste local meals, learn and practice the husking of rice, watch a black smith’s work, weave a bamboo basket or make “bamboo toys such as: birds, frogs, cup, etc.” Participate in a Khmu traditional Baci-ceremony, enjoy a sword dance, hike half a day through the jungle and mountains to soak up nature’s mysteries, wildlife spotting, learn about the ancestral native skills of hunting wildlife & taste exotic native food.