Located on the banks of the Nam Tha River, Luang Nam Tha means ‘The area around the Tha river’. Luang Nam Tha is the largest city in the province of the same name, in the northern part of Laos. Like Huay Xai, Laung Nam Tha is primarily perceived as a stopover point. Most visitors who come from China to Laos use this city as a starting point instead of taking the uncomfortable and crowded boat ride between Luang Prabang and Huay Xai. The city has two distinct parts; one which is referred to as the old town was bombed during the 1970s and the new town, six km away and which was built as a replacement of sorts for the old one has most of the trekkers’ huts and guesthouses.