Phongsaly province is located farthest north of Laos, which shares border with China
. Most of Phongsaly is at high attitudes, and capital is located 1,400 m above sea level. The forests of Phongsaly are the most remote and well-preserved in northern Laos and scenery includes spectacular limestone mountains and the Nam Ou river (the biggest tributary of the Mekong). There was migration into Phongsaly from both Burma
, now Myanmar at the end of the 18th Century and the Hmong from China a century later. The population is make up of about 22 different ethnicities, with being Phounoi, Tai Lu, Khmu, Akha, Haw, Yao,Oma, Poulee, Mouchee, Laoloum, Pala, Lolopho, Hmong, Cherpia, Laoseng, Laobith, Hayi, Tai Neua, Erpa…
Phongsaly has complicated history. Having served as a Chinese, French and Vietnamese outposts, the town himself is surrounded by rolling hills and it built into the side of Phoufa Mountain. The town buildings have interesting architectural features, and the Museum of tribe is excellent way to see an afternoon, admiring various ethnic minority artifacts and handicrafts.