The famous 400-year-old tea plantation is located about 18 kilometers from Phongsaly Town in the Phunoy ethnic village of Ban Komaen, which according to some tea experts has some of the oldest tea trees in the world. The large root system of the old trees extends deep into the mineral-rich soil and gives ‘Phongsaly Tea’ its specific aroma and taste.
The oldest trees stand 6 meters high with a stem up to 30 cm in diameter. The Tea Pavilion’s exhibition provides a peek into the world of tea, from its legendary beginnings to its production and consumption, and explains how the famous 400-year-old tea is picked and processed by the villagers into “tea cigars”. From there, you can take an hour stroll through the ancient plantation: just follow the Tea Trail signs! The trail will lead you to the top of the tea mountain to enjoy the stunning view of Phongsaly and then to the village temple and its unique bigeared Buddha statue.
Ban Komaen makes an ideal 1-day excursion, therelatively flat road passing through more recent tea plantations and offering a superb view of Phongsaly and surrounding mountains.
Town map and mountain bikes to rent (50,000 Kip/day) are available at the Tourism Office