A handful of Lao companies organize eco-tours to wilderness areas featuring rare and exotic flora and fauna. Here, nature lovers and birdwatchers will find some of the rarest species on the planet and vast forest canopies. Although Laos does not have any national parks in the Western sense, since 1993 the government has established twenty National Biodiversity Conservation Areas (NBCAs), many still with villagers and hill tribes living within their boundaries. Unfortunately, though NBCA status means government recognition of their biodiversity, this status has not conferred any real protection (see Southern Laos).
The NBCAs are scattered around the country, often in remote border areas without roads. While many of the parks are inaccessible short of mounting a professional expedition, several have been developed for eco-tourism and have visitor centres and guided walks. The best developed NBCAs for tourists are Phou Khao Khouay, Nam Ha and Phou Hin Poun, all of which can be reached by road.