Nam Cham Lake in the afternoon. Surrounded by forest and quietness.
Nam Chang is a lake at the foot of the mountains west of Chiang Khong. It's Chiang Khong's water reservoir and artificially dammed. Nam Chang is a really good place if you don't want to meet people and like to enjoy silence and nature. It's possible to swim here. Only here and there a Thai fisherman is around. Bring a good book and a hammock to spent an afternoon here. There is a shelter with two benches and a stone table to rest. The sunsets are particularly great. It's also a great place for a picnic. The easiest way to go here is by motorbike, but because it's only 7 km out of Chiang Khong it's also possible to walk up to it. You need some 90 min walking on dirt roads across the rice paddies. In rainy season it's all green there, in winter time (dry season) the colours are rather yellow-brownish. Be aware of that there are two lakes. The lower one looks quite artificial and has no dam. The 'real' one is a few hundred meters behind the first one and much bigger, directly at the feet of the mountains.
It's said by workers and officials at the lake station there were a track around the lake. It's some 10 to 15 km altogether. That would be kind of a jungle walk one can do without guides. I tried it in February 2012 and can't confirm it. Though, there are many tracks and it's worth to walk along the lake shore. One can walk here into the jungle and it's not a difficult walk. There is teak forest, bamboo and various other trees and bushes in the forest. Orientation is quite easy, keeping as close as possible to the lake shore. But, at the back end of the lake, the last tracks ended up in dense bushes.
There are some other tracks around, leading into the mountains. If you decide to go, bring enough water. For some more practical tips about jungle trekking, have a look here.
Nam Chang Lake is a water reservoir for a certain catchment area downwards. It contains mostly rice paddies. The area is irrigated in the dry season between December and March via a sophisticated canal system. That's why in February and March the water level is meters lower than normaly.