What to see and do in Laos?
What to see and do in Nong Khiaw?
Nong Khiaw, called also Muang Ngoi Mai or Nong Kiew, it’s a small village on the river Nam Ou.
Only 3 hours away from Luang Prabang but a complitely different world.
The nature is the real queen of this area. Life runs slowly in Nong Khiaw and even if there’s not much to see here, for us it was one of the nicest place seen in Laos.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN NONG KHIAW: HOW TO GET THERE
Nong Khiaw is 4 hours away from Luang Prabang.
The buses to reach it leaves from the northern bus station of LP at 9:00, 11:00, 12:00 at the cost of 40.000 kip. (note: it is not possible to rh Nong Khiaw by boat from LP).
Nong Khiaw’s bus station is located 1 km from the bridge (20 minutes walk or 10.000 kip in tuk-Tuk).
From the side of the city, close to the bridge, the boatsleave every day to Muang Ngoi at an hour of navigation. There are two boats a day, one at 10:30 and one at 14:30. The cost is 25.000 kip per person.
Once a day, there’s also a boat that goes to Muang Khua. The cost is 150.000 KIP for 6 hours and also includes tuk-tuk to cross the dam that was built along the path.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN NONG KHIAW: THE RIVER
Nong Khiaw’s main attraction is definitely the river Nam Ou.
The view from the bridge, the restaurants or the hammocks of the guesthouses are so relaxingl.
You can spend hours, or days, simply observing the slow flow of the river and the boats that sail it.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN NONG KHIAW: THE VIEW POINT
To enjoy an even better view on the river and the valley, you need to do a bit of effort and wear trekking shoes.
There are two different scenic points in the village. What enjoys the best view is on the side of the bridge where most guesthouses are.
Entrance costs 20.000 kip (Updated March 2018) and the steep climb takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Once at the top, the view on the valley pays off all the efforts made to reach it.
An Ideal moment is to climb in late afternoon to see the sun set behind the mountains.
In this case it is necessary to carry a torch to use during descent (about 45 minutes).
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN NONG KHIAW: PHA TOK CAVES
Located 2 km from Nong Khiaw bridge (45 minutes after the starting point for the viewpoint path), the Pha Tok caves were used by the Pathet Lao as refugee during the war. (entrance fee 10.000 kip)
Through some steep stairs you can access the cave where you can see signs of bullet shots.
In addition to the main cave, there is a second smaller one to reach with tiny path to the left of the entrance.
WHAT TO DO AND SEE IN NONG KHIAW: THE TREKKING
Indicated as one of Laos’s most beautiful trekking, that of the 100 waterfalls is organised by different agencies on the main street of Nong Khiaw. The cost varies according to the number of participants but it is around $ 25 each.
The trekking takes about one day and consider to spendseveral hours with feet soaking in the waterfall, better to be prepared.
WHAT TO DO AND SEE IN NONG KHIAW: ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD
Many guesthouses and dining rooms are located on the side of the bridge opposite to the bus station or the pier.
There are many different options both for overnight stays and food.
In the first case you can find bungalows with a hammock view of the river, or guesthouses more internal but still clean and at slightly lower prices.
For food options, there are Indian restaurants or Lao cuisine restaurants that also serve “Western” dishes like burgers and sandwiches.