Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi are two small villages located along the river “Nam Ou”, a few hours north of Luang Prabang; perfect places to enjoy the good life of Laos.
Nong Khiaw, small town in Northern Laos
This small village with about 3500 inhabitants is located 4 hours from Luang Prabang bus. But Laos bus rides may be longer than expected. There are some Guesthouses, some good restaurants and the setting, surrounded by karst cliffs is superb! It is possible to make some excursions by bike around and climb to the top of a hill for a stunning view.
I will not deny that to make the most of Nong Khiaw, it is best to opt for a slightly more expensive Guesthouse overlooking the mountains and river in against-low. For this, nothing better than the “Sunrise Guesthouse”, consisting of a good fifteen fairly inexpensive bungalows (60,000 Kips night with Wifi and hot water). I had not been able to stay in cute little bungalows also since my trip to Thailand, so I took advantage of it for several days.
And for even more well-being, I highly recommend the “Herb Sauna” (easy to find as there is only one Spa in the village) because nothing better than a hot sauna when starts to make a little cool at night (it closes at 22h).
Muang Ngoi and small villages nearby
To get Nong Khiaw to Muang Ngoi, you must take a boat up the river “Nam Ou.” A journey of about 1:30 that will delight you! The landscape is splendid effect and the journey passes in no time (do not forget the camera!).
As for the town of Muang Ngoi, it is rather quiet and you’ll feel as happened to the “end of the world” … It is not difficult to identify since the village consists of a single street, long of just 500 meters.
And, like Nong Kiaw, it is best to stay in pretty bungalows overlooking the river (on my part, my choice was quickly brought to the “Veranda Guesthouse” and its bungalows at 50,000 Kips).
Since Muang Ngoi, it is possible to perform multiple excursions to even more remote villages … The most accessible are three in number: Ban na Huay Huay Bo and Sen. It takes about 1 hour to get to Ban Na and 1h30 to reach Huay Huay Bo Sen; three villages and frankly worth a visit! I advise you to get there at least two days to have time to stay a few hours in each village. Also note that it is possible to stay in the villages for only 10,000 kip! You will find a Gueshouse in each village; rudimentary (small wooden room, toilets on the outside and cold water) but still kept by charming owners! I had the chance to chat a little bit with them and I learned a lot about the lifestyle of Laos in the area … Do not miss an opportunity like you!
Simply put, these are two small villages and certainly will remain my little strokes heart of Laos … And if I come back in the corner one day, I certainly would stay several weeks to enjoy it more!