- Encounters with locals
- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Hiking / Trekking
- Sustainable Tourism
- Off the beaten track
I highly recommend a visit to the small village of Muang Ngoyduring your stay in Laos. Although frequented by many tourists, Muang Ngoy is in my opinion the image of Laos and will offer you real moments of peace, the unforgettable smile of the locals, the beauty of the scenery and pleasant moments of escape from the world.
I particularly appreciated the panorama of the surrounding mountains, especially during the intensely beautiful sunsets that I admired from one of the terraces of the village.
I took advantage of my stay there to explore the many opportunities for walks and excursions in the surrounding area. They will lead you through many peaceful villages and bring you into contact with the local population, all while enjoying the beauty of the landscapes of rice fields and mountains.
Only accessible by boat, Muang Ngoi Neua is well off the beaten track. Which is exactly why we liked it. Tourists looking for a bit of peace and wanting to meet local people will feel right at home here. There were no cars or road access at that time. A road had begun to be mapped out whilst we were there. So, you'll find yourself in a little, calm paradise. There's only electricity until 9pm! You'll feel cut off from the rest of the world and it's a welcome treat.
The layout of the town is a bit wierd. Tourists are put up in one side of the town and local residents live on the other. It does mean that, as the 'tourist enclave' grows, the town risks losing some of its anonymity. It's a shame, but at the same time tourism feeds the local economy. In any case, this is one not to miss during a holiday in Laos.
During my trip Laos, I had the chance to spend several days at Maung Ngoi Neua, which was definately one of my favourite Laotian places. It's a little village nestled in the mountains by the River Nam Ou. Muang Ngoi Neua is a one-off wonder. Here, you'll feel like you're in another, timeless world. There's no internet access at yet! And up until a couple of years ago, residents only had electricity from 6pm to 9pm. There's no tarmac, no mopeds, just mountains and the river: 'zen' is the word that springs to mind. You'll find yourself in an truly enchanting place, one of very few left on the planet.
I headed out with friends to explore the surrounding traditional villages and we even stayed overnight in one. Despite the locals' extreme shyness, it was an eye-opening experience and the people were lovely. It's a chance to see and enjoy Laotian daily life.
I loved my time in Muang Ngo Neua so much that I'd advise any visitor to stay in this authentic and charming town.
If you could say that a place was the epitome of serenity then that place is probably the region of Muang Ngoy. Apart from a few noisy scooters and backpackers, the peace of the area is incredibly therapeutic.
A warm afternoon in a hammock reading a book, a day's walk through the neighbouring villages, a cold beer in the company of other travellers telling you tales from around the world, a game of bowls, a visit to a Buddhist temple and an evening spent round the fire - it's easy to spend 3 or 4 days in this village. However, there are numerous treks that leave from Muang Ngoy that are accessible to even the least sporty.
Compared to the rest of Laos, this region is basically unspoiled by tourism. However, the village is very small and we quickly got the impression that it was made up entirely of guesthouses that were full of travellers. But if you need to get away from the constant coming and going there is always a spot somewhere.