- Encounters with locals
- Hiking / Trekking
- Sustainable Tourism
- Off the beaten track
Exploring the north of Laos is about soaking up the magnificent countryside along the Mekong and its tributary, the Nam Ou.
I loved Nong Khiaw because I found it a great place to stay during my travels across the country. There are several beautiful walks starting from there, exploring some old caves, and little isolated villages, not forgetting the waterfalls and the beautiful rice paddies. Nong Khiaw is surrounded by steep cliffs and I liked the fact that it encouraged you to relax and unwind.
However, for travellers whose time isn't limited, I recommend you choose the village of Muong Ngoy (which isn't far from there) instead, because I found more authentic.
Nong Khiaw is an absolutely splendid small village in northern Laos. It is always difficult to make comparisons, but I found that Nong Khiaw is the most beautiful village that I came across. Everything is beautiful in this exquisite natural setting. The river at the bottom of the valley which loses itself in the distance is gorgeous. In the morning the villagers come there do their gymnastics in the mist. During the day the fishermen cast their nets and the children play and swim happily. In the evening the few tourists come to observe the magnificent sunset. All of day-to-day life is centred around the Nam Ou. I loved it.
I also went for wonderful walks in the mountain around the village where I witnessed fine scenes of everyday life. When the morning comes to leave this paradise, you have two alternatives to reach Luang Prabang. 3 hours by bus or 6 hours by boat on the Nam Ou and the Mekong. I chose the second option and certainly don't regret it.
You will have understood by now that I fell in love with Nong Khiaw, this hidden treasure of tourism in Laos.