Nong Khiaw was just an overnight stop for us on our way from Luang Prabang to a small village up north that a friend had told us to visit, but it turned out to be one of my favorite places we traveled to in Laos.
Things to Do in Nong Khiaw
There’s not much to do in Nong Khiaw besides hang out by the river… and eat delicious Indian food! Seriously, if you ever find yourself in Nong Khiaw, go eat at Deen Restaurant. So good!
While there wasn’t a great deal going on there, I think I could have happily stayed in Nong Khiaw and spent our last week and a half in Laos just relaxing by the river and soaking up the beautiful scenery.
But Dan had other exciting plans for us, so the next day we caught a boat for the hour-long journey up the Ou River to Muang Ngoi Neua.
Getting to Muang Ngoi Neua from Nong Khiaw
Well, it was supposed to take an hour, and probably would have had our boat not gotten stuck in some shallow water.
The two boat workers told us that we would have to get out and walk for a bit to lighten the weight, so we obediently climbed out onto a strip of beach for what could have been a ridiculously simple and brilliant scam.
Luckily one of the German guys with us realized this, and he insisted that a few people stay on the boat with everyone’s bags, phew.
After a nice hike through some prickly shrubs, we rejoined our boat and bags and arrived just in time to watch the sun set over Muang Ngoi’s stunning landscape.
Visiting Muang Ngoi, Laos
Muang Ngoi is a small town nestled against a beautiful backdrop of water and mountains, but it is also overflowing with tourists. I say overflowing because by the time we arrived, all the guest houses were full.
We joined a number of other backpackers in wandering around town hoping to find a place to stay, and eventually a shop owner flagged us down and told us to follow her friend into her home.
“You two can stay here for 50,000 kip.”
I guess this happens a lot in Muang Ngoi, as there was already a bed set up in the living room waiting for guests. Our first home stay in Laos!
We stayed at the Sunrise Bungalows in Nong Khiaw and paid 60,000 kip ($7) for a double room.
The boat from Nong Khiaw to Muang Ngoi was 25,000 kip ($3) each and took about one hour.
In Muang Ngoi Neua we did a homestay for 25,000 kip ($3) each. If you want to stay in a guest house it might be a good idea to book ahead!