Nong Khiaw

 I Continue From Here – Vang Vieng

Backpacking Laos: Day 013 (19-Feb,2020), Day 014 (20-Feb-2020) & Day 015 (21-Feb-2020)

Nong Khiaw

I took a mini bus from Vang Vieng to Nong Khiaw. The journey took me almost an entire day. In the evening, I reached Nong Khiaw and booked a bed at the only hostel I could find. I stepped out to explore the town. By the main junction, I found an office of a travel agent who arranged treks.  I enquired about the available treks. A two-day trek seemed perfect for me. The treks are a bit expensive here as they mostly cater to foreign tourists. 

I watched the sunset from the bridge. The view was spectacular. 

I found an Indian restaurant and decided to eat there. The food was okay. The roti was all burnt but the dishes were not bad. 


Next morning, at around 8:00 AM, I went to the office where I had booked a trek. We met our guide there. Along with me, there were two old women from Holland – Netty and Barbara. I left my backpack at the office and we began our trek. 

The boat ride along Nam Ou river was simply amazing. Our first stop was at a village called Ban. Hou Ahoy. People here still live in bamboo huts and make and sell artefacts out of bamboo. 

We met an old lady who was beating the bark of a specific tree. The sun-dried, well beaten bark is later stored to be consumed with beetle leaf and Limestone. This more or less replaces tobacco. When requested for a picture, she gave me her consent with a beautiful smile. This smile is priceless.


From here, we had to walk through the paddy fields and head towards the mountains. 

After a long walk, we reached a village. Here, we stopped at a  house to have our meal – Rice, Noodles, Vegetable curry, Omelette.

We continued our journey and took a different route to get back to the river. We sailed further on the river to reach Sop Jam village.

Sop Jam is our tour organiser’s village. The village comprises of one long street with around 30 houses. At the end of the street was our guest house. 

It was already 4:30PM, we left our bags in the room and trekked up a hill behind the village. While Barbara decided to stay back, Netty and I followed our guide to the shelter built on top of the hill. It was a difficult trek, as there was no proper route. But the view from the top was brilliant. We sat at the shelter and watched the sunset before heading back. 


To take bath, we had to go to the house of our Tour organiser’s sister. The bathroom was built of bamboo and dry leaves. His sister also cooked for us. For dinner, she prepared some really tasty pumpkin dish. She had also prepared noodles with bamboo shoots. 


Sop Jam village is simple and very neat. At night, some villagers sat outside and worked on their handloom. Farming and handloom seems to be the major occupation here. 

That night, I slept well. Next morning, when I woke up at around 6 AM, I witnessed a mesmerising view of the village and the cliff covered in mist. I walked to the river. It was an idyllic setting out there. 

While returning back, I saw a van pull in. A man was setting up a shop by the road. He had caried all the essentials for the villagers. I remember this kind of mobile shops during my childhood. Even the locals have setup their hand-made clothes and bags on display for sale. I bought a bag from a local. 


At around 9AM, we were ready to leave the village.mWe sailed along Nam Ou river for some distance. Then, our guide decided to take us on a short trek in the jungle. We walked through a jungle and reached the river back again. Our guide's friend had brought our boat there. 


Next, we got off at Muang Ngoy village and explored the place. Villagers were making rice cakes and selling it outside their homes. There are a few cafes here. It was here that I also saw the old American man whom I had met in Cardamom forest (Cambodia) last year. Before I could recognise him, he had rode past me on his bicycle. 


After a short stroll in the village, we got back to the river. Next stop - Tad Mook waterfall.  From the river, we had to walk about a kilometre to reach the waterfall. There was no one there. While the others did not want to take a dip, I decided to enjoy a shower under the waterfall. It was indeed refreshing. 

You can also choose to do canoeing here. But none of us wanted to waste our energy or time doing that. So we decided to head back. By 4PM, we reached Nong Khiaw. That evening, Netty, Barabar and I met up for dinner. We decided to eat at an Indian restaurant. After a good meal over a good conversation, I bid farewell to my wonderful trek companions and headed back to  my hostel. 

At the main hall, there was an Israeli traveller playing guitar. I sat there for a while listening to the music before hitting the bed. It was a long and interesting trek that took me to remote villages around Nong Khiaw. I would highly recommend visitors to do at least a 2-day trek if not more. 

Continued Here: Luang Namtha

Here is my Vlog on this Trek: