Nong Khiaw – The New Muang Ngoi
Nong Khiaw (Nong Kiau or Nong Kiew) is a beautiful rustic little town on the bank of the Ou River in Laos. It is squeezed in between some of the most fantastic limestone mountains north of Vang Vieng.
Many travellers pass through on the way up river to the even more isolated Muang Ngoi, but Nong Khiaw has a plenty of charm, a decent range of accommodation, plus conveniences such as 24 hour electricity and a connection to the road network for those interested in exploring the surrounding area.
Atm are now in town since 2016. At March 2018, there is a bank in the town where you can exchange money.
Nong Khiaw is simple in layout and small enough to walk around. It’s possible to rent a bike at the Riverside Bungalows and Delilah’s to explore the 2 roads and surrounding area.
A large concrete road bridge connects Nong Khiaw on the western side of the river with the village of Ban Sop Houn on the eastern side of the river, where many of the river-view bungalows are found.
What to do in Nong Khiaw?
01 – Pha Tok Caves
About 2km outside town on the far side of the river from the boat landing and bus station. This cave set high in a limestone cliff sheltered villagers and Pathet Lao fighters during the Second Indochina war. The caves are accessed via steep concrete steps, and inside a few signs identify points where command posts were stationed. Entrance fees are collected at the bottom where you can also borrow a torch. The trail to the cave passes through many rice paddies and a small section of jungle. If you ask the people at the “ticket desk”, you should be able to arrange a boat ride back to Nong Khiaw from a local. For 2 people in the very small canoe type longtail boats that can seat max 2 people plus driver the price is around 50,000 kip. 5,000 kip.
Be careful with “guides” who try to show you the second (there is 2 caves there) cave after you visit by yourself the first one. He will ask to you tips (50’000-80’000kip) for is help (that you don’t need for sure). To see the second cave by yourself take the little pass at your left when you are at the entry of the first one.
02 – Pha Kuang Cave
About 3 km East on the 1C, this cave requires a little more fitness than your usual caving adventure, it is definitely something else. The cave runs about 300m into the rock and some climbing through small holes is required but it is definitely worth the adventure and the cave is quite stunning once you get inside. The owner is very friendly and knows a lot about the area. Just drive about 2 km West of town on the 1c. The associated restaurant serves good food. 10k Kip Entry Fee.
03 – Nam Ou river in Nong Khiaw
With the Mekong, it is the only waterway for large vessels. In Nong Khiaw, it is quite wide and quiet, completely inserted in a harmonious natural setting which allows very pretty walks in Laos.
Discover our tours in Laos here.
Have a nice trip!