Top 5 Things to Do in Nong Khiaw

Located only 4 hours from Luang Prabang is one of the brightest jewels of the Northern Laos, Nong Khiaw. This picturesque town has several exciting local attractions which can be reached on foot or with free guest bicycles. Also, you will be hard-pressed to find yourself without something to do because there are many interesting activities waiting for you, some of which are recommended below.

1. Having a Sense of Adventure in Patok Cave

For those who delight in the brutal history of Laos, visiting Patok cave is highly recommended since the Pathet Lao Communist Command used it as a head quarter during the tragic War. What is more, it played an essential role as a strong shelter for the villagers over the course of American bombing runs. Besides, stepping foot into this cave also means you can enjoy the magnificent scenery of mountainous surrounding areas as well as rice paddies from the cathedral dome on two levels.

Noticeably, the entrance fee including free torch costs 5,000 Kip per person. However, before exploring the main cave, you should visit a smaller entrance on ground level which is inherently viewed as a safe depository for the Lao bank, makeshift hospital, and cooking facilities in the years of War. Undoubtedly, it is a superb idea for the purpose of getting insight into this Asian country’s history.

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2. Taking a Private Nam Ou River Trip

Another thing that you must do when visiting Nong Khiaw is to take a private trip along the Nam Ou River. Nevertheless, due to the process of building a dam starting from 2013 on this river makes traveling directly downstream from Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw impossible. As a result, you should hire a private boat for a full day trip upriver which begins at 9.30 am and returns at 4.30 pm. You will past gorgeous Muang Ngoi village, where you can explore Tham Kang Cave, Tham Pha Kaew Cave, and Tat Mok Waterfall or visiting local villages, and many beautiful landscapes along the Nam Ou River.

Note: 

It is advisable to bring hat or sunscreen, and a bottle of water. Furthermore, the boat tickets needs to be booked a day before at your resort or hotel.

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3. Trekking at 100 Waterfalls 

From the early time, everyone usually thinks of this destination as an ideal place for jungle hike through a trail of cascading waterfalls and local villages. In terms of itinerary, travelling downstream in 45 minutes by boat to a local Hmong village is the first thing that you need to do, in which you will start following local trails through the rice paddies to the mountain foot. Then, you will go along the pristine cascades before reaching the top of the mountain. At the summit, you surely get a surprise at the 360-degree stunning view. In addition, your hungry stomach after 3-hour climbing the rocks will be satisfied with a traditional Lao lunch on folded banana leaves.

Note: If you want to trek at 100 waterfalls, make sure to have a good level of fitness because you need to climb over rocks, bamboo ladders, and have no suggestion for how to reduce physical impairment. Additionally, some necessary items for protecting your foot like closed shoes, sturdy sandals or hiking boots, and outdoor clothes are advisable. 

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4. Sightseeing on Mountain View Point

This is a steep and demanding climb on the east of the town takes you up to a spectacular viewpoint. The entrance is 20,000 Kip per person and you will start following the path without handrails up the gentle slopes of the mountain. After about 1.5 hour climbing to the top of the mountain, at an altitude of about 1,100 meters, you will have a 360 degree stunning vista of the surrounding mountains, the river, and the village below. 

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The best time for this climb is in the early morning to beat the heat. Moreover, it is suggested to take a big bottle of water and to wear strapped sandals or closed shoes. Despite an easy-medium climb, during the rainy months (July-September), it can be very slippery and muddy at the top. Also, in March and April, the view might be limited due to the annual slash-and-burn haze.

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5. Experiencing Zip Lining

It is undeniable that zip lining will entirely be a spotlight of your tour to Nong Khiaw. Chronologically, you will cross the bridge first, pass through lush flora, huge primary rain forest trees, and then limestone karts, which offers you an opportunity to observe the wildlife before reaching this new attraction opened in 2016. In reality, there are two options including half-day and full-day zip lining for you to freely pick up. After half way through your zip lining, you will stop to trek to an old hospital used the Indochina war and go on the afternoon with a tasty local lunch before joining in other activities such as abseiling, sky-high walk, and the Tarzan swing.

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In conclusion, Nong Khiaw really shines as a must-see destination in the laid-back country of Laos. With a variety of activities, a tour to Nong Khiaw will absolutely bring you unforgettable experiences in the course of your life time.

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Brian Vu

Working for a travel company is a big chance for me to feel love with travel. Specially, leisure is not my style, riding motorbike to discover everywhere is really great for my trips. On each miles I reach, I get opportunity to learn more about the local culture, to see ... [View Details...]