How to Get from Luang Namtha to Nong Khiaw

If you have chance to visit Laos, you should not miss Luang namtha and Nong khiaw. While Luang namtha offers tourists ecotourismopportunity, Nong khiaw is a beautiful little town on the bank of the Nam Ou River in Laos. However, how to move from Luang namtha to Nong khiaw may become your concern before starting the visit to these two places. By consulting the following options of transport, you can choose which optionis the best onefor your trip.

1. Private Car and Boat

If you are not tight on time and your health has no problems, this option is suitable for you. First, you will move from Luang namtha to Oudomxay, MuangXai, and then to Muang khua by private car(your guesthouse or hotel can help you hire a private car). Normally, with a distance of about 200 kilometers, it will take you 3.5 - 4 hours to get the tiny town Muang khua from Luang prabang.

After reaching Muang khua and staying overnight here, spending next morning discovering gorgeous Muang khua is a must. Then,you can travel to Nong khiawby boat with the fare of US $15 per person in this afternoon. This amazing experience in your life will come soon since you definitely have chance to contemplate tropical forests along the river banks after the long journey by private car. It lasts around 5.5 hours. Before arriving in Nong khiaw, you can enjoy the romantic sunset scenery as well as stay overnight at Muang ngoi, a picturesqueriverside village on the bank of the NamOu River with treks through jungles, natural beauty of rice fields,caves, and waterfalls.

In the next day, choosing traveling by boat againwith the aim of going on your trip is a recommended way. Boats from Muang ngoi often depart at 9.30 am and reach Nong khiaw at 10.30 am. The tickets reasonably cost about US $3 per person and can be bought on the day at the Muang ngoi ticket office which is on the top of the boat landing steps.

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2. Local Bus

The big difficulty is that there is no direct bus from Luang namtha to Nong khiaw so you have to change the bus once while moving to the later destination. If you do not mind the time, you can get the bus from Luang namtha to Oudomxay. It costs around 32,000 Kips (US$3.9) and buses departure at 8.30 am, 12 am,and 14 pm. Since the distance is more than 110 kilometers, it takes you around 4 hours. When reaching Oudomxay, you ave to catch another bus to Nong khiaw. The fare is about 45,000 Kips (US $5.4) and the journey lasts for 4.5 hours.

Another way is traveling from Luang namtha to Luang prabang and then to Nong khiaw. There are buses fromLuang namtha to Luang prabang which stops in Pak Mong, 30 or 40 minutes away from Nong khiaw. There you can choose songthaew (a passenger vehicle in Laos adapted froma pick-up or a larger truck and used as a share taxi or bus) to go to Nong khiaw. You can have one of travel agencies or your hotel in Luang namtha book the ticket.

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3. By Minivan

Another more comfortable way to travel to Nong khiaw is by minivan. You will have to spend about 100,000 Kips (US $12.03) if you choose this mean of transport. In addition, it takes around 7 hours which is quite a long journey but if you take a window seat and release yourself in your favorite music tunes while seeing the views along the road, you will find 7 hours flies quickly. Or you can sleep to get more energy to exploreNong khiaw. Guesthouse can help you arrange everything, including pickup to the bus station.

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4. Private Car

If you could afford to hire a private car, then take it. You may have to be crammed on buses or minivans, especially on holidays or the peak of the season, which makes you uncomfortable or even carsick. Incontrast, this does not happen if you choose private car asmeans of transport from Luang namtha to Oudomxayand then ends at Nong khiaw. Moreover, the driver may become your guide because he or she can explain about things interesting you along the road. You can also stop at any place to take photos, which is impossible if getting to Nong khiaw by bus or minivan. You can ask your guesthouse or hotel to hire a private car for you. Despite the high fare, the advantages that this transport offers you are completely worth your money.

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» In a nutshell,whether each way is suitable for you or not all depends on your budget, traveling style, and even your health condition. Hence, you need to think twice before deciding which transport is the best so that it will become a part of an interesting trip to the “land of a million of elephants”.


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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...]