Difference between revisions of "Nong Khiaw"
Revision as of 23:59, 8 November 2009
Money can be changed near the boat landing - Youth travel agency or over the Bridge at Riverside Guest House.
Nong Khiaw is 3 hours by bus or 7 hours by boat from Luang Prabang along the Mekong and Ou River. Boat travel is by far the most spectacular but more costly.
Local travel information
Boats on the Nam Ou: To Muang Ngoi the public boats leaves around 11.00 A.M. and around 2.00 P.M. The price at the moment is 20.000 K. (might change if not enough people in the boat) Private boats run for about 300.000-400.000 Kip one way, cheaper if the person driving needs to go anyway. Speedboat (30 min. only) cost return 400.000 and is more dangerous but quite fun actually! To Luang Prabang Public boats are not so common but normally start at 11-12 A.M.! The road offers a much faster way to go but less interesting. A private boat down to Luang Prabang (6-7 hours) would cost about 1.3 Million Kip!! It’s recommended to get a small group together and share the cost as the trip is worth it. You can leave your name at the boat station!! If it runs like a public boat you are supposed to pay around 150.000 Kip per person (4 times the price of a public Minivan) In high season there are normally enough people to go. Speedboat to LPB costs 1 Million Kip and takes 2.5 hrs. (up to 6 persons)
Further on the Nam Ou to Muang Khua The boats leave around 11.00 AM if there are enough people to fill it. A charter cost about 1.1 Million Kip. and takes about 6 hours. Visit the boat landing and pass by a few times to check if there are some/enough people signed up. Speedboats to Muang Khua costs 1 Million Kip and takes only 2.5 hours. Especially the part north of Muang Ngoi is extremely picturesque and worth visiting/cruising through. You can do that also with a day cruise from Muang Ngoi in a small boat.
Remember: In Laos even the public transportation is mostly privately owned and drivers stand in a queue to grab the next job/drive. So if there is no profit, they won’t go!! Means it’s not really a public but shared transportation system.
Buses from Nong Khiau: The buses run hardly ever on time. Buy your ticket in advance and leave your name!
To Luang Prabang and Udomxay run daily at around 9 & 11. A.M. price 40.000 K. 4 hrs.+ - To Luang Prabang by Minivan leaving 2 P.M. and costs 50.000 K. p.p. To Luang Namtha you have to take the bus to Udomxay and than change the bus which gives you a quite late arrival in Luang Namtha. It cost 40.000 K. to Udomxay To Muang Khua or Phongsali you need to go to Udomxay (11. A.M.) as well, change bus To Vieng Thong and Sam Nua (near Viengxay and Vietnam border) the bus starts originally from Luang Prabang and you have to be on call around 12.30 +!
Private minivan to Luang Prabang can cost as low as 500.000 K. especially if drivers have empty returns (no stops unless you want it!)
Money change at Post office on working days, NO ATM here, Wireless Internet at Riverside Bungalows on the other side of the bridge.
For sure you can walk every distance in and around Nong Khiaw. Or you rent a bike at the Riverside Bungalows to explore the 2 roads.
Since Tiger Trail has opened their tour office in Nong Khiaw there is suddenly something more to see. They will bring you out for various trips, hikes, river tours, bamboo raft workshop, village stay. A Must see is the newly discovered 100 waterfalls jungle hike which made it already into a TV-Show. It was discovered in 2008!! Daily tours seem to run with min. 2 persons. It gets more affordable with 3-5 people joining. Ask for friendly Mr. Hom who is running the office. Some of the tours seem to be visible online. 
Walk around the village enjoying the village feel with great views over the Nam Ou river
Visit the Phatoke Cave where the communist guerrillas were hiding during the Indochinese war.
Rent a mountain bike and push eastwards to remote Khmu and Hmong villages. Riverside Guest House rents mountain bikes for 50'000 and City bikes for 10'000.
Meet people at the Cinema to enjoy a huge selection of movies in your private cozy rooms with dolby surround. Good for evening activities and drinks.
A new addition was recently Delilah's place, formerly Manypoon, Lao, Western, Indi-food, Ice-cream, cakes, sounds
Nong Kiau Riverside
Sunset Restaurant. Reasonable prices for the food, and river view.
Mini Mart after the bridge just before the Sunset Guest House - Sign. Here you won't get ripped off. Reasonable prices for water and snacks.
Cold Lao Beers are served everywhere in local restaurants and of course with a bit mor flair and style at the little Cinema near the bus station.
Nong Kiau Riverside  is along the river on the eastern side. The best upmarket choice featuring big rooms with private balcony and bathroom overlooking the river. Rooms at 270,000-290,000 kip including breakfast. Internet, mountain bikes and food available.
Sunrise Bungalows is next to the bridge on the eastern side. Run by a very friendly older couple, they are never to shy for a short chat. Nice basic bungalows with hammocks at 50,000 to 60,000 kip, in the low season even from 30'000.
Sunset Guesthouse is also at the eastern side. Basic rooms at 50,000 kip, bungalows with private bath at 150,000 kip. Excellent food.
The cheapest place seen seems to be Delilahs Place next to bus stop, in or behind the restaurant which was Manypoon before. It comes for 40.000 K., warm shower downstairs.
North of Nong Khiaw one hour by boat one finds Muang Ngoi Neua, a backpackers favorite with no road access and electricity and a real village feel. Also see the GET IN section for more information.