The Laotian village of Nong Khiaw is located in a spectacular landscape of karst mountains and rivers. A great place to relax, but also a great base for lovers of nature and outdoor sports, because you can enjoy excellent hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and trekking
Things to do
The viewpoint of Nong Khiaw
Do you want to see Nong Khiaw and the impressive landscape of water and karst mountains from above? Then take a walk to the Pha Daeng Peak viewpoint. The walk takes about one and a half hours and the road up is quite heavy. Preferably choose a dry moment, because the muddy path is pretty slippery. Once you are above you will be happily rewarded with great views of the area. On the other side of the river there is another viewpoint, although it is a lot more challenging. The Sleeping Woman viewpoint can be reached with an hour of climbing. Astonishing!
Walking and hiking
Nong Khiaw is pre-eminently a destination for lovers of untouched nature and in the area you can follow beautiful tracks. Put on your walking shoes and walk out of the village to the south. If you follow the road you will see small villages, rice fields, waterfalls and caves. There you can walk past Tham Pha Thok to the waterfall in the village of Ban Nong Ian. When school is out, you can jump spontaneously with some local children in the water to swim and play. This is the real Laos!
Rent a bike
If you would like to see more of the surroundings of Nong Khiaw, you can rent a bicycle. At several places you can rent bikes for about 30,000 kip (converted 3 dollar). Keep in mind that the area is very hilly and the road regularly rises steeply. The further you get out of the village, the quieter and peaceful it gets on the street. Awesome!
Caves (entrance fee 10.000 Kip)
The rugged landscape of green karst mountains is home to dozens of caves. A famous cave close by is the cave Tham Pha Thok, located about a 20 minute walk outside Nong Khiaw. Here residents of nearby villages have been hiding during the Vietnam War. To get there you have to climb a creepy steep staircase and once you are upstairs you are standing in a large, dark room where the villagers seek shelter during the bombings. There is not much to see, but the idea that people have fled here for the bombing is very special.
At about 2 kilometers outside the village lies the cave Tham Pha Kuang. The cave is 300 meters deep and you have to clamber a lot and squeeze yourself through narrow crevices. At the entrance you get a flashlight, because if you want to see the whole cave you have to take a challenging course in the dark.
There are many restaurants where you can eat, bars that play your favorite music or take a massage…
A visit to Muang Ngoi is one of the most popular trips you can make from Nong Khiaw. This tiny village is 18 kilometers away and could (until recently) only be reached via the river. Until a few years ago this was one of the most authentic villages in Laos. Nowadays it is a famous spot for backpackers. The surrounding of Muang Ngoi is always very beautiful and you can walk from this city to the villages nearby.
Nong Khiaw is a great place to do some tracking or explore adventurous activities in the neighborhood; there is a lot to do in the area. In the village you will find some travel organizations that offer outdoor activities in the region. You have a choice of different excursions, varying from one day to a few nights. Nong Khiaw Adventure Tours is a travel organization that is run by the local population, which is to be preferred above the commercial travel agencies. Book your day trip therefore preferably at this desk.
The 100 Waterfalls are located a few kilometers outside Nong Khiaw and surprisingly enough only in 2009 were discovered by a group of tourists. It is one of the highlights of the area and you can only visit this place during an organized excursion.
the water the surroundings look very different and you can stop at small villages along the banks along the way. You can take the canoe from Muang Ngoi to Nong Khiaw, but also from Nong Khiaw down the river. Mr Mang can advise you on the trips you can make.
Visit Hmong villages (combined with a multi days track)
In the hills around Nong Khiaw there are many small villages where time seems to have stood still. This is where the Hmong, one of the largest population groups in Laos, live. You can visit a village or do a multi-day trek when you walk from village to village and you can spend the night at the people’s home. It’s a great way to catch a glimpse of the authentic Laos