Laos waterfalls, what’s not to like, right? If a waterfall adventure is what you are looking for, we have everything you need to know about the 100 Waterfalls hike in Nong Khiaw, Laos right here!
Laos Waterfalls: The 100 Waterfalls in Nong Khiaw
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About The 100 Waterfalls Hike in Nong Khiaw
The 100 Waterfall hike trail has been used by locals for decades as a direct route between the dispersed villages of the Nam Ou valley. It was only until 2009 that the trail started being used by tourists to hike the 100 waterfalls.
The trailhead is located about 6 miles down river from Nong Khiaw, on the outskirts of a village called Don Khoun.
The hike is 1.2 miles of various levels of intertwining Laos waterfalls. Really and truly a great way to spend a day enjoying the scenic area of Northern Laos!
Where To Book The 100 Waterfalls Hike
The 100 Waterfalls Hike can be booked in the Northern Laotian village of Nong Khiaw.
There are several tour companies in town that offer the hike. We went with Nong Khiaw Adventures and paid $30 USD/per person for the hike.
What is included in the $30 fee you may be wondering?
- Drinking water
- English speaking guide
- River transportation
- Entry fees
- Village donation
How To Get To The Laos Waterfalls of The 100 Waterfalls Hike
You’ll have to take a boat, about a 40 minute ride, down the Nam Ou river to the village of Don Khoun.
Once at the village, you’ll hike on foot to reach the base of the waterfalls. The hike to the waterfalls is relatively flat but it’s several miles, about 45 minutes in time.
Day Hike: The 100 Waterfalls Hike
Getting to The Village of Don Khoun
Plan for your day to start around 8am. You’ll meet your tour company and then head off down river.
For us, we met at Nong Khiaw Adventures office, located right across the bridge in town. From here, we met our guide, picked up our water for the day and loaded into the boat that was waiting for us on the Nam Ou river
Once in the boat, prepare yourself for a slow ride down the river.
The Nam Ou river is beautiful. It winds through the valley creating a life source for a lot of Northern Laos. You’ll see village children playing in the river while their mothers do laundry in the murky waters of the river.
After 40-minutes, your boat will stop at the shores of Don Khoun village.
The village is rustic but full of life! Children playing, woman tending to their thatched houses while the men talk and do farm work. We imagine the village hasn’t changed but over the past several decades, except with the addition of a few electrical wires 🙂
Before you begin trekking to the base of the 100 waterfalls, you are given time to walk around and explore Don Khoun. After 20 minutes or so, your guide will gather you and the rest of your group. You’re officially on the 100 waterfalls hike trail!
Hiking To The Base of The 100 Waterfalls
For 45 minutes you’ll walk over flat jungle terrain, past waterfall grazing and around rice fields. The walk is hot as little shade is available, but it is a pretty and peaceful walk.
As you near the waterfalls, you can begin hearing the rush of water. Our guide turned around and said, “Do you hear?! Do you hear?!” We would smile and nod which prompted our guide to give a giddy grin and say, “It’s time to get wet…”
After the end of your 45-minute trek, you’ll reach the bottom of the 100 waterfalls.
All you’ll see when you look up is rushing water cascading over rocks and terraced waterfalls surrounded by lush jungles. The water is cool and refreshing and after just walking in that hot, humid Laos day, these cascading waters are a welcome relief.
Hiking Up The Laos Waterfalls
The way the waterfalls intertwine with each other, it’s almost impossible to know how many waterfalls are actually on this hike.
As you begin your hike and if you are like us, the immediate sensation of being a kid on a jungle gym kicks in! As you jump from pool to pool and use ropes and bamboo ladders when a natural paths are not an option, it’s almost impossible to not feel like a giddy little kid 🙂
The rushing water from the cascading waterfalls, soak you as you continually work your way up through the various levels of Laos waterfalls.
The rocks you climb on and over have a remarkably good grip. No one in our group slipped during the hike, but you should still be careful in your footing as you ascend the falls.
Plan to hike up for around 90 minutes or so. Around that time is when you will reach the top of the 100 waterfalls hike trail.
With nowhere to go but to look at a towering waterfall in front of you and the thick jungle canopy below, you and your guide will setup shop for lunch.
For us, our lunch consisted of fried rice with an egg on top and refills our water bottles
Take a seat and chow down on lunch while enjoying the views of Northern Laos.
Finishing The 100 Waterfalls Hike
After lunch, you’ll head back down, but not the way we came up! You’ll head down a dry, semi-steep path that follows alongside the waterfalls.
Along the way, you’ll experience great views of the rolling hills of the valley below as you make your way over the jungle terrain you crossed earlier on your way to the 100 waterfalls.
Back at the village, you’ll make your way to the river where you’ll hop back in the boat and make our way up the river back to Nong Khiaw.
On the way back to Nong Khiaw, you’ll chugged slow and steady on the Nam Ou river taking in the sun as it sits ever so lovely in the sky.
By far one of the most unique hikes we’ve done, not only in Asia, but ever! The 100 Waterfall Hike splished and splashed its way into our fondest of memories.
For The Budget Conscious: Amazing balcony views and fabulous food is what Arthith Guesthouse is known for. A quaint and lovely stay awaits you.
For The Luxury Inclined: Mandala Ou Resort is a slice of paradise in Nong Khiaw. With its beautiful outdoor infinity pool and amazing rooms, Mandala Ou is an amazing stay that offers meditation and yoga classes.
For Something In Between: For one amazing river stay in Nong Khaiw, be sure to reserve a few days at Ou River House. A floating accommodation on the Ou River river has private rooms with patios and a bar for guests to enjoy. Serious sunset magic going on at Ou River House.
For more places to stay in Nong Khaiw, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)