Nong Khiaw, Laos takes relaxing to a whole new level. Nong Khiaw is a picturesque village situated on the Nam Ou River in Northern Laos. From what to see and do in Nong Khiaw to where to stay, we have the perfect travel guide to Nong Khiaw, Laos waiting for you.
Your Epic Travel Guide To Nong Khiaw, Laos
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Where is Nong Khiaw?
Nong Khiaw, Laos is located 4 hours north of Luang Prabang. It’s a small village in Northern Laos that until recently has been off the major tourist and backpacker radar.
Still, Nong Khiaw has its small village vibe and charm intact. A perfect place to spend a few days relaxing and taking in the views of the karst that surround Nong Khiaw and the Nam Ou River that runs through it.
How To Get From Luang Prabang to Nong Khaiw
From Luang Prabang, you can catch a bus from the Southern Bus Station for about 50,000 Kip or get on a mini bus for about 55,000 Kip.
We took the mini bus route and left at 9:30am. The 4 journey brought us to the “bus station” of Nong Khiaw, which is outside of town by about a mile or so.
From here, you can walk (it’s a bit of a walk, especially in the heat) or pay to ride in the waiting truck tuk-tuks that will take you into town.
TIP: Be prepared to pay a higher price for the tuk-tuk. Drivers are very aware that they are your only way into town unless you want to walk the several miles.
What To Do In Nong Khiaw
1) Eat At Alex’s
Arguably the best meal we had in Laos.
Alex’s is a small restaurant run out of a home that delivers flavorful Laos dishes. Their Green Curry and Banana Leaf Chicken is out of this world.
Homemade food takes a bit so anticipate a wait and enjoy the vibe.
However, regardless of the wait, if you don’t eat here, you’ve messed up BIG TIME. We came here every night for dinner and not one time did Alex’s disappoint!
2) Hike The Nong Khiaw Viewpoint – Phadeng Viewpoint
The trailhead to the Nong Khiaw viewpoint hike can be found on the main road and can be easily be located by the “Viewpoint” signs you’ll see through town.
The cost of the hike is not free. There is a bamboo hut at the trailhead run by a family who collects a fee of 20,000 kip per person – about $2.50 USD.
The best time to go is for sunset. However, please be warned, it’s a scorcher of a hike! We were there in April (one of the hottest months) and my god, did we sweat.
To give you a lovely visual, it looked like we just did a dip in the pool by the time we were done with this hike. Sweaty Betty’s!
About the Nong Khaiw Viewpoint Hike:
To get to the top, it takes an hour and about 30 minutes to get down.
The hike is fairly steep so good sneakers or runners are a must. As you hike, you’ll traverse over dirt paths, through lush follage and a small bamboo forest.
WARNING: You are hiking in the heaviest bombed part of Laos. It is super important that you do not stray from the path as active bombs and land mines have not been recovered and are still scattered in the hillsides.
So long story short, don’t be a dingus and stay on the path!
TIP: We were in Nong Khiaw during April which is when villages cut and burn their fields. This causes the skies to be hazy due to the smoke. The views are still amazing but not as clear as it typically is during other parts of the year.
3) Get A Massage Or Herbal Bath at Sabai Sabai
If you are looking to pamper yourself, get your butt to Sabai Sabai! From a herbal sauna or a traditional Laotian massage, Sabai Sabai has plenty of pampering options for you to choose from.
4) Catch a Movie At Delilah’s
A café by day turned movie theater at night, Delilah’s has several movie features a week.
It’s a perfect spot to relax and mingle with fellow traveling backpacking through Laos. Delilah’s has an assortment of snacks and drinks that are available for purchase. So, if you so choose to have a Beer Lao during your feature, by all mean friends, go right for it!
5) Get Wet On The 100 Waterfall Hike
Of the Laos Waterfalls, the 100 Waterfall Hike is one of the best hike in Laos.
Offered by a handful of tour operators in Nong Khiaw, the 100 Waterfall Hike, in our opinion, is a must do when in Nong Khiaw.
Want more information on the 100 Waterfall hike? Check out our Guide to Hiking the 100 Waterfall Hike
6) Drink A Cold Lao Lao Beer At Q Bar
End your night with a frosty beverage and good company at Q Bar. Located on the main road in town, Q Bar is an open air bar with two levels and plenty of seating.
Run by a Laotian man, who is always excited and willing to share his AUX cord so tourists can play their favorite music. He shows his hospitality by pouring heavy amounts of Lao Lao Whiskey shots.
You can decide for yourself if that’s a good or bad thing 🙂
For The Budget Conscious: From it’s amazing balcony views and fabulous food is Arthith Guesthouse is a great choice for accomodation in Nong Khiaw. 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)