Nong Khiaw To Muang Ngoy

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by Shane B, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. Shane B

    Shane B Active Member

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    Nong Khiaw to Muang Ngoy - Laos May 2019

    Nong Khiaw is a really nice quiet little town on the banks of the Nam Ou river. The last time I was here I passed through rather quickly on my way to LS85. This time I decided to stay 2 nights to soak up the atmosphere and check out the surrounding area including little town up the river called Muang Ngoy.

    I've included a short video with some pics, Go-Pro and drone footage.




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    Epic sunsets.

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    I arrived into Nong Khiaw on the dirt trail from Luang Prabang via Pak Xeng, meaning I approached the town from the East side. This approach is stunning. The road winds through some dramatic limestone karst mountains tracing a small river. There are some epic viewpoints along the way that are well worth stopping off just to soak up the scenery.


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    Super cool rock formations just outside Nong Khiaw.

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    Arriving into Nong Khiaw is like a scene from a fairy tale. It’s a very distinctive looking town comprising of mini valley surrounded by towering limestone mountains cut in half by the Nam Ou river. There is a lovely bridge connecting one side of the town to the other where you can catch an amazing sunset. The town has a nice backpacker vibe. It’s usually the nice type of backpackers as its reasonably off the beaten path and quite an effort to get here. It certainly isn’t party central Vang Vieng or even close. Some decent restaurants and some quiet bars.



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    I arrived around 3pm so I had plenty of time to find accommodation and chill out. I stayed at a nice guesthouse on the west side of the town that had great views over the river from the terrace. It was run by a friendly young husband and wife team. Nice clean aircon rooms and only 80K Kip. Arthith Guesthouse (Nong Khiaw Pier). I ended up having a good few Beer Laos with the owner and his mates out the front until we moved on to another joint down the road.



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    A nice shot from above of the the town of Nong Khiaw with the Nam Ou river sweeping through it.

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    The road on the East side of Nong Khiaw winding through the dramatic Karts mountains.

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    The next morning, I decided to go check out Muang Ngoy. It’s pretty close in terms of distance to Nong Khiaw. I took a look at the start of the road down there the day before and it looked pretty handy, so I thought I’d leave the enduro gear and opt for the comfort of shorts and tee shirt. Possibly not the best idea in hindsight……. the only real protection I had on was sunscreen! Turned out the road was a little trickier than expected, some ruts, bull dust and water crossings thrown in for good measure! I would have felt unbelievably stupid if I had a spill and got some cuts and bruises knowing that my protection gear was sitting back in the guesthouse. Aside from getting covered from head to toe in dust, I took it handy and thankfully no spills.



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    The track down there was epic. It traces the banks of the Nam Ou river and is framed by the surrounding mountains. There’s a few water crossings and a bamboo bridge to cross too. It’s really fun and in my opinion one of the most scenic trails that I’ve done. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that comes to the area. I stopped to take lots of pictures and Go-Pro footage along the way.


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    The village of Muang Ngoy itself is quite nice. There were lots of little guesthouses and restaurants along the water. There’s also a nice little temple along the banks of the river. There were only a handful of other falangs in the village. It seemed like a pretty slow place. I chatted to a guy fishing who said he was a guide and that it was low season at the moment. He also said he does multi day treks up into the surrounding mountains to visit the Khmu and Hmong tribes. They also visit some nice waterfalls and kayak back down the river. It sounded pretty cool to be fair, I might put it on my to do list for next time.


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    Main street Muang Ngoy.

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    Nice temple in a beautiful setting.

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    You can take the boat from Nong Khiaw to Muang Ngoy too. Its even possible to continue on to Muang Khoa by boat.


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    Absolutely stunning scenery along the Nam Ou river.

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    The cool little winding dirt trail along the banks of the Nam Ou river offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valley.

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    After having lunch and flying the drone around I headed back to Nong Khiaw. On the way back just outside the town of Nong Khiaw I spotted a local raft restaurant with a bunch of locals splashing around in the river. It was super hot and I was covered in dust so I thought I’d head on in for a dip and a Beer Laos to cool off. As happens almost every time I’m the only falang in the place, a group of locals called me over to their table to drink beer Laos with them. So, I obliged. It was a nice way to finish off the day floating around in the Nam Ou river watching the sun set with a few Beer Laos with the locals.


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    Overall, this was a great little mini day trip. Spectacular scenery, friendly town, lovely little dirt road and an epic place for Beer Laos sun downers.
     
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  2. Shane B

    Shane B Active Member

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    nk ariel high res.
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Fantastic pics. You're making me homesick for Laos.

    Nong Khiew & Muang Ngoy would have to be one of the most beautiful spots in Laos.

    That track along the river to Muang Ngoy must be relatively new. The scenery looks stunning.

    These couple of pics are the ones that are super for me
    nk18-.

    nk18-.

    Looking at these it makes you want to ride!

    Now that bag you've got on the back?
    I'm wondering if it is the same one I've got?
    Mine is a Denali from Oz.
    upload_2019-6-3_17-39-33.
     
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  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    That Luang Prabang - Pak Xeng - Sam Soun road is a beauty.
    I've got fond memories of doing that as a day trip from Luang Prabang on my AT years ago, but can't find the trip report right now.

    Here's one that Moto Rex did once
    Luang Prabang to Nong Khiew via Pak Xeng and Sam Soun.
    it's a great ride if anyone wants to do it.

    Many thanks for the trip report - keep em coming.
     
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  5. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    Great write up and fantastic photos.
    Love the jagged Karst mountains. Breathtaking.
    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to your next write-up, wherever that may be. Cambodia maybe? :D
     
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  6. Shane B

    Shane B Active Member

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    Thanks mate. According to some locals I spoke with last time, that track is pretty recent. I could see there isn't much growth on the side banks and there were fresh scrape marks from the excavators so it seemed pretty new. It also looks very fresh from the drone pic.

    I'll try knock together some more stories over the next few weeks :)
     
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  7. Shane B

    Shane B Active Member

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    Yep, definitely one of my favorite tracks that I rode on this trip.

    I'll have to put pen to paper and put some more reports up from my latest trip. I did a few other cool report worthy trails :)
     
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  8. GTR-Admin

    GTR-Admin Administrator
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    Hi Shane

    Thanks for taking the time to share that with us, the photos really are stunning! Those drone photos in particular are spectacular as they give a birds eye viewpoint that most us us will never see.

    What kind of drone and camera setup do you have??? It must be small and compact in order to fit it on the bike...
     
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  9. Shane B

    Shane B Active Member

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    Thanks. It's pretty cool seeing some of these paces from above alright. The drone is a DJI Mavic Air. It folds up nicely so it doesn't take up much space.
     
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  10. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Moderator

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    Hi Shane

    Great report, the drone footage and photos are amazing.

    Nong Khiew is my favourite town in Laos, its such a cool place.

    Thanks for alerting us to the track that now goes to Muang Ngoy, looks like a good ride along the river.

    Just love this photo.....Life is tough on the road.
    nk42-.

    Cheers Moto-Rex
     
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  11. Shane B

    Shane B Active Member

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    Thanks mate :)
     
  12. Eoin Christie

    Eoin Christie Ol'Timer

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    Thank you. Shane. Another great report. Very enticing!
     

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