The small village of Nong Khiaw is located in the north of Laos in beautiful surroundings and is easily accessible from Luang Prabang. The surrounding karst mountains and the river make this a photogenic place. Tourism has also entered here. This can be seen in the many tourist offices.
Things to do in Nong Khiaw
1. Go for a walk or rent a bike
The surroundings of Nong Khiaw are perfect for walking and cycling. In Nong Khiaw you can rent a mountain bike for an average of 50,000 Kip per day. On the way you pass through many small villages.
Some distances are too big for me to walk, but we did encounter some hikers along the way. If you love walking and don’t mind walking for several hours, it is doable! I prefer to go by bike though.
2. 100 waterfalls
The 100 waterfalls is one of the most famous sights in Nong Khiaw. This waterfall that ends in all smaller waterfalls can be visited by means of a trekking. At the tour agencies, this tour costs between 150,000 and 200,000 Kip per person per day. When you are with a large group, it can be a lot cheaper to arrange a boat and guide on the spot.
3. Patok cave
Hundreds of people used to shelter this cave during World War II. You can enter this cave by means of a large concrete staircase. Inside it doesn’t look very spectacular, but with knowledge of the history it still feels special. Before you climb the big stairs, you can also walk a bit to the right in front of the cave where you’ll find a smaller cave. While you walk to the cave someone will pick up your entrance fee of 10,000 Kip.
A local at the cave advised us to cycle a bit further to visit a small waterfall. This just didn’t mean much. The route through the villages is nevertheless very beautiful!
4. Pha Kuang cave
The Pha Kuang cave is located north in Nong Khiaw after the viewpoint. When you pay the 10,000 Kip entrance, you will receive a headlamp that you’ll definitely need. Narrow and wide passages alternate. You must also cover the distance you have walked and crawled on the way back.
5. Phadeng Viewpoint
Nong Khiaw, like the caves, also has two viewpoints. After more than an hour’s walk you will be at the top where you have an amazing view over the village. Early in the morning it’s often cloudy, so you see less than when you go at the end of the morning. The viewpoint costs 20,000 Kip.
6. Nang None Viewpoint
North of the village you will find the Nang None Viewpoint. This lesser known viewpoint is a bit steeper than the Phadeng Viewpoint, but not less beautiful. Look at maps.me where the path starts.
7. Eat a cake at Delilahs
At this guesthouse with eatery you can eat delicious cakes and other desserts. They also sell homemade brown bread and granola. Our apple crumble and banoffee cake were delicious!
8. Swimming pool between the mountains
South of Nong Khiaw there’s also a swimming pool between the mountains, how cool is that ?! For 30,000 Kip you can take a dip here.
Where to stay in Nong Khiaw?
The best thing is to stay in Nong Khiaw on the southern side of the water. Here are also most restaurants and accommodations in Nong Khiaw. For 100,000 Kip you have a great double room with warm water. You can easily arrange a room on the spot. There are also bungalows and more luxurious accommodations in the village. It’s advisable to book the more luxurious accommodations in advance.
The center on the other side of the water looked a bit more uninviting in my opinion. This is where most tour agencies and the boarding place of the boat are located.
How long to stay in Nong Khiaw?
In Nong Khiaw you can stay a single day, a number of days or perhaps a whole week if you like it very much.
If you like to do nothing at all or enjoy a good book, it’s nice to stay longer. If you like to see a lot in one day, like me, then 2 nights are enough!
In November / December it can be quite chilly at night and in the morning. So bring some warmer clothes. Don’t you have warm clothes? You can also buy it in Nong Khiaw! During the day it is nice and warm.
How to get to Nong Khiaw
You can reach Nong Khiaw from Luang Prabang by minivan. This ride takes about 5 hours. The bus station is about a 20 minute walk from the bridge. There are tuk-tuks ready that will give you a ride to the other side of the bridge for 10,000 Kip per person.
When traveling by land from Vietnam to Laos, you can reach Nong Khiaw from Muang Khua by boat. This trip takes 6 hours.
Continue traveling to…
From Nong Khiaw it’s therefore possible to continue traveling to Vietnam. You can then proceed as follows: Nong Khiaw》 (possibly a stopover in Muang Ngoi)》 Muang Khua》 Dien Bien Phu.
For the boat to Muang Ngoi you have to pay 25,000 Kip and this trip takes 1 hour. This boat leaves at 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM. The boat to Muang Khua takes about 6 hours and for this you pay 150,000 Kip. This boat departs at 10:30 AM once a day.
It’s best to book the boat to Muang Ngoi and Muang Khua in Nong Khiaw at the office at the boarding place of the boats.