Nong Khiaw

Took off to Nong Khiaw, which is a village about 3 hours ride from Luang Prabang. Although not as scenic as the route from Xieng Khouang to Luang Prabang, the occasional view of rivers intertwined deep amongst jagged peaks still yields awe.

There really isn’t much to do in Nong Khiaw, except take a slow walk, loiter on the bridge to admire the dramatic ridges huddled around the river Ou, enjoy a slowly-but-homely-prepared meal and chatting with other travellers. And by the time lunch was done, it was almost time for dinner. And too late to walk to the nearest cave and back before dark. Not much to do after night fall. Taking things slow. And easy.

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It’s as if life had come to a stand still.

But still anything can happen: suddenly in the middle of the night, while my new found roommate & I were fast asleep, our guesthouse was invaded by a boisterous group of Laotian travellers. Cigarette-puffing, loud and opening our door in some drunken stupour. The next morning, the guesthouse proprietor was really apologetic about it.

At day break, we took a boat southwards on the Ou river, and landed at Ban Don Khoun, a small village. Walked through some farms, paddy fields and wild bamboo into the hills for a trek up the waterfalls. It is quite fun to splash around water and getting very wet. Simple joys really. A dog from the village protectively followed us the whole 3-4 hours. Near the top of the waterfalls, we had an early lunch consisting of a banana leaf wrapped bocadillo style sandwich, while our guide had the typical Laotian sticky rice with chilli paste. Up here amongst the trees, accompanied by the sound of splashing waterfalls.

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Want some quiet time to think, read, write, draw or day dream? This is the ideal place.

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