Only about 4 hours by bus from Luang Prabang is Nong Khiaw, one of my favourite places in Laos. Nong Khiaw is a sleepy little town on the Nam Ou river. There’s not much to do there, as it’s mostly a launching pad for other activities like trekking, kayaking and tubing.
But even if you don’t like to do any of those activities, I’d still highly recommend coming here. It’s a heart-warmingly beautiful town enclosed by mountains. At night time you’ll see the real show, where the stars come out on full display. If you’re lucky like I was, you might even catch a lightning show behind the mountains!
I signed up for a 2-day trek through the jungles with NK Adventures. Most tour companies offer similar bells and whistles, just choose one you get a good vibe from.
This was a tough day. We trekked for around 6 hours, up and down hills and through the jungle. However, the worst part isn’t the physical demand of the hike, it was the leeches!
Leeches were everywhere and when they smell blood, they move fast! One of our fellow trekkers actually had a leech go into his shoe and suck his blood through hiking socks! Gross.
We stayed in a village homestay the first night. By coincidence the village was hosting a tradition farewell party for someone leaving Laos, and we got to participate in the cultural affair.
Luckily, this was a much easier day, without leeches! We hiked through a couple villages and had lunch at the base of a waterfall. We finished the trek kayaking back to Nong Khiaw on the Nam Ou.