Another favourite!! Just sitting 3 hours north of Luang Prabang, and so worth the trip, a small little town, with some amazing caves where the Lao people hid from the bombing during the American-Vietnam war. A great place to rent a bicycle and cycle around, although not very big, great views from all of the mountainous ranges.
It starts out with a rickety bus ride from the local north bus park in Luang Prabang. There was no air con, and more people than seats, but hey it’s an experience! At one point, I felt something moving over my feet, I looked down to see a white bag with something moving inside, I felt so bad for whatever it could be, as it was a boiling temperature in the car, it must have been dying tied up in that small bag! We later found out it was a chicken, as I watched the lady grab the bag and asked her what was in it, and she showed me. I suppose they like it fresh.
Imogen and I rented a beautiful little bungalow overlooking the river for very cheap because it was low season, but I don’t think they are ever very expensive to begin with. Around 7 dollars split between the two of us. Best way to catch the sunrise and sunset!
The caves are interesting, but I chose not to climb all the way around because it looked quite dangerous, there were areas for meetings, sound proof walls for bullets and drawings from the Lao people who spent lots of time there. This is especially interesting because I think that Lao gets overlooked when thinking of the Vietnam War. Lao had more than 270 million cluster bombs dropped and 80 million which failed to go off, which means there are a ton of bombs not detonated in Lao as we speak. Many Lao people are making forks, knives, and household items out of the melted metal and materials from the bombs which is quite unique although very dangerous. Seeing this material in everyday household items, means the kids are too use to it, sometimes stopping to touch or pick up items than can potentially be lethal, thus still causing problems for the people.
After cycling to the caves, on the way back we stopped at some waterfalls, where there were a bunch of sweet kids splashing around, as it was so hot, it was the perfect time to jump in! I have so many pictures and memories of this time, I could post an entire page of photos, more will come later! I think this is what sold this place for me. Inspiring young kids playing in their backyard which consists of beautiful mountains, waterfalls, each other and family. All the important stuff, and they are so happy, not knowing any other way to be.
Nong Khiaw is a place you can go to simply relax, in peace and quiet. Not do a whole bunch and thoroughly enjoy every moment. One thing I will note is, when trying to leave it can be a little bit tricky as I realized. They have bus times, but will randomly cancel busses if there are not enough people, luckily a family of 3 was in the same boat I was, thus we hired a private taxi car and split the cost, working out to around 20$. Some people were stuck in Nong Khiaw for a few days longer, which really isn’t a horrible place to be stuck at all, but if your on a time limit, it could be an issue.
Peace & Love my friends xx