J ust an hour boat ride from Nong Khiaw is yet another sleepy riverside village among the dramatic mountains. Muang Ngoi Neau is even smaller, less visited, and more remote than Nong Khiaw. The village is adorably small, the locals friendly and always smiling, and the river lined with basic bungalows with hammocks to lazy around in all day and take in the view. Again, this is an amazing place for nature lovers and for people who like to feel like they living with the locals. We couldn’t help but find peace and serenity in the remote village of Muang Ngoi Neau.
What to Expect
Like Nong Khiaw, if you are looking for a full moon party or tons of activities then this is not the place for you. There is not a whole lot going on here, but again that is why we loved it. You don’t need anything to do when you have a backdrop like this. There are no ATMs so be sure to come prepared. Bungalows and restaurants do offer wifi and almost every room has a riverside view along with two hammocks to enjoy the riverside view. Don’t come to Muang Ngoi Neau if you don’t appreciate simple living with killer views.
Muang Ngoi Neau doesn’t have really anything to do in town other than eat, drink, sleep, and hang out in your hammock. We aren’t complaining! We loved it!About a 20 minute trek from the village is a cave. The cave was the highlight activity. It was hotter than Hades during our visit at the end of May and the cave was the perfect place to cool off. Make sure you bring a flashlight or you won’t be seeing anything. You must pay 10,000 kip/person to enter where you can cool off in frigid, clear water inside the upper cave. The water was deep enough for us to be able to touch almost the entire time. Shine your light around and if you are adventurous you can explore even further, take caution as it is very slippery when you try to get out of the water. We loved the cave so much we came back a second time for a double dip in the cool waters.
After the cave, you can continue trekking on the road or take the short cut through the rice paddies. We suggest the rice paddy route as it was more beautiful. You may have to wait a few moments to let water buffalo pass or have a stand off with them like us. You can continue to two small villages and have a warm drink (they didn’t have coolers or ice) and some food. Each of the villages are about a 30 minute walk from eachother. There was nothing to do in the first village other than enjoy the view and take a break. If you continued on to the second village you could walk 5 minutes to a small waterfall we couldn’t find or continue another hour to a larger waterfall. We were so hot and exhausted from being in the sun all day we didn’t make it to the waterfalls.
*Beware of taking your shoes off here and swimming in the river by the villages- there are leeches in the water!
From Muang Ngoi Neau you can also organize multiple day treks to other villages. One of the treks was 3 days! We simply didn’t have the time to do this.
This is probably the least visited place we have been to in Laos. We could have spent much more time here had we been prepared with money in our wallets. We enjoyed lazying around all day in the hammocks in our rustic, riverside bungalow. Our guess is Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi Neau are going to change quite a bit over the next few years seeing how gorgeous and undiscovered by tourists they are. Even if Muang Ngoi Neau doubled in size and hosted twice more tourism it will still feel pretty quiet and empty. Muang Ngoi Neau truly was a nature lover’s paradise.
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