Nong Khiaw: Highlights of Laos

Nong Khiaw: Highlights of Laos

Did you read Part 2 of Laos Travels: Nong Khiaw – Highlights of Laos?  The drive to Nong Khaiw is stunning! Giant craggy crass cliffs soar like monsters looming over the tiny villages nestled at their base.

A cone shaped mountain soars out of the ground it climbs higher and higher seeming never to reach its peak.

Nong Khiaw

Nong Khiaw is equally beautiful, set on the banks of the muddy waters of the Ou River, it is nestled at the base of giant crass cliffs.

A picturesque bridge spans the Ou connecting the town, which lies on both sides of the river.

In the name of keeping green all trekking in Laos is quite pricey.

The Hundred Waterfalls -Nong Khiaw Laos

I really want to see the Hundred Waterfalls so after some hard bargaining I decided to joins a day tour for $25 – still a complete rip off but a lot cheaper than the original price.

We wake up early and climb into a leaky canoe, which will take us down river to the beginning of the hike to the falls. The canoe trip down the river makes the $25 almost worth it – the Ou cuts boldly between the massive crass mountains, which submit to its flow, but rise menacingly proud out of its banks.

The early morning fog still clings to their peaks but their presence is sensed and the soft stillness respects their power. We arrive to a small village, which is our setting out point for the hike.

As we set out I am in my element – my jungle roots emerge and my bare feet are ready for a jungle adventure.

I soon discover that my companions on the hike have seemingly never been in the jungle before much less on a hike and my urge to run barefoot down the jungle path is severely hindered by a pace so slow I become fearful we will never make it to the waterfall at all.

Added to my frustration is that our “guides” seem to not really know the way and are constantly getting us lost.

After backtracking and re-tracking we finally make it to the waterfall – a graceful waterfall rolling down hundreds of cascades – but not the most spectacular falls I have ever seen.

Run to the Top of the Hundred Waterfalls

The time is late and I realize we will not have time to climb up the entire fall. I convince the guides to let me climb up the falls on my own and run/climb the falls all the way to the top – this makes the hike worth it (except not for $25).

The walk back is equally painfully slow and I begin to become very anxious about the time as I am suppose to be meeting up with Heather in Luang Prabang that same day – we planned catching a night bus from LP to Vang Vieng.

A Quandary

One of the conditions of my going on this tour is ONLY because our tour guide, Tom, promised to give me a ride back to Luang Prabang on his motorbike, as he is planning on driving there after the tour.

I, therefore, have spent all of my money on the tour and am completely reliant on him to take me to LP.

We do not return back from the tour until after dark – although Tom seems a little reluctant to head to LP so late, he finally agrees and we head off.

The weather is quite chilly and the wind on the motorbike is relentless. About half way to Luang Prabang, Tom suddenly stops in a small town and refuses to go any further!

It is late and I find myself furiously stranded in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I am very upset and force Tom to at least find me another ride to LP as I am penniless and do not know the language.

He checks into a hotel and then reluctantly inquires about buses traveling to LP.

He finds out that there should be a bus “later” I make him stay with me until “later” comes and am able to exchange some of my Thai money with a restaurant owner in order to pay for my fare.

About two hours later the “later” bus flies through – we miss it, but it stops farther up the road to let some people off and I release my pent up furry in a mad race to catch it.

I make it on just narrowly and am never so happy to be on a bus! How do I get myself into these situations????  Well, for one, you never can fully trust a tour guide!

Read Part 1 of Laos Travels: Luang Prabang Travel Highlights of Laos

Read Part 3 of Laos Travels: Vang Vieng Travel Tips – Highlights of Laos

Nong Khiaw: Highlights of Laos RELATED LINKS:

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Return to Home from Nong Khiaw: Highlights of Laos

Travel to Laos from Thailand was easy and I enjoyed seeing the Nong Khiaw: Highlights of Laos.

Thanks for reading Nong Khiaw: Highlights of Laos!

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