Muang Ngoi Neua

Trip Start Apr 15, 2011
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Trip End Feb 04, 2012


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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Louangphabang,
Monday, January 9, 2012

Nong Khiaw is a long, ten hour bus ride from Sam Neua. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful as usual but the bus is flooring around curve after curve, throwing me from one side of my seat to the next.  I've taken some travel sickness tablets and am sucking on a ginger sweet but to no avail.  At least my stomach quietens afterward and I fell ok for the rest of the trip.  I find somewhere to sleep in Nong Khiaw and crash for the night then suss out the town the next morning.  I want to crack onto the Muang Ngoi Neua, an hour up river, but may spend a few days here on the way back if I like it.

The boat trip up river is again stunningly beautiful.  Just when I think the scenery in Laos can’t possibly get any more beautiful it surprises me with yet another breath taking vista.  It has a rugged beauty out here that is largely untouched by human influence, something I have rarely found in all my years of travel.     

Muang Ngoi Neua is a tiny little village on the banks of the Nam Ou river with one of the most beautiful backdrops I’ve seen.  The village is flanked by the river on one side and those beautiful towering mountains all around.  There are no cars here, no motos, no hard sell, no hassle and no stress.  There’s no electricity for most of the day and most defiantly no mobile signal or internet.  It is a laidback, wonderful refreshing place where you most difficult decision in the morning is which of the half a dozen restaurants or so you’re going to have breakfast in, and if you’re going for a stroll down the short main street before or after you hit the hammock for a snooze and some reading.  There are a few things to do around town, mostly hikes to nearby caves or waterfalls or villages even smaller than this one.  But it’s equally as lovely to do none of these things and sit in a restaurant and chat until breakfast has turned into lunch and you ask for menus and stay where you are with a beautiful view over the river.  I came planning on staying of one or two days and end up staying for four.  If it was only a little bit warmer and I had a hot shower in my bathroom I think I’d find it even harder to leave, as I did Otres beach in Cambodia.  
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