Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang on the slow boat
Trip Start Jan 01, 2011
41Trip End Mar 21, 2011
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Where I stayed
On Thursday morning, we loaded up the Stray bus and started our journey to Nong Khiaw. The roads were very windy and quite bumpy in places. Luckily, we were near the front, so it wasn't too bumpy for us, but at the back of the bus, people were flying up in the air. The roads were winding so relentlessly that Jeff had to move to the very front of the bus
On the mountainous drive, we stopped at a village, which was not touristy at all. We walked through the village and saw how the rural hill tribes in Laos live. The houses are made of rattan and banana leaves and are only a couple rooms. It was great to see how the people really live.
Once in Nong Khiaw, we went to Phathok cave, which was used as a war shelter during the secret Laos war. We were able to go up to the top cave as there were new stairs built. Previously, there were bamboo stairs.
After the caves, we checked into the Sunrise Bungalows which were right on the river. The setting was beautiful as the river is surrounded by jungle covered mountains. However, the accommodation wasn't the best. Yes, it was right overlooking the river with a balcony and a hammock, but it was a bamboo hut with no heat and a squat toilet
Friday morning, we boarded a slow boat to Luang Prabang which took 6 hours. It was a very cold journey. On the way, we stopped at the Pak Ou caves which is at the junction where the Mekong River and the Nam Ou River meet (we came down the Nam Ou River). The Pak Ou caves contain hundreds of Buddhas which have been brought by Buddhists over the years.
In Luang Prabang, we watched the sunset from a wat on a hill and then went to the night market in the evening for some delicious noodle soup, a Laos sandwich baguette and an iced Laos coffee.