Saturday, January 10, 2015

A gem in northern Laos: Muang Ngoy

For families exploring northern Laos, the village of Muang Ngoy is a true gem. The perfect spot to unwind, enjoy quality time with children or be active with them!
Beautiful Muang Ngoy
Muang Ngoy can only be reached by waterways, one hour boat ride north of Nong Khiaw or three hours south of Muang Khua. The village has no roads, therefore no cars and no motorbikes. Children can play undisturbed while parents enjoy the sweet life on the banks of the Nam Ou river and the dramatic landscape designed by surrounding peaks.

For sportive families, Muang Ngoy offers a wide range of activities:
- kayaking on the Nam Ou river 
- caving in the Buddha cave (bring multiple flashlights, the second cave is a very long one. We didn't reach the end of it but it's said to be several kilometers long). Entrance fee: 10000 kips (1.25 USD) per adult (children free) - the trail continues up to a fantastic, if difficult to access, viewpoint.
- hiking to nearby villages. Toll on the track: 10000 kips per adult. The walk to nearby Ban Na village is moderate and very pleasant, leading though rice fields and along small rivers (approximately 11 km return). There's a small restaurant along the way and one in Ban Na village.
- biking: bicycles are available for rent in many places. We didn't find kid's bikes though.

Where to stay? 
The village has an impressive number of guesthouses ranging from basic accommodation to mid-range ones. We couldn't find a family room, thus booked two cheap doubles in charmless but clean and comfortable Rainbow guesthouse.