Nong Khiaw is a village on the banks of the Nam Ou River in northern Laos. However the reason to travel here lies beyond the town, with incredible countryside waiting to be explored. The river winds between stunning mountains, which hide secret caves and fantastic trekking paths. Nong Khiaw offers a wonderful opportunity to get off the beaten track and experience rural Laos and its people.
The area’s serene atmosphere belies a traumatic history. America’s “secret war” during the 60s and 70s had a horrendous impact on Laos, and many believe it was the heaviest bombardment of a nation per capita in human history. Outside Nong Khiaw, it is possible to visit the Phathok Cave, which was used as a makeshift hospital, food store and shelter during the war.
Many villages dot the countryside, and a guided journey on foot through the valleys is a wonderful way to learn about local culture, customs and day to day life. A boat ride along the Nam Ou is a delightful way to spend a tranquil few hours, soaking up the peaceful environment and picturesque scenery.