AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Northern Laos Nong Khiaw Escape

Northern Laos Nong Khiaw Escape

Northern Laos Nong Khiaw Escape Overview

Nong Khiaw Escape A relaxing journey from Luang Prabang through Muang Ngoi and Nong Khiaw before returning to Luang Prabang.

Explore the historical cave of Phathok that the Nong Khiaw villagers used during the 'secret war' to protect themselves before boarding a slow boat along the Nam Ou River. Enjoy a picnic lunch on your way to the Pak Ou Caves.

Best time to visit is during the dry season from November to March.

Touring style: Professional English speaking guide and driver on private basis

Day 1: Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw

Travel with your driver and guide by vehicle to Nong Khiaw. Visit the historical cave of Phathok. The Nong Khiaw villagers used this cave as a war shelter during the "Secret War", to shelter people from bombs dropped in the region. It is about 30 minutes’ walk from Nong Khiaw town and follows beautiful sceneries and great vistas in the surrounding tropical mountains. From the cave, you will have a beautiful view on rice paddies and the valley. Enjoy the sunset over the river. Overnight in Nong Khiaw.

Distance and journey time: 134 km: 2.5 / 3 hours

Day 2: Nong Khiaw - cruise - Nong Khiaw

After breakfast board a slow boat for a trip up the Nam Ou River. Travel up the tranquil river which is flanked by mountains and small villages. Surrounded by towering jungle-covered mountains, the journey is truly spectacular. After about 15 minutes, the cruise arrives at a riverside village, Lao Leum. The guide will provide some fascinating insights into the local lifestyle found in the communities sidling the banks of the Nam Ou River.

From the village, a small trail is followed, passing through the surrounding mountainous landscape. Rice fields, forests, and agricultural plantations adorn the trail towards the next highlight, a quaint refreshing waterfall. After an extended break, a 1-hour hike leads to the next village, Sop Vanh, where you will visit a beautiful local temple and learn about the history of Buddhism.

After lunch and a tour of this traditional Lao-Khamu village, cross over the river by boat to visit a pig farm before returning to Nong Khiaw.

Overnight in Nong Khiaw.

Day 3: Nong Khiaw - Luang Prabang

After breakfast, travel by private car towards Luang Prabang. Just after a dam, take a boat for a cruise down the spectacular Nam Ou River and enjoy a picnic lunch along the way. Stop for a visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, at the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong rivers. Locally referred to as ‘Tam Ting’, these two caves are carved out of towering limestone cliffs and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. Continue downstream for another two hours to Luang Prabang, with an optional stop at a local village along the way.

On arrival at the boat pier in Luang Prabang, transfer to your hotel or the airport.

Distance and journey time:

Nong Khiaw – Nam Ou dam by car (70 km): 2,5 hrs

Nam Ou dam – Luang Prabang by boat (50 km): 2 hrs

Luang Prabang – Luang Prabang Airport (4 km): 15 min

Find out more about the Nong Khiaw Escape