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Rosi & Jen's 11 Thousand Beach Odyssey Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do, then the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream...."

Nong Khiaw

LAOS | Tuesday, 13 May 2008 | Views [878]

Sometimes you come across a place so beautiful you can’t quite believe it’s real.  Where the landscape is so stunning and the accommodation so simply perfect and cheap that you keep checking to make sure it’s not all a mistake.  Today we arrived in such a place.  We took a mini bus 3 hours north of Luang Prubang to a speck on the map called Nong Khiaw. We checked in to the Nong Kiau Riverside Bungalows.  My God it’s beautiful.  Our bungalow is built over looking the Nam Ou River and across from massive limestone karsts that are covered in dense jungle with a little exposed vertical rock high up and a couple of small Teak plantations toward the bottom.  

At the moment Jen is having an afternoon siesta and I’m sitting at the desk in the bungalow listening to the local children play and swim in the river.   If I look out I can see fisherman in long canoes casting nets.  In parts the river is quite shallow and I can see the fast moving water bubble over exposed river rocks.  It’s the sort of place they would choose to shoot an adventure movie.  “Lara Croft - Tomb Raider” (see Angelina Jolie joined by intrepid adventurers Rosi and Jen as they machete their way through dense Laos jungle in another actioned packed sequel!).  If I saw a dinosaur walk out of the jungle across the river it would not surprise me one bit.  If I saw Angelina Jolie walk out wielding a machete I’d probably yell “cooooeeee” , ask after Brad and the kids, and invite her over for some ice cold Beer Lao.  That’s the sort of place it is.  There is absolutely nothing here except a couple of guest houses and a very very small village.  The place we’re staying at is probably the best.  It has a restaurant with the best food in Lao and the bungalows are gorgeous.  It even has wifi, which surprises me considering they only have electricity at certain times during the day when they fire up the generator.  God I love it here!  We are booked in for 4 days but may stay longer.  The options of things to do are endless. 

Here’s a taste for all you poor suckers reading this from behind you desk at work

Things to do in Nong Khiaw

1.       Nothing

2.       Take a walk along the Nam Ou River to several different villages.  Each village has several boats you can hire if you don’t feel like walking back.  (God I’m exhausted already)

3.       Rent a bicycle and ride east.  The landscape is stunning and a number of hilltribe villages can be found along the road.

4.       Visit the famous Pha Toke cave 2kms east of town.  This where the Pathet Lao forces had their provincial headquarters during the war in the 60s and early 70s. 

5.       Watch the sunset from the bridge or from various restaurants along the river

6.       Play a game of Pentanque with the local patriots across from the post office.

7.       Hire a small fishing boat for an extraordinary view of the sunset.

8.       Go fishing.  Ask you guesthouse to help you with a fishing pole.

9.       Tube rafting.

10.   Take a late afternoon swim in the river.

11.   Visit the local temples and have a chat with the monks.

12.   Give an English lesson at the local school or to anyone around you.

13.   Drink Beer Lao and Lao lao (Lao whiskey)

14.   Watch a movie at the local cinema

15.   Stay another day and just chill out and read good book.  The surroundings couldn’t be better.

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