While in Luang Prabang, we decided to do a three day trip to Muang Ngoi, which is a small village about 180 km north of Luang Prabang and only accessible by boat. It was quite the adventure!
We grabbed a minivan from our guesthouse that was the bumpiest, scariest ride I’ve had yet. It was 4 hours of twists, turns and making sure we hit EVERY pothole along the way! Seeing as we were aiming for the potholes instead of trying to avoid them, we *surprisingly* got a flat…
The van dropped us off at a bus station where we had to take a songtaew down to the boat. The boat didn’t leave for another hour, so we sat and watched the local kids playing.
When the boat arrived, the porters also loaded the boat with supplies to drop off at Muang Ngoi. These older women get paid to take supplies down to the boat. They carry them down with a rig that they place on their head and make only $4-6 a day. What’s crazy is we saw four women and only one man carrying a motorbike down to the boat!
The boats are small and cramped, and a 90-minute ride to Muang Ngoi. The ride was filled with the same views as my trip on the 2-day slow boat from Thailand to Laos.
Muang Ngoi is a cute one street town. We found a guesthouse that was right on the water that had a balcony with hammocks.
We spent two nights there and went hiking up to Buddha View Point. The view was breathtaking, but it’s a crazy steep climb. Not for the feint of heart! It was also raining which made going up and down quite tricky. The route to the viewpoint is made up of mud and some stones, with no real path for your footing in some parts of the trail. It was more like rock climbing rather than hiking. I took my PacSafe Backpack with me for this hike. It’s not waterproof, and I don’t have a dry fly, but it did ok. I love this backpack, but I’d suggest getting a dry fly for it of you’re going to be doing hikes in the rain.
The townspeople are friendly, and the kids are curious and adorable. We spent most of our days at an outdoor cafe reading and working. The cafe has a great view of the river and down below you can see all the fishing boats lined up.
My three days in the village were relaxing. It’s very minimal accommodations and only a few sitting places for food, but it was perfect. This trip was a great way to experience the laid-back Lao life in a village.