North of Laos is the residence of hundreds of magnificent mountains, Muang Khua is a small town, which belongs to the far north of the country, right in Nam Ou and Nam Phark cross point. Because of the area special location, which is a remote mountainous region, so it is really difficult to reach to. The only way you can get here is by boat or by walking road.
Although Muang Khua is just a small old town and virtually has no entertaining activities, but the view it provides is undeniably picturesque. Usually, tourist chooses this spot to be their stopover when they move to downriver of Hat Sa, Muang Ngoi, Nong Khiaw, but it still worth a day time in this typical rustic country town.
2. BEST TIME TO VISIT MUANG KHUA
Due to the reason: climate changed base on attitude, so Muang Khua is basically cool around the year.
From November to June next year, weather is calm and warm, the temperature is really pleased, about 15°C average. In daylight, it could reach max to 27°C and can be still cool because of the unpolluted environment.
From June to November, it usually has rain and rain peaks in August.
In short, from November to June, especially in January, you can pack up your luggage and enjoy your best moment here.
3. THINGS TO DO IN MUANG KHUA
Almost be a town in the middle of nowhere, so it has really fewer activities available, but little doesn’t mean there is nothing to do, here are some destination advice that can make your time in Muang Khua becomes memorable.
Take a Walk in the Suspension Bridge
Among the fantastic mountains, rivers, the old half wooden - iron bridges were built across the river to lead to the small village on the other side. Every day, every hour, you can see locals people moving and carry substances. It absolutely the best spot to take a picture of you, town and nature. When standing in the wobbly construction, you will face with the height challenge and be balance yourself. Don’t worry, it is a safe experience.
Visit the Wat (Temple)
In this little town, a small temple would highlight its color. Wat is still a worth visit temple when you come here, though space is not much provided its design makes it unique. Pay a visit for mediation and for your soul refreshment would be a nice moment to have.
Trekking to the Villages
A rustic village in the faraway region would be the perfect place for ancient life expression. When reaching to Muang Khua, you will be able to sightsee numerous of old fashion houses in the middle town and also local doing. The further you go out from the center of town, the more remote villages you see, they have those style of leave stilt houses, some don’t even have electricity.
People live in completely simple condition, despite the fact, they are still happy and friendly to all tourist. Spend your time trekking around and hatch some splendid images then.
Taste the Exotic Dishes
Special Laotian cuisine won’t be served many in the region, you probably know the reason why, but instead, they have some unique dishes that only the mountainous region has, such as bug dishes: stir-fried worm, fried halva, bamboo mice grilled and so on. If you are not fancy on those “creepy” dishes, then have noodle soup, rice, and food from the town food stores instead. The flavor they add in is unforgettable.
Join in the Locals' Activities
People here mostly live by agriculture, you will realize right at the moment you land feet in here. Small gardens and cattle barns are everywhere on the mountain’s side and alongside the river bank. You can observe local people harvesting, plowing by simple rough tools and hands. You can join them catching fish or make some fun help. All you need is to ask these friendly people for a moody experience.
4. THINGS TO BUY IN MUANG KHUA
Well, there isn’t much to buy here but if you want to spend little money on local stuff, there are some handicraft shops in town. They sell local tribe fabric with simple colorful square patterns, small wood knitted baskets, small fabric bags, and others plain robe jewelry.
They grow many plants and trees in the area, also sell the goods for fresh. You can buy some tropical fruit like rambutan, label, mango and so on. In addition, local tea is really worth spending, they already dry the leaves and pack it into a small bag for you, the tea in here has a particular smell and taste awesome when drinking. They print little prices, you’ll see you can buy lots of thing with only 10 USD.
5. DOS & DON'TS
Relax and be nice to the people is the only rule here. All you care is manner, if you want to behave friendly, learn the sentence “SA – BAI - DEE”, which means “hello” in Laos. People would smile when foreigners speak their language, even just a bit.
Hugging and kissing when you meet local is not necessary, they don’t greet like that in Laos, just stay cool and smile to them. Then, you are free to enjoy the trip.