This wee gorgeous town is located in the far north of Laos, among the significant mountains and natural wonders. Because of its special position, it is now one of the least visited spots to tourists.
The only way to get here is by boat or by the roadway. This turns out to be an ideal spot to enjoy completely Laos lifestyle and also, famous tourist attractions won’t be too crowded. I think, for this reason, Muang Ngoi is one of the must-visit places that tourists shouldn’t pass.
2. BEST TIME TO VISIT MUANG NGOI
People all want to enjoy their vacation on sunny days, due to this reason, from November to May is the most appropriate time.
In particular, from November to March is winter, the weather turns really cool and temperature in daylight is about 15°C. From May to November is a monsoon, which time you shouldn’t choose. Rainy in the mountainous area can be really severe.
3. THINGS TO DO IN MUANG NGOI
Enjoy Nature Wonders
Muang Ngoi owns numerous splendid natural views that impress you from the very first look.
- Nam Ou “Beach”: it is strange to have to beach in the middle of a high mountainous region. Off course they have the reliable reason to call it this way. The river bank provides a sandy area, which is big enough to believe it is the sea coast, water is clear, air is relaxing and fresh. Besides, you can dive down and see creatures down there. In some aspects, it provides a really special feeling that incomparable to the real beach.
- Tham Kang and Tham Pha Kaew caves: they lie not really far from the river bank, you can trek 15 minutes to there, then perhaps, you should sightseeing the town. The caves are used for bomb shelters during Vietnam war. Though human had some impact on them, they still conserve the natural beauty. Ticket entering is about 1 dollar. In addition, along the way, there are many small caves, each of them provides nice chances for astounding pictures.
- Tak Mok stream: the stream is 2 kms far from the Muang Ngoi town. It takes an hour walking on foot to reach to this cool stream. When you reach the spot, your energy will surely be fulfilled again by clear air and peaceful site
Trekking to the Local Villages
Muang Ngoi is home for tens of local villages. You can catch the mages of antique stilt leave houses and hundred meters of paddle fields. Right in those villages, they cross the river, channel by trunks, teak wood bridge. All natural features and plain human buildings combined had made up a dreamy rustic view. Villages you could visit is Bana village, Huay Sen, Huay Bo or villages along your trekking paths.
Try the Traditional Herbal Sauna
Want to have healthy relaxation, you have to try the traditional herbal sauna of Laos. It’s a steam room with many guests inside, the steam water in add in some medicinal herbs that have beneficial effect on your body. Furthermore, at some places, they also serve herb tea, hot tub, and free massage. Service provides at the beginning of try season and costs about 2 dollars.
Drink and Dine at the Garden Bar
There are many bars build right on the river bank. At any time you want, you can spend money on food, drinks and relax when contemplating the river sight. What can be more interesting than enjoying dishes among splendid natural scenes? Recommended spots are Gecko Bar, Bee Tree, Nicka’s Place, Riverside Bar, and Restaurant.
Boat Sightseeing in the River
Nam Ou river flows through many villages and picturesque sites, it is a shame if you don’t take a boat riding. Along the riverside, it brings you many opportunities to observe local catching fish, collecting agricultural goods, ethnic minority daily routines. If you want to sunbathe and swim in the sea, stop at any spot you like for the best entitlement.
4. THINGS TO BUY IN MUANG NGOI
In the town, you can find many handicraft shops that sell local fabric, baskets, local ceramic stuffs, wooden dolls and others. Check out Gecko Bar and shop for more interesting items.
You should try some food out like Laab (minced pork salad), Tam Mak Hoong (green papaya salad), Khao Piak Sen (Lao noodle soup). They are available in guest houses and local restaurants of the region. Otherwise, you can buy savable good of seaweed, the village near Muang Ngoi produces them, try it out if there is any different to kinds that you tasted before.
5. DOS & DON'TS
People in here really take it easy on tourists, they are really friendly and hospitable. To pay back their kindness, a sentence “SA – BAI - DEE” would be nice.