Nong Khiaw is a small, beautiful town located on the banks of the Ou River in Laos. It is known for the natural beauty consisting of limestone mountains, caves and forests.
The terrain offers many hiking and cycling trails, which makes Nong Khiaw one of the popular destinations for tourists visiting Laos looking for adventure.
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Pha Tok Caves - One of the most visited places in Nong Khiaw is Pha Tok, which is 2km from the city centre. This cave amidst limestone cliff was the shelter to Pathet Lao fighters during the Second Indochina War. You need to get there and back by longtail boat, which costs about 30,000 LAK. You don't need any guides, but there will be many locals trying to scam you posing as guides. Avoid hiring any of the guides as you can do the trail on your own.
Pha Kuang Cave - Another cave known for its adventurous entry and climbing required. The entry fee is 10,000 LAK per person. Carry a torch while visiting the caves.
Bike around the village - Rent a mountain bike and drive to the ethnic communities of Khmu and Hmong. The mountain bikes cost 30,000 LAK per day, and the regular bikes come at 10,000 LAK per day.
Herbal steam bath - Herbal steam massage is a popular activity among tourists visiting Nong Khiaw. Sabai Sabai centres located at downtown offers rejuvenating massages at 25,000 LAK for a 60-minutes session.
Climb Phadeng Peak - One of the famous soft adventurous activities is hiking to the top of Phadeng hill for a stunning 360° view of the valleys around Nong Khiaw. It is best visited during the sunrise or sunset for spectacular views. The cost is 20,000 LAK and takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to reach the top. If you are climbing during the evening, bring a torchlight as the way down is difficult to descend in the dark.
Enjoy adventurous activities - There are many certified adventure companies offering adventure packages based on your preferences. Ziplining is one of the most popular activities. You can also go trekking to the nearby villages and kayaking in the river.
Bamboo rafting - If you are interested in rafting on a Bamboo plank or want to take a guided trek to Sop Jam village, then check with Phone Travel, the only tour agency run by local people, which specialize in one-day bamboo rafting.