Nong Khiaw

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Ideal duration: 1-2 Days

Best Time: October - February Read More

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Also Refered As:

Nong Kiau

"Limestone Caves, Hiking and Biking "

Nong Khiaw Tourism

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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Places to Visit

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.

Things to Do

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.


  • Respect the local traditions and their way of life, particularly so while visiting the tribal villages. Compared to other small towns in Laos, Nong Khiaw has decent accommodation options, but anyway, it is recommended to book in advance if you want to secure the best ones.
  • There is only one ATM in the town, and most transactions require cash. Make sure to carry enough money at disposal, including trek charges.
  • It is not required to book any treks or hiking packages in advance although they are sold in bigger towns like Luang Prabang. The prices and the options to customize are much better if booked through local operators in Nong Khiaw.
  • Don’t forget to pack mosquito repellents, good hiking shoes, sunscreen, umbrellas, sunglasses, hats, reusable water bottles and essential medicine before you go on a hike.
  • Always follow the signs and stay on the trail, no matter how adventurous it may sound to go off the path.

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Nong Khiaw

FAQs on Nong Khiaw

What is famous about Nong khiaw?

Nong Khiaw is one of those little towns in Laos which lets you explore its countryside comprising of limestone cliffs, caves, fishing villages by the river. It is an excellent place for tourists to avoid crowds and spend time amidst nature.

What is not so good about Nong khiaw?

Its remote location, and relatively lesser accommodation options and necessary facilities make it travelling in Nong Khiaw a bit difficult for those used to comfortable travel.

Who should visit Nong khiaw?

Nong Khiaw is an ideal destination for all types of travellers, excluding the elderly. People who enjoy spending time amidst natural beauty exploring caves, mountains and waterfalls will love their time in the town.

What is the best time to visit Nong khiaw?

The best time to visit Nong Khiaw is between October and February. The weather is not hot, and the humidity is less during these months. It is a great time to be outdoors for hiking, cycling and exploring the caves. From late February, summer sets in slowly with March to May being the hottest months. Monsoon begins in late July and lasts until September, with the city witnessing landslides and floods. 
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What is the best way to reach Nong khiaw?

Buses from Luang Prabang  - There are 3 to 4 regular buses from Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw. It costs 40,000 to 50,000 LAK and takes around 4 hours to reach. At an additional 15000 LAK, you can include hotel pick-up if you book through tour operators.

From Udomxay - One of the nearest towns to Nong Khiaw is Udomxay. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach, but there is only one bus in the morning every day.

You can also get down at Pak Mong town by taking a bus to Vang Vieng. From there, you can take a tuk-tuk for about an hour to Nong Khiaw, which costs about 30,000 LAK per person.
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What are the places near Nong khiaw?

The top places near to Nong khiaw are Hue which is 113 km from Nong khiaw, Vientiane which is located 446 km from Nong khiaw, Champasak which is located 190 km from Nong khiaw, Luang prabang which is located 602 km from Nong khiaw, Savannakhet which is located 184 km from Nong khiaw

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