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Chiang Rai, Chiang Khong, Houixai, Boat to Pakbeng, Luang Prabang; Nong Kiau (Muang Ngoy Mai), Muang Ngoy Kao (11 - 17 April 2008)

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Arriving Muang Ngoy Kao on Nam Ou river
Arriving Muang Ngoy Kao on Nam Ou river

Muang Ngyo Kao sits on the eastern bank of Nam Ou river in northern Luang Prabang province which is dotted with high mountains.

Boats at Muang Ngoy Kao boat station
Boats at Muang Ngoy Kao boat station

Nam Ou river at this place is surrounded by mountains as high as nearly 2000 meters above the sea level. Nature walks, and overnight walks sleeping in the villages are possible. Local knowledgable & able guides are a must since there might be some un-exploded bombs dropped by the US airforce during the IndoChina wars in the 1970's, as well as to solve the language and different cultures problem

Ngoy Kao town street
Muang Ngoy Kao

The small town became a tourist place in the last several years, and now it boasted many guesthouses on the river bank and along the single street of the town. It still was nice to come. However arriving in the festive season (Lao newyear) I saw many venues with western style loud music, dancing and drinking alcohol. Also there were Lao style celebrations of their newyear.

Tham Kang cave
Tham Kang cave

From the town it is just 1/2 hour easy walk to this former hiding place of Lao people from the bombs during the 1970's Indo China war. Small stream flows inside the cave.

The way to Ban Na village
The way to Ban Na village

Over the paddy fields, passing the small bamboo huts we walked toward a small village called Ban Na. The scenes were superb. Everywhere you looked there were lives and cultures, and beyond these were high masses of earth under the cover of forest, seemingly in front of the sky on this and other side of the river. You did not see the river, but you could imagine its location. Only un-imaginable was how far it exactly was to the very peak of a mountain.

Arriving Ban Na village
Arriving Ban Na village (Lao Lum)

Cows grazing in the fields in front of the village under the late afternoon sun. The village of mostly Lao Lum people had houses for overnight visitors and a small restaurant selling food and drinks. The trail between Mong Ngoy and Ban Na is easy - about one hour walk. Please note in the rainy season (June to early November) expect to see leeches.

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