Nong Khiaw Viewpoint – Phadeng Peak

Nong Khiaw Viewpoint

Nong Khiaw is a dreamy little village in northern Laos, nestled on the bank of the Nam Ou River. This place is an absolute gem – it is not off the beaten path, but not overrun by tourists either. Nong Khiaw sees just the right amount of travelers for decent accommodation & nice places to eat to exist, offering people who visit a great experience in a calm environment.

There are plenty of things to do in Nong Khiaw besides the obligatory hammock chill out sessions. Think of treks to caves & waterfalls and bike tours along the river or across the country side. There is one little trek that I particularly enjoyed, the hike up to Nong Khiaw viewpoint.

 

I got up early in the morning to start the hike. The village still laid sleepy in front of my eyes, covered in fog with clouds hanging low around the mountains surrounding the river.

 

Nong Khiaw Fog

 

At the starting point of the trail I was given a bamboo walking stick & welcomed by this message painted on an old missile.

 

Nong Khiaw Viewpoint Missile

 

Laos was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War, which made it the most heavily bombed nation in history. In total, more bombs were dropped on Laos than were used during World War II. A large area of Laos is still covered in UXOs (unexploded ordinances) today, hindering development.

I was shocked when I learned all of this upon arriving in Laos. I never heard a lot about the history of the country, something I am not alone with. Some of my friends did not even know that Laos was a country! It is such an absurd fact tat there is no widespread awareness of the issues going on there.

That being said, it is extremely important to stay on the marked trail when going on this trek! There is no guarantee for the area being clear of UXOs!

 

The trek up to the viewpoint takes about 1 to 1.5 hours. It is quite steep and slippery from time to time, making it a fairly demanding hike. This will all be worth it though as soon as you arrive at the top! I had a beautiful view across a sea of clouds, the winding Nam Ou river and the towering mountains in the distance.

 

 

Nong Khiaw Viewpoint

 

Nong Khiaw Mountains

 

Unfortunately it was a fairly cloudy day – the sky did not clear up, but it kind of added to the atmosphere! It was absolutely magical, as there was only one other person who hiked up shortly after me. She left soon though and it was only me & the mountains then.

Someone once asked me what my favorite experience of my six month Asia trip was. This is difficult to answer, but the hike in Nong Khiaw is definitely one of them. Don’t miss Nong Khiaw viewpoint if you find yourself in the village! It is absolutely beautiful up there, just imagine what the view must be like when the weather is good!

 

Practical Information

To get to the starting point of the trail to Nong Khiaw viewpoint, head past the bridge on side where most of the guesthouses and restaurants are located. The way is sign-posted, so it’s hard to miss.

Entrance fee is 20 000 KIP, which includes a bamboo walking stick. The trail is opened from 6am to 4pm. Take a torch if you decide to hike up in the late afternoon in case it get darks by the time you descent.

Trekking time is about 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on your fitness level.

 

Nong Khiaw itself is about a 4 hour van ride away from Luang Prabang.

 

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Nong Khiaw Viewpoint

 

 

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12 Comment

  1. […] Read more about the hike to Nong Khiaw Viewpoint . […]

  2. I did not know about Laos being so heavily bombed in the Vietnam War…Great photos of the fog hanging low around the mountains!

    1. dorohenrietta says: Reply

      A lot of people don’t know about this (including me before I visited), which kind of perplexes me as Laos is one of the most bombed countries…
      Thank you Alex 🙂

  3. Sounds like an incredible hike, even with the clouds (which made for great pics). Fascinating place – natural beauty and with all that recent turmoil in its history too.

    1. dorohenrietta says: Reply

      Laos really is such an interesting & fascinating country to visit! I didn’t expect to like it that much, but I would go back any second 🙂

  4. anna says: Reply

    Sad that the clouds didn’t clear up but I think you’re right, it just adds to the vibe when you look at the photos!

  5. Elena says: Reply

    Wow! How embarrassing :(. I had no clue about Laos’ plight during the Vietnam War. From our travels around the world, I learned a very important lesson: we might imagine that we know what’s going on in the world or might think that we know history. Sadly, both assumptions are wrong. The majority of humans are too arrogant and feel too self-important to learn from past mistakes. I really truly want to be optimistic, but, judged by what happened in 2016, I am not sure if it’s viable.

    1. dorohenrietta says: Reply

      Lots of people don’t know about it! It’s true what you’re saying, sadly most people live in their own little bubble without ever challenging their own perspectives and seeking out different viewpoints. Concerning learning from past mistakes – this not being an integral part of everyone’s learning processes is kind of a mystery to me (not saying that I always learn from past mistakes 😀 Trying though!).

  6. Hello Doro. Fantastic photos. Laos has been on my mind and I hope to visit in 2017. That stinks about the UXOs. I find it useful that you included the practical information. Thank you.

    1. dorohenrietta says: Reply

      Thanks Charles, glad to hear that it’s useful 🙂

  7. Hra says: Reply

    Wowwww What an amazing view! Im in love!! i haven’t heard for Nong Khiaw before 🙁 For now on its definitely on my bucket list! Btw amazing photos <3 Thanks for sharing with us

    1. dorohenrietta says: Reply

      Thanks so much! It really is a dreamy place – definitely worth putting on your bucket list 🙂

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