After two phenomenal days spent in Muang Ngoi, it was time for us to start heading south. Our visa would be expiring in 11 days and and we had to get all the way down to Cambodia before that.
We took the boat back to Nong Khiaw in the morning and decided that we couldn’t resist staying one more day, so we walked across the bridge and booked a bungalow for the night.
After dropping off our things, we decided the day would be well spent hiking up the steep trail to the Nong Khiaw Mountain Viewpoint; for what promised to be a spectacular 360 degree view of Nong Khiaw and its surroundings.
The next hour and a half was sweaty trekking up steep inclines and steps through dense jungle and bamboo forests.
Every once in a while, there would be a clearing in the trees and we could get a peak of what awaited us at the top of the mountain.
We pressed on and on until we finally made it to the very top, and it really did not disappoint!
The view from the top made the difficult journey seem like nothing and we were happy to spend half an hour up there, enjoying the scenery while we regained our strength.
In some ways, the way back down the mountain was even harder than the way up due to the risk of sliding. On the particularly steep parts, there were ropes on the side of the trail that you could use to brace yourself, but sometimes the pebbles underneath our feet would start rolling while we were standing on them. We lost our footing more than a couple of times, but we made it to the bottom unscathed.
Once we were back down in Nong Khiaw, we crossed the bridge just in time for sunset, before a delicious curry dinner at Alex Restaurant and the comforts of our bungalow.
We were really happy to squeeze one more day in Nong Khiaw before making our journey down through Laos. Thus far, the Northern villages had been our favorite part of the country, but we were also excited to get down South!
Lunch (Joy’s): 65,000kip
Viewpoint Entrance Fee: 40,000kip
Alex Restaurant: 101,000kip
Sunrise Bungalow: 50,000kip
Total Spent: 364,000kip ($44.90 USD)