Blogs from Muang Ngoi Neua, North, Laos, Asia - page 4


Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua May 15th 2009

Yet another amusing transport story from Laos! To get from Luang Prabang to the village of Muang Ngoi Neua (known to most people as just Muang Ngoi), The Lonely Planet had recommended getting a longtail boat upriver as the view is apparantely incredible. We had booked a boat ticket with one of the travel agents in town and had been told to turn up the following day at 8am. The next morning, laden with bags, we met the travel agent who walked us down to the jetty and then told us to wait while he went to speak to the boat office. After a few minutes he came back and gave us the bad news that no boat was going today. "But we've bought a ticket!" we protested but he just smiled, shrugged and said "Yes, ... read more
Boarding the seriously packed boat!
View from the boat
Heading down the Nam Ou river to the village

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua April 21st 2009

The plan for our last week or so in Laos, had been to head into the far north for some trekking. Although now I'm confident that my foot isn't broken, it still really hurts and is so swollen that I couldn't squeeze it into my hiking boot if I wanted to. But we still want to head north as this remote region is home to a rich diversity of ethnic hill tribes who still (try to) live independently of country's borders. Our first stop is Nong Khiaw, a bumpy five hours (including breakdowns) from Luang Prabang. It's a dramatic location of towering limestone karsts cut through by the Nam Ou river. A huge stone bridge, just crying out for a bungee jump, links the village with a smaller village of tourist bungalows with fantastic views from ... read more
street life, Muang Ngoi Neua
cute little friend...should've seen his face when we showed him his picture
monk, Muang Ngoi Neua

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua February 2nd 2009

One hour up river from Nong Khiaw is the villade of Munag Ngoi. The boat trip was typically scenic of river trips in Laos. The banks were lined with imposing cliff faces and forested hills rolled into the horizon. The morning cloud hadn't yet lifted and it blanketed the hill tops with only the tallest peaks poking through. We passed other small riverside communities along the way where children wearing snorkling masks were diving for river weeds which they then roll into sheets, dry out and eat. The trip wasn't quite as relaxing as our trip to Nong Khiaw. The boat was packed and half way to Muang Ngoi we reached a section of rapids where we all had to get out and walk for twenty minutes in the baking sun along the sandy river bank ... read more

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua January 21st 2009

When checking into hotels, or guesthouses you sometimes get asked to fill out some sort of signing in sheet, giving your name and passport number, along with Nationality. I understand this, and I guess if you do any damage to the room they have some degree of security, not that I am sure how accurate these forms are filled in that people could actually be 'traced'. However one thing we find quite strange is that when you buy a ticket for a train, or boat, or even bus you get asked to fill out your name on the ticket. I find this quite unusual. What possibly can you take from a a bus that barely has seats. So I decided to test the theory and see if giving a false name would raise alarm. So far ... read more
Local on the river
The 'other' view from our balcony
Sunset over the Nam Ou

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua January 19th 2009

Sitting on a local bus heading north from Luang Prabang we met a woman from California (who had a Canadian flag on her backpack by the way!) who had a local Lao guide with her for a village trek that she was about to embark on. We told them where we were headed and the Lao man said that we should follow them and take a boat an hour up river from where the bus drops us off as it is a much nicer village than where we were headed. With a few days to spare we took his advice and hopped in a small wooden boat packed with locals and tourists and headed up river through small rapids and swirling eddies to the small village of Muang Ngoi ('mung noi'). The village of Muang Ngoi ... read more
Bomb casings as decoration
Morning mist over the river
The celebrating men!

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua December 13th 2008

Well, we have come 1 hour up the river to a beautiful place called Muang Ngoi. After finding a guest house over-looking the river, we were invited by the owner and her friends to join them for food and Lao Lao (rice whiskey). Flippin awful stuff but we thought it would be rude to decline. A shot of Lao Lao each went round the circle until the bottle was finished. We discovered they were having a party for the owner - 'Mama Bungalow' - to cheer her up because her husband left her for another woman. Everyone here is so friendly, they love to talk and find out more about you. Many of the locals don't speak much English, but enough to get by. There is no electricity here apart from 6pm to 10pm, so the ... read more
Mama Bungalow's hut

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua December 6th 2008

Most travellers to Laos go on a whirlwind trip Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, maybe squeeze in the 4000 islands and out. But the north of Laos is something special. Only untouched for a short while longer, Muang Ngoi was one of my most satisfying treks to a village tribe yet. No tourist crap just life as it was and in most cases still is. Laos is a poor country. Just looking and feeling the bus hitting the road from Luang Prabang says that. But the 2-day trek to the hill tribes around Muang Ngoi suggests that it really doesn’t matter if the government can’t afford to fill the potholes (instead cutting out giant slabs of the road to make one giant bump.) Economy wise it’s not important. For most citizens the land here provides an ... read more
The Village we lived in
local carrying produce

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua November 13th 2008

We arrive at Muang Ngoi Neua at around lunch time. A small village set along side the Nam Ou river and at the foot hills of Mount Phaboom. There are restaurants come pubs along the river, with amazing views. We all find a place to stay, then head on for lunch and beers. On the trip we met a few more people, one Croatian who lived in South Africa for 10 years but now lives in Canada, Sasha, another couple from the UK and Ireland, a Israeli girl, a Hungarian girl and Nina, who has been with us from Sapa. While having lunch I ask the waiter where we can get some fishing line? I had bought hooks in Dien Bien Phu and was keen to fish. Chris, Sasha and I were up for fishing and ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua July 24th 2008

How can I describe the beauty of Muang Ngoi Neua. To reach this beautiful village in the western region of Laos you have to take a bus from Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw and from there the journey is completed by longtail boat. In fine contrast to the road trip to Nong Khiaw, which was completely uninspiring the boat journey on the other hand was remarkable. Not even my lethargy or the fear of rats was enough to dampen the experience. Travelling up the Nam Ou river you become lost in the beauty of the place. While the river itself is uninspiring it is the great scene around that captures you. Huge mountains appear to rise from the river itself and the trees that carpet it from top to bottom appear to defy gravity as they ... read more
view from my bedroom
innocence and fun
street scene

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua July 11th 2008

Mit dem Boot eine Stunde flussaufwaerts liegt Muang Ngoi Neua, wie der Lonely Planet schreibt "backpackers haven". Ich habe mich also schonmal auf groessere Mengen Backpacker und deren Nebenwirkungen fuer den Ort gefasst gemacht. Doch da gerade Low Season ist, war von vielen Backpackern nichts zu sehen. Im ganzen Ort waren vielleicht 20 Touris unterwegs. Doch die vielen Guesthouses, Restaurants, Minishops und Schneidereien entlang der Hauptstrasse zeugen von erheblichem Ansturm in der High Season. Muang Ngoi Neua ist nur mit dem Boot zu erreichen und liegt sehr abgeschieden mitten in einer riesen Huegelkette auf einer Halbinsel des Nam Ou. Von hier aus unternehmen viele Trekking Tours mit Guides in Minderheitendoerfer und zu den Wasserfaellen und Hoehlen in der Umgebung. Nachdem ich einen Bambusbungalow fuer 1,50 Euro (!) ohne jeglichen Comfort belegt hatte, bin ich zu Fuss ... read more
erst einmal eine Dusche, nach Ankunft am Wasserfall
alltaegliches Bild
der Eingang der Hoehle

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