Karst Limestone mountains tower above a small river near Nong Khiew in Laos

Experiencing Life on the Mekong River in Laos: Nong Khiew Village



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The village of Meung Ngoy is just a short boat ride upstream from Nong Khiew. Like much of Laos, Meung Ngoy probably hasn’t changed much over the last century, but that may be the secret to its quiet charm. Tourism is starting to become more common though, and guest houses are popping up like mushrooms on the main street as little handmade signs are hung from porches to announce that they are open for business. But Meung Ngoy is still a long, long, long way from getting a McDonalds, and hiking around the quiet countryside here was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    The bridge overlooking the Nam Ou River in Nong Khiew is the perfect place to watch life drift slowly past (click here for a close up view of the river).

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    One afternoon we took a hike around the nearby fields to get a little closer to some of the mountains of Nong Khiew. This rice paddy sits against the foot of the nearest mountain.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    I imagine the owner of this bike was probably tending his rice paddy nearby.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    I put this panoramic shot together to try and capture the dramatic limestone mountains in Nong Khiew (click here for a close up view of the mountains).

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    I took a bunch of photos of this mossy tree at the edge of a rice field .

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    This towering limestone outcrop is the home of some large caves where refugees hid during the war here.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    Here's another panoramic shot of Nong Khiew skyline (click here for a close up view of the mountains).

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    As the sun set behind the mountains, they turned bluer and bluer. Kind of like the Blue Ridge Mountains in my home of Virginia.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    Here's a panoramic shot of the mountains at dusk (click here for a close up view of the mountains).

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    Just before it got too dark, we climbed up to the caves to check them out. The view of the rice fields and surrounding mountains is pretty spectacular.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    We met up with some other travelers on the bus to Nong Khiew. Yaneka and Femka on the left and right side of this photo are from Holland, and Stu in the middle is from the UK.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    It would take this guy a lot longer to get across the river with his bike if the bridge wasn't there.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    Maybe it was the geography, but this view of the bridge reminded me a little of the bridge over the river Kwai (click here for a close up view of the bridge).

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    Houses in Nong Khiew are very simple and not showy.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    Catching a sunset from the bridge over the Nam Ou River was a great photo op.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    The steep limestone mountains surrounding the river become outlines as shadows close over the valley (click here for a close up view of this photo).

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    There is a small monastery outside Nong Khiew where monks like this one study buddhism.

  • Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004

    Sights around Nong Khiew, Laos - October 2004
    The view from the monastery is pretty inspiring (click here for a close up view of the mountains).