Mekong River Village Life near Meung Ngoy in Laos

Exploring Laos: Mekong River Trip to Meung Ngoy 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.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    After exploring the mountains and sights around Nong Khiew, we decided to head upstream to the small village of Meung Ngoy via a river taxi.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    I'm not sure how this little girl caught the bird, but hopefully she eventually let it fly away.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    Mmmm, free sausages.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    Maybe the sausages were for this fellow?

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    The Meung Ngoy monkey was a whole lot less cute than the one from Luang Prabang. He sort of resembles Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street to me.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    I didn't want to get within snatching range of this monkey's agile fingers.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    This tributary feeds into the Nam Ou River (click here for a close up view of this photo).

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    When we were hiking around the countryside near Meung Ngoy, we came across this creature that looked like a cross between a cow and a pig.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    Old fashioned bamboo plumbing.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    We hiked over to the Phatoke Cave near Meung Ngoy, this crystal clear stream runs out of it.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    We didn't actually go inside the cave, but we did stand in front of it for this photo.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    Although the river taxi was pretty packed, everyone still seemed to have a good time on the trip upriver.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    As we were hiking back to Meung Ngoy, we passed this little hut situated in the valley between the steep limestone mountains.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    After an afternoon of visiting Meung Ngoy, we had to return to Nong Khiew. The trip downstream was about 45 minutes faster than the trip upstream. Photo by Steve Iams.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    Femka was pretty tired from all the activity in Meung Ngoy.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    I think we were both trying to figure out what to order for dinner at the Sunset Guesthouse since we never ate lunch.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    You can see the famous Nong Khiew bridge in the background behind Steve and Yaneka.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    As we moved upstream, we passed small villages lining the riverbanks. Many of them probably haven't changed much over the last century.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    Even though the boat was a little cramped everyone seemed to be enjoying the voyage upriver.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    I think this might have been the first time I saw a monk smoking a cigarette.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    Situated on the banks of the Nam Ou River valley, we probably would have passed right by Meung Ngoy if it hadn't been for the boat driver.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    Meung Ngoy is a small village with thatched huts clustered closely together lining the packed earth streets.

  • Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004

    Upriver to Meung Ngoy, Laos - October 2004
    I didn't notice this chicken scurrying behind me, but Steve obviously did. Photo by Steve Iams.