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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Muang Khua to Nong Khiaw by Boat: Riding over the Rapids

I have rafted over rapids and have also kayaked in white waters, but this was the first time I was in a boat while we went over white water rapids. Even though the rapids were only of Class 1, it was still quite a surreal experience for me and the 12 other people with me in the boat. Water would be copiously sprayed on to us whenever we went over the bigger rapids and since I was sitting on the left front side, I got the most spray. Since it was a warm day, the water spray actually felt refreshing.

Scenic Boat Ride to Nong Khiaw from Muang Khua, Laos
All this happened while I was traveling from Muang Khua to Nong Khiaw in North Eastern Laos. The journey was by boat and was on the Nam Ou river. It takes about 5 to 6 hours to complete this journey and it costs about 120,000 kip (~15 USD). Tickets can be booked on the morning of the journey at Muang Khua. Boats leave Muang Khua every morning at 9:30 AM. People, baggage and motorbikes can be accommodated on  these thin and long boats. This is one of the more interesting and more scenic ways of getting to Luang  Prabang from the mountains of Vietnam.

Boat Ferries on the Nam Ou river at Muang Khua, Laos
The other option is to take the bus to Udomaxay and then to Luang Prabang, which might be slightly cheaper, but not as scenic as this journey. This boat ride takes you through lush green tropical forests, beautiful mountains that cast stunning reflections in the still river waters especially during noon time and provides scenes of how the people of Laos live off its rivers. This is a journey you should not miss if you are entering Laos from Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam.



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