Flag of Laos

Laos forum

Where to go in Northern Laos?

  • spikenz

    Joined Travelfish
    20th October, 2009
    Posts: 3

    Hi, I am leaving for a trip in a week and will be travelling in Northern Laos with my parents for a few weeks. We have arranged to do a trip out of Luang Nam Tha then have four days before we have to be in Luang Prabang (my parents have a flight back to Bangkok from here). Just wanting some suggestions for where to go and see with these four days. Looking primarily for chilled out places with nice scenery etc.

    Thanks for the help

    #1 Posted: 1/11/2009 - 03:49

  • Advertisement

  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    There's plenty of posts like this so firstly just have a good browse, more specifically just read my post on Muang Long. If that doesn't appealtry muang sing - 2 hours from nam tha - or check out ning keiow - 3 hr from L.P

    #2 Posted: 2/11/2009 - 20:33

  • spikenz

    Joined Travelfish
    20th October, 2009
    Posts: 3

    Hi Christay, thanks for the reply. Sorry I was probably a bit too vague in my first post. I did have a thorough read through most of the stuff of the site prior to posting and it's more a case of not being able to decide where to go! Initial thoughts were to head over to Nong Khiaw/Muang Ngoi and then getting the riverboat to Luang Prabang from here. I just got the feeling from some posts etc that these towns might be getting a bit too overcrowded with backpackers and the like. Any thought on that?

    Thanks

    #3 Posted: 3/11/2009 - 03:11

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 563

    What do your parents like? and have you planned any time for Luang Prabang ? Luang Prabang might be overcrowded but if you are interested in historic temple architecture it would probably be worth taking one of those self guided walking tours, there's probably one on this site or Lonely Planet. I think ecotourism lao has one. Luang Prabang is nice in that everything is within a short distance and it's not in the middle of a huge urban area as is Chang Mai. Some houses and buildings are still not yet boutique guest houses.

    Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi would be pleasant side trips or if you have the price of a slow boat you could go up to Muang Khua and charter a one day boat ride down to Nong Khiaw. Muang Khua is a nice river town still not busy and Nong Khiaw seemed pretty quiet.

    Muang Sing is also only a couple hours on a pretty good road from Luang Namtha.

    Four days is enough time to tempt you to go somewhere but kind of short for going all the way to Phongsali or Sam Nua.

    I've never been to Muang Ngoi based only on it's rep for pot smoking hamock laying, not that I have anything against those activities mind you, but I'm already expert and am afraid I might run into my former self.

    I'd do whatever my parents wanted to do.

    #4 Posted: 3/11/2009 - 05:32

  • spikenz

    Joined Travelfish
    20th October, 2009
    Posts: 3

    Thanks Somsai, great advice. Have a few days reserved for Luang Prabang which I am looking forward too. My Dad is pretty into outdoor stuff, Mum not so much. The above options give a good basis so I think we will decide what we feel like doing after we have finished out trekking in LNT. My parents have to get back to pretty hectic jobs soon after leaving Laos so might be keen for somewhere to relax, while I get to continue travelling so not too worried what we do!

    #5 Posted: 3/11/2009 - 06:48

  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    I'd skip muang ngoi, its been getting bashed alot lately and, for me, with good reason!

    somsais suggestions are good

    whatevr you do I'm sure you'll enjoy Laos

    #6 Posted: 3/11/2009 - 08:26

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6220
    Total reviews: 10

    "whatevr you do I'm sure you'll enjoy Laos"

    I didn't particularly. One of the things I have figured out is what I like, others may not. I have one friend who swears by Laos, because he loves it's natural beauty. I have another friend (both live here in Muk) who hates Laos, considers it a run down hole. Both are right. It depends on what you really enjoy in life - and we don't all enjoy the same things.

    I think Laos is popular on this site because you see a lot of people looking for "the real southeast Asia" and they see rural Laos as some sort of ideal throwback or "untainted" by globilzation. Many of the people on this site are looking for that kind of vacation - which is why they disparage VV so much.

    #7 Posted: 3/11/2009 - 11:18

  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    Mac, all valid points. From my recent trip it seemed that a large majority of people i met in Northern Laos all visited the same destinations in various orders; Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, Muang Ngoi, Nong Kieow and MAYBE luang nam tha but many entered from Thailand and headed south, missing this area. I think there are many more places in Laos for the 'real southeast asia' than places where fruitshakes and sandwiches are at every corner.

    anyway, i guess i'm not making much of a point at all here...other than if people, as you rightly say, are trying to find the real SE Asia then they arent doing a very good job of it, generally.


    Do i remember you saying you would hold back on the Lao bashing?? because everyone got on your back as a result? :)

    #8 Posted: 7/11/2009 - 11:26

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6220
    Total reviews: 10

    And I've been a very good boy about it too...

    Just feel a need to periodically remind people planning their vacation that Laos isn't paradise (or even the "real SEA").

    Kind of reminds me of Wilkos post on Thai food - "try it, you'll love it". Well, some people will and some people won't. We don't all enjoy the same kinds of food. Some people will try it and say "this is crap." Some people will travel to Laos and say "are they trying to immitate Africa?"

    #9 Posted: 9/11/2009 - 11:23

  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    Mac, I'm in your neck of the woods next weekish for a day or so we can
    talk about this man to man, take it outside if need be!

    (Sorry for being off thread. Maybe personal
    messaging would be a good feature, after I said all was great!)

    #10 Posted: 9/11/2009 - 11:36

  • Advertisement

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6220
    Total reviews: 10

    I thought you were a woman?

    Alas, I am in Taipei right now on my way to the States. I haven't been home in some five years and so I felt compelled to visit my mother. Otherwise would have loved to have taken you up on it.

    If you do make it down to Muk, I recommend you go to Norees - the band there is fantastic. If you do go, tell "Eddie", the rythem guitar player, that I (John) said hello.

    #11 Posted: 9/11/2009 - 12:24

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 563

    Mac I don't know how to break this to you gently but I think I've got some real bad news, well, upsetting perhaps.

    By his photo avatar most folks would assume christay2009 to be male! I'd take a long look around those bars you've been hanging out in. Might be some more suprises in store for you.

    PS If you ever do go to Laos check out the corner across from Khapjaider Restaurant, after dark.

    #12 Posted: 9/11/2009 - 19:40

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6220
    Total reviews: 10

    Well Christay sonded remarkably like christy... know what I mean. And even some women are trekky fans.

    I hate those gender neutral names!

    #13 Posted: 11/11/2009 - 21:19

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7039
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    I met Chris last week, not a Star Trek emblem in sight...

    #14 Posted: 12/11/2009 - 09:41

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6220
    Total reviews: 10

    Same thing drives me crazy in Thailand - the Katoey syndrome. I shouldn't have to guess if I am looking at a man or a woman. It's one aspect of Thai society I just don't like.

    #15 Posted: 12/11/2009 - 23:31

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7039
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    MM you should try it here in Bali, kids names here are determined by order of birth -- regardless of sex.

    So first born is Putu, Wayan or something else (can't remember), second born is Made or Kadek, third born Nyoman or Kamang and fourth born is Ketut. For baby number five you go back to one and start again!

    Needless to say, in my phone I've got at least three Made's and four Nyomans.

    Really does my head in.

    #16 Posted: 13/11/2009 - 10:49

  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    if my member name was christy then i could understand your mistake but as it is...chris taylor might seem abit more likely, in fact it is more tham likely; it is it.

    i haven't found that problem in thailand yet, mostly i've encountered very aggressive stray dogs. There are afew giant thai "women" walking around Phimai though...

    #17 Posted: 13/11/2009 - 16:27

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6220
    Total reviews: 10

    When written together as "Christay" is sounds like "Christy" would I would say has a feminine ring to it. Now as "Chris Taylor" it does not. I got it.

    sorry I couldn't link up with you in person. I haven't left Thailand / Laos at all in over two years, bad luck there.

    #18 Posted: 18/11/2009 - 22:54

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.