Photo: View from the bridge, Nong Kiaow.


Nong Kiaow

The majority of spots in Nong Kiaow run along the banks of the Nam Ou, although as the years pass and more people visit, more and more off-river options are becoming available. Most places have recently upgraded and now feature rooms or bungalows with attached private hot water bathrooms.

Sunrise Guesthouse and Restaurant
Backpacker - Under US$10
Eastern side of river next to bridge

The bungalows here are sturdier than most with liberal use of wood and solid floors that feel like they'll last 100 years. Located right next to the bridge on the opposite side of the river to the boat dock, Sunrise Guesthouse's bungalows have great views which are slightly tarnished by the bridge. Some rooms come with Western toilet, some with squatters, but all come with hot showers. The rooms... Read our full review of Sunrise Guesthouse and Restaurant.

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Sythane Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Across from Deen's on eastern side of river
T: (030) 984 4286

This basic place just across from Deen's Indian restaurant and next to Mekara Lao is an unbelievable find. How a guesthouse can be this cheap and still offer hot water showers and Western toilets we don't know. But if you're tight for money and just swinging through town for a night en route to somewhere else, this is a good choice. It's a bare bones kind of place on the main road which does get... Read our full review of Sythane Guesthouse.

Mandala Ou Resort
Midrange - US$20 to 50
Main St, near bus station, Nong Kiaow
T: (030) 53 77 332

Mandala Ou Resort brings a classier kind of accommodation to Nong Kiaow. Up until it opened in November 2013, those willing to pay more for cleanliness and extra comfort were limited to Nong Kiau Riverside. Now Mandala Ou competes as the best in town. A small pool, but a pool. The hotel has 10 bungalows – six with direct river views – and it boasts a herbal sauna, restaurant and Nong... Read our full review of Mandala Ou Resort.

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Nam Houn Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Eastern side of the river, on the corner of Nam Houn and Nam Ou
T: (020) 5577 4462

Little-known Namhoun has some really great bungalows with thatched walls, grass roofs and stylish indoor/outdoor bathrooms with Western toilets and really hot showers. Each bungalow has a private balcony, with views of both the Nam Houn and Nam Ou. Rooms closer to the main entrance have garden views, but are only used when the rooms closer to the rivers are full. WiFi is available in the... Read our full review of Nam Houn Guesthouse.

Nam Ou River Lodge
Backpacker - Under US$10
Next school close to bus station
T: (020) 5537 9661

This is a top little place built in April 2012 located just down from the bus station which as a result of its handy location is often full. It's a two-storey concrete structure containing rooms top and bottom which all share a communal balcony overlooking a quieter section of the river compared to most. The design of this place is totally different from the basic bamboo huts you'll find... Read our full review of Nam Ou River Lodge.

Nong Kiau Riverside Rooms & Restaurant
Flashpacker - US$10 to 20
Eastern side of river, north of bridge
T: (071) 810 004

Under Western management, the River Side Resort fills a void for comfortable, classy accommodation among the backpacker-style digs of Nong Kiaow. While riverside bungalows are nothing new to the area, the similarities between these and other choices stop there. These sprawling bungalows have hardwood floors, extra-thick mattresses from the same supplier as five-star Bangkok hotels and en-suite... Read our full review of Nong Kiau Riverside Rooms & Restaurant.

Phulisack Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Eastern side of the river on the main road
T: (030) 923 0596

Phulisack is a small family-run guesthouse just up from CT Restaurant. Built in 2012, it feels modern but basic and doesn't boast any river views. Each of the rooms has a TV, cheap bed, hot water bathroom with bucket flush Western toilet and is located in a large building set back from the main road. The owners are extremely friendly and eager to please guests and you'll be sure to be looked... Read our full review of Phulisack Guesthouse.

Sunset Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Eastern side of river, south of the bridge
T: (071) 810 033

Sunset Guesthouse strikes a great balance between aesthetics, amenities and value. Rooms are side-by-side in a stilted structure and stylish elements like exposed brick distinguish them from the rivals along the river. Furnishings go beyond the basics and rooms have chairs, reading lamps, and reasonably comfy beds with locally-made cotton linens. En-suite bathrooms are very clean with... Read our full review of Sunset Guesthouse.

Bamboo Paradise Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Eastern side of river, south of the bridge
T: (020) 5554 5286

The owners of Bamboo Paradise have been busy adding new bungalows to their patch of riverside property, and standards here have gone way up which gives you some idea of what the rooms used to be like. Spacious new bungalows have double beds, fans and individual balconies with rattan lounge chairs. The biggest difference is the new bathrooms with hot water showers and Western-style toilets. Even... Read our full review of Bamboo Paradise Guesthouse.

Chanthavong Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Opposite road to boat dock
T: (020) 5503 3788

In a one-storey concrete house just opposite the road to the boat landing, you wouldn't think Chanthavong was a guesthouse if not for the sign. Inside it feels more like a home than a guesthouse and pink-painted hallways lead to small, dark, simple rooms with just a bed and mosquito netting. These days each of the rooms has a hot water private bathroom and most have Western toilets. Chanthavong... Read our full review of Chanthavong Guesthouse.

Meexai Bungalows
Backpacker - Under US$10
Eastern side of river, south of the bridge
T: (030) 923 0762

Meexai has joined the bungalow scene with a handful of thatched bamboo rooms spread out on the bank of the Nam Ou. The bungalows are slightly raised on stilts above a flower garden and each has a spacious balcony furnished with wooden chairs. Inside they're like everywhere else with a double platform bed and mosquito net, but with clean, soft blankets. Attached bathrooms are well-maintained with... Read our full review of Meexai Bungalows.

Phanoi Guesthouse
Flashpacker - US$10 to 20
Eastern side of the river, immediately south of the bridge
T: (071) 810 019

Formerly known as CT Guesthouse and Phanoy Guesthouse, this guesthouse has reverted to again be Phanoi Guesthouse. It sits right on the river under the CT Restaurant and is a new concrete structure with a row of rooms in it and a large terrace to relax and watch the world go by. The rooms here are larger than the Nong Kiaow standard and the beds and linen much better. The bathrooms are clean and... Read our full review of Phanoi Guesthouse.

Sengdao Bungalows and Restaurant
Backpacker - Under US$10
Western side of river next to bridge
T: (030) 923 7089

While most of the riverside bungalows are accessed by rickety stairs, Sengdao offers an assortment of bungalows solidly set on a hill sloping down toward the river. Bungalows are looking a little tired these days and have a mosquito net, fan and attached bathroom with hot shower, but toilet seats are missing in some rooms which gives an indication about how much the owners care about maintenance... Read our full review of Sengdao Bungalows and Restaurant.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Nong Kiaow? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Laos.

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