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Mandala Ou Resort

Nong Kiaow's best

Main St, near bus station, Nong Kiaow T: (030) 53 77 332

Mandala Ou Resort

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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.

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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 Kiaow’s only swimming pool. The resort hosts yoga retreats, giving it a slight “let’s chant om” health-and-wellness vibe.

The entrance is close to the bus station at the edge of town. It’s one kilometre from the centre, or a flat 15-minute walk. This makes it less convenient to get to from the boat landing or to pop into town for dinner (the road is dark), but the hotel does provide free bicycles for guests. Its location away from the gaggle of guesthouses across the bridge, on the eastern side of the river, does make for a more special experience. The resort is built close to the river and lies in the shadow of Phaxang Cliff, a towering jungle-covered karst.Its looming presence is impressive.

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The yoga sala, great for bending and going upside down.

Unlike many of the budget guesthouses in Nong Kiaow, these bungalows are solidly built and adequately equipped. The interiors are painted a cheery soft yellow and all have a tea/coffee making kit and an ensuite bathroom with electric heated shower system. The six river view bungalows are the ones to stay in. The four garden bungalows have an upstairs outdoor loft to hang out in but this pales in comparison to being able to wake up and step out onto your balcony overlooking the river. There’s no air-con and in Nong Kiaow, you can live without it. The only drawback is that the bungalows are all clustered together. It’s not an entirely private experience.

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Not your Nong Kiaow budget bamboo hut.

The indoor/outdoor restaurant is fabulously situated right on the river. Their menu has Western, Thai and Lao food – definitely the classiest restaurant in town. The room rate includes breakfast too.

Breakfast with a view. And whatta view.

Breakfast with a view.

The midday sun in Nong Kiaow is extremely intense and a dip in the small swimming pool is a welcome treat. Temperatures at night are cool – downright frigid in December and January – and a few turns sitting in the hotel’s traditional Lao herbal sauna in the evening will warm you up.

Welcome to Mandala Ou.

Welcome to Mandala Ou.

Mandala Ou is definitely not luxurious but it’s one of the best you can get in Nong Kiaow. Advanced booking is recommended as with only 10 bungalows, the hotel easily fills.

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Walk-in rates at Mandala Ou Resort

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Bungalow fan private bathroom
for garden view. Riverview are $52/63
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: US$35, high season US$42. Notes: for garden view. Riverview are $52/63

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Where is Mandala Ou Resort

Mandala Ou Resort
Main St, near bus station, Nong Kiaow
T: (030) 53 77 332
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º36'38.58" E, 20º34'10.69" N
Room rates: US$20 to 50

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Other places to stay

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