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Laos forum

8-10 Days North Laos

Posted by kimct on 6/8/2018 at 05:43

Hi Everyone,
I shall be travelling to Laos beginning of December with my partner for about 8-10 days and arriving in Luang Prabang . I would really appreciate some feedback on where to go!
Firstly a bit about us... this is not our first time to Asia and we are quite active travellers enjoying both cycling and hiking. What drew us to Laos was mainly the landscape and the fact that is has not yet been over developed.
Im finding it difficult to decide whether to just travel up north from Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi or else to do a sort of loop to avoid back tracking and possibly see other beautiful areas.. I thought of the following:
Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw, travel to Pakbeng via Muang Xai (spending a night in both Pakbeng and Muang Xai), followed by 1 day slow boat to Huay Xai and departing from Chiang Rai
Luang Prabang to Pakbeng with the slow boat, Pakbeng to Nong Khiaw via Muang Xai, and back to Luang Prabang.
Thanks for any replies,

#1 kimct has been a member since 28/7/2018. Posts: 3

Posted by SoManyMiles on 7/8/2018 at 04:55 TF writer

Hi Kim,
So you have 8-10 days total for Laos? Based on your ideas, you'd spend a lot of it in transit, sitting still. Unless you have your own private transport, going from Point A to Point B by public bus, minivan or boat can take up a chunk of the day. Boat trips are languid and scenic but based on your description, you'd probably want to get somewhere as quickly as possible so you can get moving with treks and cycling. For example, going via Mekong, Pakbeng, Muang Xai would add 2-3 days of travel to the itinerary.

Luang Prabang can take care of the cycling part: cycling around town, cycling to Kuang Si waterfall, challenging cycling on Chomphet side of the Mekong. With your limited time, would suggest going to Nong Kiaow and/or Muang Ngoi to do 1-2 days trekking/kayaking and some do-it-yourself view points. Luang Prabang and Nong Kiaow pretty much fills 8-10 days.

#2 SoManyMiles has been a member since 7/2/2014. Posts: 147

Posted by telmi on 8/8/2018 at 21:20

I'm a big fan of the Mekong slow boat trip but with only 10 days max might be better to save that for another trip. Maybe try heading from LP to Nong Kiew & Muang Ngoi and from there to Luang Namtha (my favorite place in Laos) and finally to Huay Xay and on to C. Rai in Thailand. Lots of bus travel but sometimes that's the best part of a visit as you can really mix with locals and see a large part on N. Laos. Very scenic terrain and decent roads all the way from Nong Kiew to Huay Xay. Suggest local buses when possible and not tourist minivans. From L. Namtha you can get all the way across to Thailand and on to C. Rai the same day so no need to overnight in Huay Xay which doesn't have much to offer. Can plan 3 days for each of the 3 destinations with an extra day to spare. Not much to see or do in Muang Xay or Pak Beng as there are no bike rentals or good nearby hiking so maybe skip them. Try hobomaps.com for updated bus schedules and travel info as they specialize in cycling info.

#3 telmi has been a member since 1/1/2013. Posts: 38

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