Published/Last edited or updated: 18th June, 2018
Mr Home can barely contain his joy as we pass Muang Ngoi and continue to zoom up the Nam Ou River.
We’re on a one-day village and waterfall trek with Home, owner of NK Adventure, a tour operator in Nong Kiaow. Born and raised in Nong Kiaow, Home was a guide for many years before he decided to open his own small company focused on outdoor and cultural experiences. His English is flawless and his local knowledge is evident as he points out interesting facts about our surrounds. (2018 update: Since we did this trek, Mr Home has moved abroad and now the company is run by his brother Mr Feua.)
The river landscape is so stunning that we feel reluctant to disembark when we reach Ban Sopjam, a Lao and Khmu weaving village only accessible by river. The village is small, with homes flanking a single dirt road. Red chillies and unhusked rice dry in the sun. Textiles flutter in the breeze. The 50 families of this village support themselves with agriculture, raising water buffalo and by selling weavings to the handful of visitors who come here. This place is by no means untouched by tourists but it’s sleepy, quiet and beautifully situated, with mountains always in view.
We head back down river towards Nong Kiaow and stop at another village to start our hike to Tad Mork Waterfall. For an hour we are immersed in countryside and treated to idyllic pastoral scenes. It’s October and the rice is only days from being ready for harvest. The paddies are bursting with tall, vibrant yellow-green stalks drooping from the weight of ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.