Photo: Nam Ou we love you.

Tad Mork waterfall trek

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Mr Home can barely contain his joy as we pass Muang Ngoi and continue to zoom up the Nam Ou River.





“This is my favourite part of the river. It’s all pristine forest. I love it,” he says. It doesn’t take long before we understand why. Many backpackers do the one-hour boat trip from Nong Kiaow to Muang Ngoi, a ramshackle of guesthouses and bungalows, and don’t venture further. But as Muang Ngoi slips away from our view, the mountains begin to squeeze the river and come in close. The mist-veiled karst, those formidable craggy towers crowd over us and command us to strain our necks and look up in amazement.

Ban Sopjam is a 1.5 hour boat ride from Nong Kiaow. Photo taken in or around Tad Mork waterfall trek, Nong Kiaow, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Ban Sopjam is a 1.5 hour boat ride from Nong Kiaow. Photo: Cindy Fan

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 ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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