How to get to and from: Muang Ngoi

How to get to Muang Ngoi

On this page: How to get to and from Muang Ngoi
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The closest bus station is in Nong Kiaow, an hour by boat downriver. The public boat from Muang Ngoi to Nong Kiaow generally arrives in time so passengers can take the 11:00 local bus to Luang Prabang.


Boat is the primary way to get in and out of Muang Ngoi, though road work in 2018 means that ground transport may be an option in the future. The boat “office”—a man at a desk at the top of the stairs—opens at 09:00. Buy your ticket 30 minutes before departure.

To avoid the noise from the motor at the back of the boat, sit closer to the front and/or bring ear plugs. Having something to use as a cushion for the hard wooden bench is also a good idea. In the winter months, layer up as it can be extremely cold with the wind rushing through.

Boat service between Muang Ngoi/Nong Kiaow to Luang Prabang ceased in 2013 due to dams.

To/from Nong Kiaow
There is one guaranteed public boat departure to Nong Kiaow a day at 09:30 which costs 25,000 kip per person.

There’s a possible second boat to Nong Kiaow. It’s the boat coming from Muang Khua/the dam, due to arrive to Muang Ngoi around 13:00-14:00, but it may not continue to Nong Kiaow unless there’s enough demand/enough funds to cover this leg of the journey. Savvy negotiating skills are required—the boat captain knows you have no other option and will claim the boat will not go unless you charter it. Once you settle on a price, don’t be surprised if locals suddenly come out of the woodwork to join the boat in which case you should renegotiate your price down to the regular rate of 25,000 kip per person.

To/from Muang Khua
A boat to Muang Khua departs around 12:30. Costs 125,000 kip and takes 5 hours. This ticket is inclusive of the boat up to the dam (less than an hour), songthaew around the dam and another boat to Muang Khua (3 hours). If there are not enough passengers, a surcharge will apply per person. See our Muang Khua transport for details on how to go from Muang Khua to Hat Sa, Phongsali by boat.

Getting around

Muang Ngoi is a tiny village along a single main street, very easy to get around on foot. The trailheads for the Muang Ngoi viewpoint and Phaboom viewpoint are close, just at the edge of the village. Outlying farms and villages can be explored on foot or by bicycle, a mountain bike goes for 50,000 kip per day.