NONG KIAW: A BUNGALOW BY THE RIVER

After a few days in Luang Prabang i wanted to move up north just to have a glimpse of Laos village life. While travelling in Malaysia a French backpacker told me about this small river town just 3 hours north of Luang Prabang, so i left French breakfasts and Buddhist monks behind and jumped on a mini van to Nong Kiaw!

img_0700I arrived in the early afternoon  and after a good walk to the other side of the bridge i started looking for a room. As i noticed my young Israelis neighbours i knew i should have had to look for a quieter option the next day: i was determined to find that classic riverside bungalow, with an hammock in the terrace and a nice view over the Mekong river.

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But the light of the afternoon was gorgeous and even though i was up since 5am i decided
to walk up to the viewpoint. It was a sweaty and steep hike through the jungle but in 35 minutes (guides say 1 hour) i was able to enjoy a beautiful panorama of the valley!

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As i suspected i couldn’t get much sleep at night so the first thing i did in the morning was to wake up early and look for another room closer to the quite side of the river.
Ten minutes later  i knew i just found the right one!

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When i know i’m going to spend some days in a place, i don’t mind getting a random room for the first night and spend the next day looking for the place i will be happy to call home.
Although i always try to get to the new destination early in the morning or at least at around check out time, sometimes you only reach a small village mid afternoon when it’s getting chilly and dark. But i like it when i have to make good use of my experience and instinct and start to investigate the area: i always get to find what i love!

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This bungalow was even cheaper than the previous one, with a better view, bigger hammock, easy chair with cushions and a soft comfy bed. It was such an inspiring place to work that i manage to finish an old song of mine i had been working at for ages!

While i have some mixed feelings about other touristy sides of Laos, i really loved this little village, its relaxed atmosphere and slow pace of life, despite its proximity to Luang Prabang.  It’s a great spot if you wanna spend some time by the river and escape from the heat of the cities!

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I have to say i would have loved to spend more days here and even go up further north to explore the mountains but it was getting a bit too chilly for me: since i’m based in Malaysia and Indonesia most of the time, my body has got really adjusted to the constant humidity and the heat of the equator and now that i’m in the North of Laos, where it can get 15/16 at night, i wake up every morning with a running nose and aching bones!
Will definitely come back in a different time of the year or with heavier clothes in my bag!

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