Nam Ou Guest House +85688210844
Clean twin room with a terrific river view, balanced right on the hillside looking down onto the river and the boat landing, for LAK 50,000.- or US$ 6.25 per night.
Click below for an interactive road map of the Nam Ou Guest House in Muang Khoua, which we would recommend, and for directions:
Exploring the laid back riverside town of Muang Khoua which is built on a steep hillside where the Nam Phak River enters the Nam Ou River, hiking through dense mountainous forest interspersed with pineapple and banana plantations and learning that Muang Khoua’s principal export is split bamboo shoots which are laid out in the sun all over the town (once dry, the shoots are packed up and trucked to neighbouring Vietnam).
Having our first encounter with the fiery and fragrant (with a touch of sour) Lao cuisine and savouring: (i) the ubiquitous spicy Lao papaya salad aka tam mak hung made with shredded green papaya, garlic, chillies, lime juice, pa daek (fish sauce with chunks of fermented freshwater fish as well as rice husks), dried shrimp and crab juice, (ii) delicious fish lap, a kind of salad made from minced fish with garlic, chillies, shallots, eggplant, galangal, fried rice and fish sauce, and (iii) sticky rice aka khao niaw, the staple of all Lao meals, which is served in a lidded wicker basket and eaten with the right hand.
Buying two seats for LAK 150,000.- or US$ 18.30 per person in a wooden slow boat bound for the upriver village of Hat Sa which consists of barely 50 homes, most of which are constructed from bamboo and palm thatch, enjoying an exciting 6-hour river trip on the milky Nam Ou River, stopping at remote settlements, having encounters with local fishermen and surviving hair-rising passages through narrow channels with wild rapids in-between treacherous boulders.