Muang Ngoi travel guide, Laos

An Ultimate Guide To Muang Ngoi

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A cozy little village that demands to be reached only by boat through the Nam Ou River is Muang Ngoi. Located in the northern part of Laos in the province of Luang Prabang, Muang Ngoi has attracted a lot of tourists with its iridescent beauty in recent years. We have a list of things you need to try out when in Muang Ngoi in this blog, alongside information about the village, how to reach, getting around, places to visit, the best time to visit, and so much more. So, let’s get started.

Muang Ngoi Ultimate Travel Guide

How to Reach Muang Ngoi?

How to reach Muang Ngoi

By Boat From Nong Khiaw

You can catch public boat services from Nong Khiaw with fixed departure times at 11 AM and 2 PM. Tickets can be purchased on the same day, ideally 1-2 hours before. If seats are full, additional boats are put into operation. The one-way ticket costs 70,000 KIP (3.5 USD). Each boat can accommodate up to 20 people. Boarding begins 15 minutes before departure, although delays can occur. Private boats are available for hire anytime.

Luggage is loaded at both ends of the boat. There are cushioned seats for 8 people, while others sit on either side at the back. Most boats do not have life jackets, but a few do. It’s advisable to bring water and snacks, especially if traveling with kids. Also, be aware that the engine can be quite noisy.

By Dirt Road From Nong Khiaw

A 22 km unpaved dirt road connects two villages not listed on Google Maps. The road is wide enough for trucks to pass through and is visible on OSMAND and Maps.me. You can rent a motorbike from Nong Khiaw to explore Muang Ngoy.

By Boat From Muang Khua

You can purchase tickets for the Muang Ngoy trip from the office near the pier at 9 AM. The tickets are 250,000 KIP or 12.5 USD. The boat leaves daily at 9:30 AM. There is no dirt road connecting Muang Khua and Muang Ngoy.

ATM & Gas Stations

Muang Ngoi doesn’t have ATMs or gas stations. Before you go, remember to withdraw cash and refuel in Nong Khiaw or Muang Khua.

Best Time to Visit Muang Ngoi

While Muang Ngoy is accessible year-round, the ideal time for hiking is during the post-monsoon season, from October to February, when the weather is favorable. March, April, and May are hotter and drier months, with misty conditions due to crop burning. Rainfall typically occurs from June to September.

Network Availability

We had a good reception from Unitel in Muang Ngoi village. However, if you’re hiking, doing water sports, or walking to nearby villages, expect intermittent or no signal. Restaurants and guesthouses provide free Wi-Fi services.

Where to Eat?

Muang Ngoy’s main road is filled with many restaurants offering a variety of cuisines such as French, Italian, Indian, Thai, and Lao food.

Where to Stay?

 

During our stay, we lodged at the Phetdavanh Guesthouse. The 10-person mixed dorm we stayed in was quite spacious and had its own bathroom. Many accommodations aren’t listed online and welcome walk-in guests. Here are our suggestions.

Getting Around Muang Ngoy

Muang Ngoy does not offer bike or scooter rentals, so walking is your best option. Renting a truck can be costly for solo travelers or couples. If you need a scooter, rent one from Nong Khiaw and take the dirt road to Muang Ngoy.

Things to do in Muang Ngoi, Laos

1. Walk to the Remote Villages

Visiting the remote villages from Muang Ngoi

During our trip, we explored the villages of Ba Na, Huay San, and Huay Bo, which were among the highlights. Staying in Muang Ngoy allows you to experience these unique villages firsthand. Don’t miss out on visiting them for an unforgettable experience. Check out our blog for more detailed insights and tips on exploring these remote villages.

2. Hike Up the Phanoi Viewpoint

Phanoi viewpoint, Muang Ngoi Laos

    Wanna see Muang Ngoy from a bird’s eye view? Head to the Muang Ngoi Viewpoint or Phanoi Viewpoint. A short and easy hike will lead you to the top of the nearby peak. The panoramic view of the mountains, Nam Ou River, and the Muang Ngoy Village glows in the hues of orange during sunset. We have written a DIY (Do It Yourself) hiking guide for Phanoi Viewpoint, which includes information like the hiking route, entry fee, how to reach, and so much more. Refer to the same. 

    3. Stroll on the Streets

    the streets of Muang Ngoi

      Along the 500-meter stretch of the main road, you’ll find many houses, shops, guesthouses, and restaurants. Take a stroll and watch the kids playing games while toddlers take turns. At the end of the village is the only boarding school. The street comes alive at night with vibrant lights and street vendors selling sausages, BBQs, and meat.

      4. Swim by the Nam Ou River

        Near the pier, you can enjoy a rejuvenating swim along the shore, leaving you feeling alive and energized. Feel the coolness of the water as you relax and unwind, surrounded by nature’s beauty. You can also try fishing and spend the night camping by the Nam Ou River beach. Tour agencies also offer group camping tours.

        5. Opt for a Weaving Class

        weaving classes at Muang Ngoi

          At The Wonder’s Hut in Muang Ngoy, you can join weaving classes taught by Mrs. Dam, a skilled and patient instructor who speaks some English. With her guidance, even beginners can weave a square piece in about 2 hours. She patiently explains each step along the way. Don’t miss the chance to take a weaving class while you’re in the village. Additionally, Mrs. Dam sells fabrics that can be tailored into jackets or skirts of your choice right in the village. It’s a unique souvenir to bring back home!

          6. Rent a Kayak 

          Kayaing in Muang Ngoi and Nong Khiaw

            Renting a kayak in Muang Ngoy is affordable compared to other places in Laos. It costs just 70,000 KIP (3.5 USD) for half a day or 100,000 KIP (5 USD) for a full day. We had an amazing experience kayaking at sunset.

            You can also kayak from Muang Ngoy to Nong Khiaw. It’s easier as the river flows in that direction, and the journey takes around 3 to 5 hours, depending on your pace and breaks. It’s a scenic trip with mountains in the background, villages along the way, and locals going about their daily routines. Keep an eye out for buffaloes lounging in the mud. It’s a sight to see!

            7. Phanoi Cave & Tham Kang Cave

              Phanoi Cave features several caves with a viewpoint at the top. It’s a large, beautiful cave stretching hundreds of meters inside the mountain. The hike to the viewpoint is steep but rewarding.

              Tham Kang Cave, Loas
              Tham Kang Cave

              Tham Kang Cave is also sizable and can be explored with directional arrows and flowing water. After a short walk, you’ll encounter a lake and a small waterfall inside the cave. Near the entrance, you can find refreshing drinks. Both Phanoi Cave and Tham Kang Cave are among the area’s highlights. Don’t forget to bring torches for your visit, as mobile torches may not be sufficient.

              • Phanoi Cave Entry Fee: 20000 KIP or 1 USD
              • Tham Kong Cave entry fee: 20000 KIP or 1 USD

              If you have any questions, comment below. We’ll do our best to answer them. Also, if you’ve found this blog helpful, comment below! And if you’re eager for more extensive hiking guides and travel tips, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and give us a follow on social media – find us on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube!

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