Photo from the Road: Muang Ngoi Laos

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Photo from the Road: Muang Ngoi Laos

Muang Ngoi is a tiny settlement along the Nam Ou River in the northweast of Laos. It’s set among the karst mountain landscape and can only be reached by river boat. The village is a one-lane dirt track of houses, cafes and guesthouses, free of cars and motorbikes.  Most of the places to stay are located on the riverbank.

There are plenty of other travelers that make their way to Muang Ngoi, but in the off- season you’ll practically have the place to yourself. There’s plenty to do around here: from trekking to hill tribes and fishing trips to canoeing on the river and walks to the cave and waterfall. But undoubtedly, the novelty of Muang Ngoi is getting yourself a $4 hotel room on the riverbank and frittering away the hours in a hammock watching the scenery and passing slowboats.

Photo and Text by Stephen Bugno

View from our guesthouse room in Muang Noi.

Slow boat on the Muang Ngoi.

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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