Nong Khiaw is a fairly small and relaxed place, but we decided to head for some where smaller and even more chilled out. Muang Ngoy is a village which until only a couple of years ago was only reachable by boat. There’s now a beaten up track which is passable in the dry season.
Getting from Nong Khiaw to Muang Ngoy
Some people charter boats to take them the one hour to Muang Ngoy, but we elected to take the public boat which was due to leave at 11:00.
We got to the boat station early just in case it had already filled up and left early. We were told that the boat would not be running (December 20) because there was not enough water.
The water levels are now largely determined by the dams which have been built up river.
It’s great that they had organised a solution in providing a songthaew which is a pick up truck with bench seats.
Knowing that the road was going to be bad, they’d said two hours for the 25kms, we jumped in and got the seats closest to the front.
Our decision to take those seats was well validated after we left and got onto the bumpy and dusty road. It was bumpy where we were, but was more like being on the back of a bucking bronco!
The road follows the river along to Muang Ngoy, but we couldn’t see much because of the tarpaulin which was preventing some of the dust from getting in.
True enough the journey only took two hours!:)
Getting from Muang Ngoy to Nong Khiaw
By the time we left Muang Ngoy the water level was back up. We bought a ticket at 07:30 for the 9:00 boat.
It was a beautiful ride down the river for an hour. We nabbed the best seats at the front of the boat away from the engine because we got to the boat early. I would recommend doing the same, although the journey is one hour.