Nong Khiaw Motorcycling in northErn laos

We hired a motorbike from Luang Prabang and rode 160km north to follow a recommendation from a friend we had met the previous day working at the bear sanctuary.

Our ride was a 150cc Zongshen with a stubborn clutch and a rider who hadn't been on a manual motorbike since 2010.

Once we left the city and the bit where I stalled every hill start phase was behind us the unease and mild terror gave way to exhilaration. The road snaked back and forth as it followed the Nong river and rose and fell as it negotiated mountain shoulders and hills.

Being on a bike meant we could see and feel so much more than on a bus – we could feel the sun and wind on our skin and even smell the rice growing in the fields!

Stopping for a Beer Lao and taking in the scenery.
Views from the road.

Some corners revealed road spanning, bike crippling potholes & on one occasion a vividly green snake with a red tail crossed the road a few metres ahead of us.

He was too dangerous looking to stop and photo. Soz.

ARRIVING into Nong Khiaw

Nestled in a valley between towering limestone karst mountains, cloaked in jungle capes and divided by the Nong river lies sleepy Nong Khiaw.

Bridge Views


There are a lot of activities on offer in Nong Khiaw from kayaking and mountain bikes to zip-lining.

However there is one that is a literal pinnacle — 900 or so metres above the town is a stunning view point offering a 360° panorama to those fit enough to climb it.

Wait for it...

We stayed to watch the sun sink in to the clouds behind the distant peaks and see how it played its many coloured hand against the rock faces. From golds and umber through to magenta and deep blues.

Descending via torchlight under the jungle canopy and only by moonlight over the parts revealed to the sky was magical. The many thousands of anonymous creatures that create a cacophony of sound seem to stir the most after the sun has departed.

The next day after the hangover we inflicted on ourselves at the very friendly and laid back Q-Bar had subsided; we visited the towns up the mountain pass beyond NK where all the local children smile and wave as you pass, saw some small caves and skipped stones in the river to an audience of more kids.

We returned to NK where volleyball appears to be a big thing and watched the tournament before another evening at Q-Bar. Then it was back to Luang Prabang early the morning after that to return the bike and fly on to our next stop.

Best stop yet

This is the first of these I've ever done, let me know if you like it back over on facebook and I'll try and do some more!

Below is a link to the full resolution photos I took for this Spark if you're interested.

Created By
Stuart Paciej

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