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“Now I'm a real Laotian”
Review of Nam Ou River Lodge

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Nam Ou River Lodge
Wageningen, The Netherlands
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Now I'm a real Laotian”
Reviewed November 27, 2013

Just lying in the hammocks, with a beer and a nice chat with the nephews of Mr Mang (one is going to college in the 'big city', due to Mr Mang) I felt chilled out and embraced the laid back nature of this beautiful country.

I think you should not expect a full cleaned, bug-less place to stay: you're in nature, in a tropic country and this is therefore one of the best places to stay! First I was not sure where to go, and I only wanted to stay for 1 or 2 days. Eventually this became 6 days and it was one of these unexpected treatments during my trip. The walks down the road where not bad at all, it made me feel I was really somewhere else (than all the others.. LOL).

Just go for it and enjoy!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lau4Lao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2013

Okay, for some people this place will be the best in Nong Khiaw, for some people not.

This place will be appreciated by people that:
- Like peaceful places. At night you have the feeling you are in the middle of the jungle. No constructions on the other side of the river. For sure the most pristine view of all GH's in town.
- Don't mind walking 5 minutes to some restaurants. Yes it is out of the center, 5 minutes, that's it. But are you travelling to stay between other tourists? Or do you rather stay in the real country your in?
- Like value for money. This place is cheap. Therefore it is not luxurious. But value for money? A lot!
- Want to get involved with a local travel agency. Mr Mang is also the owner of the only locally run travel agency (phone travel). If you book a trip with the other companies sure some things are arranged better, but the money will go to the western owners. If you want to travel responsibily, travel local style. I went to Ban Sop Jam together with Mr Mang and it was fabulous. So beautiful, such nice and honest people. Most impressive trip of my life.
- Accept Lao culture as it is. The country has the nickname Lao (PDR) Please Don't Rush for a reason. Life is slow. And for the drinking part, whether you like it or not, this is what they like to do in Lao.

All in all, this place is amazing. It is not the Hilton Hotel you find in your homecountry but it is the best affordable (to my standards) accomodation in Nong Khiaw. And if you are unhappy about something, talk to the people involved. Lao is a country open for tourist for only 10 years now. How can you expect people to understand what travellers want? In this case, tell Mr Mang and he will try to improve his service to the guests.

If you like Western standards, first-class restaurants next door my adivce is: don't visit this GH. Rather, re-think Laos as the destination of your travels.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tom_v_R24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level 6 Contributor
189 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2013

I am not the best qualified to rate backpacker style accomodation as i never use it, but i had only one date for a stay in Nong Khiaw and the nam Ou was the best available according to TA....so here goes.

Firstly, the spot is nice by the river and it is a quiet part of town...except for the school next door (which i enjoyed as the kids always sounded happy!). But it is 10 minutes walk from anywhere including 100 metres or so down a path...especially the boat landing. Normally i don't worry about a short walk...but when you have to get your suitcase to the boat you wish you had a rucksack!The room was very basic.....no top sheet and a puny shower. The door had a large gap in the centre panel and under the architrave...which i filled with toilet paper to keep out the mosquitos. The ceiling lights did not work...i asked a member of staff if he could fix them...he tried changing light bulbs and got one of the four working...only for it to blow 10 minutes later.

But at the end of the day I had my nights sleep and it was very cheap...so if that is all you need then you will rate a lot higher than me!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank ukrandomtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Don't be fooled by the official picture of this place, there is no chill out hammock place for guests, it is used by the 'staff' to sit and watch tv from.

The place is basic and clean. Bathroom plumbing not great the sink drained straight onto the floor. No sheets provided on the beds.

Views of the river are stunning, but you can get those from 80% of the accomodation around here (it's a big river)


Main draw back is you want to be the other side of the river. Where as the previous reviewer pointed out you can get a similar price for a better place.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank HJMUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Probably about the first time I feel let down by TA reviews. Granted this place was cheap ($12) but from the rave reports I thought we'd stumbled across a little gem. It's not. It's on the 'wrong' side of the river (same side as the bus station - 10 minute walk) but most restaurants and guest houses are across the bridge (another 10 minute walk). Turn right down a rough alley and it's 70m at the end. It must have been Mr Mang's day off because we saw none of the hospitality described by others. They offered no help as we hauled our bags up the steep wooden steps, but appeared within seconds looking for payment. Luckily we'd only booked for one night. The room was basic (we weren't expecting much) and the small toilet/wetroom smelled musty. You can't shower without soaking everything so clothes, towels and loo roll have to stay outside. Ants were crawling around the tap and the walls looked like they needed a good wipe down. If it's a new building it's been finished very badly. No one acknowledged us as we came and went and when we walked to the other side of the bridge, we knew we'd booked the wrong place. We looked at a room in the first guest house on the right (Pha Noi) and jumped at the chance to pay $2 more. The next day we moved and had an all round better experience. Both have river views but Pha Noi gets the sunset in the evening, Nam Ou presumably gets sunrise. Sorry this is not more positive, we did not have 5 star expectations for bottom dollar outlay. Nong Khiaw is definitely worth a couple of days away from Luang Prabang but even on backpacker budgets, there's better accomodation to be had.

Room Tip: All rooms face the river, but guest houses on the other side of the river get the sunset.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Emm C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2013 via mobile

I whole heartedly agree with previous comments that this must be one of the best places in town. spacious rooms, table and chairs on the balcony (a great place to relax with a beer and watch the sun go down), the bathroom was a wet room but was fairly clean. the tiled walls could do with a good scrub but toilet and sink were clean. it is a 10 min walk from the main tourist area but we didn't mind, it was nice to see the "Lao" part of town. great value as well.

  • Stayed September 2013
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Helpful?
3 Thank K T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

This guesthouse is by far the best place to stay in Nong Khiaw, a village among the most beautiful scenery in whole Laos. It has the best view on the Nam Ou River; it is the only place on that side of the river. The river is very close, you can walk down from your room to have a swim in a few seconds. The view is just stunning. Best wake ups ever in this place. It is a quiet place so good for reading and relaxing and enjoying the wonderful scenery. There are a couple of comfortable hammocks. The rooms themselves are super clean and look very good. The beds are very comfortable. Also the bathrooms are clean and the showers have hot water.
The owner of the place, Mr. Mang, is a super friendly guy who speaks very good English. He is amazingly hospitable and willing to teach you a lot about Laotian culture. He can arrange a variety of treks, tours and activities for you, because he is a tourguide himself and also knows everyone in the village. I went on a tour with him to Baan Sop Jam, a very small village in the mountains, only accessible per boat, where Mr. Mang was born. It was the best tour I have done during my whole trip through Southeast Asia. Highly recommendable.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank IsavanBarneveld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nam Ou River Lodge

Property: Nam Ou River Lodge
Address: Nong Khiaw, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Nong Khiaw
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Nong Khiaw
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
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