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“Decent simple accommodations but don't book any of the tours with Mang”
Review of Nam Ou River Lodge

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Nam Ou River Lodge
Reviewed December 19, 2013

I spent 4 nights here and liked it because it was on the west side of the bridge - so it was quiet with great views of the river. However, they don't give you any sheets or extra blankets when it was freezing at night. The other downside to this place unfortunately is Mang himself. He pushes his "tours" on you, which are just simple boat rides up and down the Nam Ou River with no guide. The tour to Som Them and Mong Ngoi cost 500k-600k for the entire boat, which means the more people you have (6 max) the cheaper it should be for everyone. However Mang's story changed when we went from having 3 people to having 6. He insisted on charging us all the same rate as it would have been if it were only 3 people. He also made a couple of the people in our group to pay up front and it took some arguing to get a partial refund. If you do decide to do a tour with him 1) do NOT pay upfront (if anything pay 50% prior and then the remaining the day of) and 2) negotiate the different rates up front and maybe make him write them down on paper.

Room Tip: Choose #4 on the 2nd floor - has windows on 2 sides.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank getmonimoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 - 63 of 113 reviews

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
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1  Thank Lau4Lao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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3  Thank Tom_v_R24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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3  Thank ukrandomtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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3  Thank HJMUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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4  Thank Emm C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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3  Thank K T
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

Address: Nong Khiaw, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Nong Khiaw
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Nong Khiaw
Price Range: $15 - $20 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
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