Friday morning (16th) we got the morning bus up to Nong Khiaw, a bumpy, windy and beautifully stunning 3 hour drive from Luang Prabang. The 75000 kip (£6) fare seemed rather steep after the cheap travel prices we got used to in Thailand, however when we arrived we realised it was worth every penny. Nong Khiaw is a tiny town, with two roads nestled in between stunning mountains.
I may have had a *slight* strop when we arrived at the guest house we had booked after spending hours trying to find something online. Although maybe we were optimistic to think 80 000 kip(£6.50) would really get us a double room with an en suite including a hot shower. We were shown in by a small girl who spoke no English, got shown a room and left to it... Beautiful room but slightly less beautiful bucket flush toilet and 'quirky' sink that promptly empties onto the bathroom floor. Still, we realised the price dropping to 70 000 meant a couple more beers that evening and I stopped stropping.
Some insane part of us thought it would be a great time to do the 2k hike up to the towns viewpoint at 2pm in the sweltering heat. However, the view at the top was literally breathtaking. The evening was then spent scoffing an Indian into our faces (most random place I've ever found 2 halal Indians...) whilst talking to a British couple in the same guest house who've been on the road since 2011.
Day 2 was beyond lazy, enjoying the guest houses view in the afternoon sunshine. In the evening we ventured to the other side of the river to book our bus to vang veing and enjoy a beer listening to live music in one of the riverside bars.
On our final day the tour guide we booked our tickets with came and found us whilst we ate breakfast (it really is that small here..) to tell us the night bus didn't have enough people at Sam neau so had decided not to run today, classic Laos. Seems we're spending another night in this charming little town. We spent the morning exploring the caves where the villagers hid from the American bombs during the 9 year war, a shame that it had normal Laos signage, aka none, but it was impressive to think that a whole village lived there for years.
Hopefully tomorrow evening our night bus will decide to leave, but until then we'll be enjoying the calm chill of this little town :)