Muang Khua

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General information, recreation, infrastructure

Muang Khua (also Myung Khua) is a small town in northeastern Laos on the banks of the OU river or Nam Ou River (Muang Khua on the map of Laos). Its population is just over 4,000 people.

Muang Khua is the nearest more or less developed settlement to the border crossing with Vietnam on the route from Dien Bien Phu and Sapa, so it is convenient to stop here for the night before continuing along the river to the village of Muang Ngoi Neua, to the town of Nong Khyau (Nong Khiaw). This route along the Wu River is considered one of the most picturesque in Laos. Also from Muang Khua you can go further to Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, Phongsali and other tourist places in the north of Laos.

Muang Khua Center, Main Street

The town is small, consists of only a few streets that are easy to get around on foot. In the very center near the ring (center and ring on the map) there are several banks and ATMs where you can exchange money at a good rate or withdraw it from one of at least four ATMs. There are no travel agencies here, but tourist services in the form of tickets for boats on the U River and individual trekking tours can be purchased at hotels or at the Tourist Information Center. Tourist Information Center on one of the streets on the way to the river (Information Center on the map) operates on an unspecified schedule during the day (Saturday and Sunday are closed) and you can get some information about nearby villages and transport there.

ATM on the street of the town

There are no special attractions and entertainment here, but surprisingly the infrastructure in the town is quite well developed. There are a dozen guest houses, banks, ATMs, a market, many cafes and even a bar. The locals understand English tolerably well, and are mostly very happy with tourists. You can walk around the city without any fear, watch the life of the Lao hinterland, communicate with local residents, the main thing is not to interfere with anyone. There are also several ethnic villages in the area, including the famous Ban Bakha village of the Akha Pala tribe, where trekking tours can be made for one or two days with overnight stays. But maps with routes do not exist, so for such hikes it is best to hire a guide, Mr. Khamman (Tel: +8562099320743, e - mail:, the only one in town. It is not difficult to find him: he is known in every guesthouse, or you can contact him by contacting the Tourist Information Center, but it is better to contact and book his services in advance before the trip. For a one-day trekking tour to the village of Ban Bakha, Mr. Khamman asks for 450,000 Kip (21.72 USD, see Laos money and exchange rate) per person. Still in the city there are several temples, a large market, and this is where all the entertainment and attractions end.

In Mueang Khua there are about a dozen accommodation options, but of course you will not find any luxury hotels here, only the simplest guest houses. Prices start from 70,000 Kip (3.38 USD) for a small room for two with air conditioning and its own bathroom. Almost everywhere there is Wi-Fi. It is not necessary to book in advance, you can easily come and find everything on the spot. It is better to look on the street from the central ring to the pier. If you wish, you can book accommodation in Mueang Khua at, but the number of sentences there is very limited.

Praznik-boat racing

How to get to Mueang Khua

Muang Khua is an important transit point on the way from North Vietnam to Laos. You can get here by bus from Sapa (with a transfer to Dien Bien Phu) and from Dien Bien Phu, which in turn can be reached from Hanoi and other cities (see how to get to Dien Bien Phu). In travel agencies and in hotels in Sapa you can buy ready - made tickets with a transfer to Dien Bien Phu at a cost of 17 US dollars. From Sapa, these buses depart at 18-19 hours, you will be on the spot the next day at 10-11 hours, i.e. the journey is only about 17 hours.

If you get there yourself, then from the bus station Dienbenfu bus leaves at 05:30, costs 115 000 Vietnamese VND (4.73 USD), about 5 hours on the way. These are small local and very old buses. They arrive and depart from the center of the township from the ring (stop on the map). The route passes through the Tay Trang– Sobboun border crossing, where you can get a visa on arrival in Laos, for Russians for 30 days it is not necessary (see for more information all about a visa to Laos). Back from Mueang Hua to Dien Bien Phu, buses depart to 07:00, 11:30 , 13:00, One hundred and 70,000 Kip.

There are also buses from Muang Khua to Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, Phongsali. There are at least two services to Udomsai daily at 07:00 and at 12:00 (information we checked), but there are reviews that there are other buses that leave frequently during the day. Udomsay is an important transport hub and there you can transfer to buses further to the major cities of northern Laos. In Phongsali and Luang Prabang through Mueang Hua there are buses passing from Dien Bien Phu, and to take them, you need to wait in the center near the ring from 10 to 13 hours. The direct bus to Phongsali leaves at 08:30, costs 170,000 Kip.

Phongasli bus

By boat on the river U (Nam Ou) you can get to the popular tourist village Muang Ngoi Neua (Muang Ngoi Neua) in five hours, and into town Nong Khiaw six hours. The boat leaves every day at 10 o'clock from the pier (pier on the map), but it is better to buy tickets earlier, at 09:30. The cost of tickets depends on the number of passengers and is from 110 000 Kip (5.31 USD) in Muang Ngoi Neua, and from 130,000 in Nong Khiaw. There will be a boat change along the way due to the hydroelectric dam on the river. Further to Nong Khiaw, you can take a minivan from 37,000, and arrive in Luang Prabang on the same day.

From Nong Khiaw to Mueang Hua, the boat departs at 10:30 and costs 150,000 Kip, making a stop at Mueang Ngoi Neua on the way.

Theoretically, you can have time to get to the departure of the boat, arriving in Muang Khua by bus from Vietnam, because it turns out that the bus arrives at 10:00 – 11:00, and the boats sometimes wait for the arriving passengers, but not always. If you do not have time for the boat, you can either stay here for the night, or hire a private boat for a boat of 1 500 000 Kip (72.4 USD).

Mueang Khua Marina

On the Internet and paper guidebooks you can find information that boats depart from here to Phongsali, but we cannot confirm this information: as of November 2018, there were no scheduled boats in this direction.

By boat from Mueang Khua

Map Of Muang Khua

You can download ⤓ points of interest, important transport points (bus stations, airports, etc.), districts and beaches from our map in KMZ/KML format. These files can be downloaded to the navigator or smartphone for use with offline or online Google Maps applications, Organic Maps and others that support this format, and use them to navigate and explore resorts.

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Hello Is it still possible to travel by boat on the Nam Ou rivier from Muang Khua to Nong Khiow? Best regards, Marjolein de Vette from The Netherlands
Hi! As I know it was still possible to do the trip by boat in december 2022