General information, recreation, infrastructure
Muang khua (Muang khua then, also, Ming of Khoi) is a small town in the northeast of Laos on the banks of the river or the Nam Ou River (Muang khua on the map of Laos). Its population is slightly over 4,000 people.
Muang khua is the closest more or less developed town to the border crossing with Vietnam on the route from Dien bien Phu and Sapa, so it is convenient to stay overnight before continue along the river to the village of Muang Nga New (Muang Ngoi Neua) in town, Hau Nong (Nong Khiaw). This route along the river is one of the most picturesque in Laos. Also from Muang khua you can go further to Luang Prabang, Oudomxai (Oudomxay), Phongsali (Phongsali) and other tourist sites in the North of Laos.
The town is small, consists of only several streets that are easy to get around on foot. In the center, near the ring road (the centre of the ring on the map) there are several banks and ATMs where you can exchange money at a good rate or to remove them in one of at least four ATMs. Travel agencies here, but tourist services in the form of sale of tickets for the boats on the river and individual trekking tours can be purchased at hotels or at the tourist information centre. Tourist information center in one of the streets on the way to the river (CIC on the map) works on an indefinite schedule a day (Saturday and Sunday – entrance) and there you can get some information about the surrounding village and transport.
No specific attractions here, but surprisingly the town is quite well-developed infrastructure. There are dozens of guesthouses, banks, ATMs, market, many cafes and even a bar. Local residents well understand English, and generally welcome visitors. You can without any fear to walk around the city, to observe the life of the Lao hinterland, to communicate with local residents, the main thing – not to disturb anyone. Also in the area there are several ethnic villages, including the famous village of Ban Bakha Akha Pala tribe, which make for great trekking tours for one or two days with an overnight stay. But maps with routes does not exist, so for such trips it is best to hire a guide, Mr. hamana (Mr Khamman, tel: +8562099320743, e-mail: email@example.com), the only one in town. To find it is not difficult: it is known in every box, or you can contact him by contacting the tourist information centre, but it is better to contact and book his services in advance before you travel. For a one-day trekking tour to the village of Ban Bakha Mr. Chamman asking 450 000 Kip (3138.73 RUB, see money Laos and the exchange rate) per person. In the town there are several churches, a large market, and that all the entertainment and attractions over.
In Muang Khua there are about a dozen accommodation options, but no luxury hotels, of course, you will not find here, only the most simple guestshouse. Prices start from 70 000 Kip (488.25 - RUB) for a small room for two with air conditioning and its own bathroom. Almost everywhere has Wi-Fi. Advance reservation is optional, you can come and find everything in place. To search better on the street from the Central ring to the Marina. If you wish, we can book the accommodation in Muang Khua on booking.combut the number of proposals is very limited.
How to get to Muang Khua
Muang Khua is an important staging post on the route from North Vietnam to Laos. Here you can get buses from Sapa (with a stopover in Dien bien Phu) and the city of Dien bien Phu, which in turn can be reached from Hanoi and other cities (see how to get to Dien bien Phu). Travel agencies and hotels Sapa , you can buy a ticket with a stopover in Dien bien Phu cost of $ 17. From Sapa these buses depart in 18-19 hours, the place will be the next day in 10-11 hours, i.e. only about 17 hours.
If you are travelling independently, then from the bus station Dienbienphu bus leaves at 05:30, worth 115 000 VND (307.9 RUB) in about 5 hours. This is a small local and very old buses. They arrive and depart from the town centre from the ring (stop on the map). The route passes through the border crossing Tay Trang– Sobboun, where available, a visa on arrival in Laos, for the Russians for 30 days, it is not necessary (see more info all about visa to Laos). Back from Muang khua to Dien bien Phu buses 07:00, 11:30, 13:00, stata 70 000 Kip.
Also from Muang khua buses to Luang Prabang, Oudomxai (Oudomxay), Phongsali (Phongsali). In Oudomxay there are at least two departures daily at 07:00 and 12:00 (information verified by us), but there are reviews that there are other buses that leave frequently during the day. Oudomxai is an important transport hub and there you can take the bus further into the major cities of Northern Laos. In Phongsali and Luang Prabang via Muang khua from Dien bien Phu are passing buses and to sit on them, to be expected in the center of the ring from 10 to 13 hours. Direct bus to Phongsali departs at 08:30, costs 170 000 Kip.
The Shuttle boat on the river (Nam Ou), you can find in the popular tourist village of Muang Nga New (Muang Ngoi Neua) in five hours, and in town Hau Nong (Nong Khiaw) in six hours. The boat leaves every day at 10 o'clock from the pier (pier on the map), but to come to better buy tickets early at 09:30. The cost of tickets depends on the number of full passengers and ranges from 110 000 Kip (767.24 RUB) to Muang Nga New, and 130 000 in Nong Hau. The path will change boats due to the hydroelectric dams on the river. Later in the Nong Hau you can catch a minivan from 37 000 and on the same day to arrive in Luang Prabang.
From Hau in Nong Muang khua boat departs at 10:30 and are 150 000 Kip, on the way stop at Muang Nga New.
Theoretically, you can manage to get to the departing boat, arriving in Muang khua by bus from Vietnam, it turns out that the bus arrives at 10:00 – 11:00 and the boats were sometimes waiting for arriving passengers, but not always. If you're not on a boat, you can either stay here for the night, or hire a private boat for a boat 1 500 000 Kip (10462.43 RUB).
Online and paper guidebooks you can find the information that there are boats in Phongsali, but this information can not be confirmed: as of November 2018 regular boats in this area was not.