Side Trip To Nam Ou River
Heading north from Luang Prabang is the Nam Ou River. Taking a slow boat either up, down, or both ways takes you through areas of breathtaking scenery. Limestone karsts tower over steep river valleys. There are also plenty of villages along the way peopled by a diverse variety of ethnicities. In the upper reaches during hot season when the water is low white sandy beaches are revealed -- the perfect place for a swim. During rainy season when the river is high and road transport becomes difficult the Nam Ou still retains its role as a major trade and transport route and, like the Mekong, the water also flows through terrain too mountainous for road construction.