The Nam Ou River is the largest local tributary to the mighty Mekong River near Luang Prabang and generally offers the most exciting kayaking.
Kayaking the rivers in Northern Laos
Kayaking around Luang Prabang is the perfect way to escape the scorching heat in town and explore the winding rivers of Northern Laos. For some, kayaking through Laos is about finding peace in nature and enjoying the sensuality of the environment. For others, it is the greatest combination of thrilling adventure and exercise. It requires quite a bit of upper-body strength, but it all depends on the kayaking pace you choose. Overall, paddling through Laos is the ideal way to discover beautiful landscapes with each new twist and turn of the river. A full day Nam Ou kayaking trip with Tiger Trail is one of the best ways to enjoy one of the most beautiful rivers in Northern Laos.
What you can explore
Nam Ou River
The Nam Ou River is the lifeline of many Lao people, the route for commerce of all types of goods, and the working place of fisherman. It is one of the most important rivers of Laos, running from the Phongsaly Province to the Luang Prabang Province. Other than the mighty Mekong River, the Nam Ou River is the only natural channel large enough for big boats. However, do not let this deter you since the Nam Ou River is both one of the cleanest and the clearest rivers in the region. While paddling downstream, take the time to observe all of the small fish underneath your boat. The best time to paddle down the Nam Ou is in the green season, when the river is at its highest. Though the dry season is equally a great opportunity to get out and onto the water for a day. There are a few rapids and small whirlpools that are great for beginners, but also are enough of a challenge that even the most seasoned kayaker will enjoy.
Pak Ou Caves
Kayaking down the Nam Ou River is one of the best ways to visit the Pak Ou Caves, a historic and important site for Buddhism. These caves are home to hundreds of tiny statues of the Buddha deity, and is still used for various festivals and religious ceremonies.
The full day kayaking tour along the Nam Ou River often ends in the village of Ban Xang Hai, which is better known by the name, “Whisky Village”. The Whisky village is nestled along the Mekong River, and is known for its local production of rice wine made with fermented sticky rice. Finishing the full day Nam Ou kayaking tour at the Whisky village is a great way to unwind after a long day out on the water.
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