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Motorbike by boat to Muang Khua

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
343 posts
48 reviews
Motorbike by boat to Muang Khua

Hi there,

My husband and I plan motorbiking trip in Northern Lao next year dry season. We are planning to ride from Sam Neua to Nong Khiaw and stay few days in Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi before we travel by boat to Muang Khua.

Would appreciate if anyone could help with my questions:

1. We are thinking to store our motorbike in Nong Khiaw and spend a two nights in Muang Ngoi. Anyone know a safe and good place to store our bike? Or any guesthouse where we stay will do?

2. Our plan is to take boat to Muang Khua with our motorbike. I am wondering should we take our bike by boat to Muang ngoi and then travel by boat to Muang khua or store our bike in Nong khiaw and travel from here to Muang Khua.

Which location is easier for us to catch boat to Muang khua? Preferably not chartered as we are on budget.

3. From many websites and blogs I read, I only read about bicycle crossing by boat, nothing on motorbike. Is there any boat (prefer not to charter whole boat) that carries motorbike from Nong Khiaw to muang khua or muang ngoi or from muang ngoi to muang khua?

Thank you very much.

Syllaw

Vientiane, Laos
Destination Expert
for Vientiane
Level Contributor
3,349 posts
278 reviews
1. Re: Motorbike by boat to Muang Khua

You could store your motorbike at any guesthouse - I am sure they would have no problem with that especially if you offered them a little $. You can get a boat to M Khua from either M.Ngoi or Nong Khiaw, but there are probably more people at M. Ngoi to share with. The type of boat they use could easily take a 110-125cc Honda wave-type motorbike (they weight about 90kg) but probably not anything much bigger.

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
343 posts
48 reviews
2. Re: Motorbike by boat to Muang Khua

Thanks a lot, Bluecramp!

We are thinking to ride 250cc motorbike, seems like we have to ride to Phongsali rather than boat to Muang Khua.

Thanks again!

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
5 posts
111 reviews
3. Re: Motorbike by boat to Muang Khua

We have just travelled from Luang Prabang to Muang Khua on the Nam Ou by boat (28-30th April 2013) in the dry season and it was a wonderful trip. Took a number of books but the scenery (natural and human) was so stunning that I didn't read at all in the 2 day trip. On the river there are many rapids and there are many thrills going over them. And some wonderful villages that you can stop and visit. What we did not know is that we could have travelled further up to very near the town of Phongsali - maybe another 100km further along the river, and would have loved to do so if we had known. On the Ou river (Nam Ou means "Ou river") particularly from Nong Khiaw onwards where the easy road access to the river ends, there are numerous long boats that carry both local people and freight, crops, animals for sale, anything and I am sure you could negotiate to load on a motorbike for a price. We hired a boat ourselves but even then the "captain" could not resist carrying some cargo on the second day. He also stopped at villages along the way to negotiate for freshly caught fish and livestock (the final part of our journey included a pig for sale by the captain in Muang Khua). However, consider the possibility of going by boat (in stages ) from Luang Prabang all the way to Phonsali - it would take 3 days in total or longer if you want to loiter, as would be tempting. You could get one boat to Muang Khua and then another boat on to Phongsali or possibly find one to go the whole way.

We went from Muang Khua to Dien Bien Phu. In most guide books and on many blogs and websites, it says the road is bad and only navigatable by trucks on the Lao side. WRONG !! There is a impressive new sealed road and multiple bridges all the way from Muang Khua to the border post, so it is quite possible to get a car in Muang car to take you to the border, to connect with transport to Dien Bien Phu. Make sure that they take you through the Vietnamese border post however as there is nearly 5km from one and the other, and it is mountainous. If you book a hotel in Dien Bien Phu they can easily arrange a car or taxi to meet you at the Vietnamese border post for the journey into DBP. With the new road we arrived early and in spite of the fact it was around lunchtime and there had only been a group of French people that had crossed all day (there are sufficiently few foreigners crossing here that border official was happy to boast about who had crossed and when !!) there was our car with the driver and a large sign with our names printed on - like we were at a large international airport !! Dien Bien Phu is worth visiting - even if you then return to Lao with out going further.

Hope this helps - enjoy your trip !!

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
343 posts
48 reviews
4. Re: Motorbike by boat to Muang Khua

Bill E,

What an impressive detailed tips! Really appreciated it. I had copied your suggestion to my Lao Trip research file.

Oh how much did you pay to charter the boat?

Thank you very much.

Syllaw

Edited: 30 May 2013, 01:47
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
5 posts
111 reviews
5. Re: Motorbike by boat to Muang Khua

Syllaw, Thank you for the compliment !!

We did not book the boat directly but took a package put together for the two of us by a company in Thailand Expat Holidays Thailand (they have a facebook page on which I have put a few photos of our trip) run by an American guy, Lenny. He packaged a number of things for us, but the section for transfers from the airport and then to the boat, for accommodation and most meals, plus the transfer by private van to the border crossing for going on to Dien Bien Phu (with a good English speaking guide throughout) was about $580 per person (based on two people). The boat had car bucket seats - not the normal hard wooden seats usually found in Long boats that go for example between LP and the Pak Ou caves. We stopped many times along the way for visits to villages and other sites - all included.

While I am sure it is possible to charter a boat yourself at LP for a cheaper price, but we found the value of a guide and having a boat with a skilled "captain " and "mate" in the sometimes tricky rapids of the river gave us a great sense of security, and everything went of very smoothly, leaving us only to enjoy our trip, the spectacular scenery, and the glimpses into life in the villages along this river. Hope this helps !!

6. Re: Motorbike by boat to Muang Khua

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