Nong Khiaw Viewpoint is a 1-2 hour trek to the top of Pha Daeng Peak in Laos. With incredible views above the clouds, here’s everything you need to know.
Nong Khiaw Viewpoint, or Pha Daeng Peak as it’s known by locals, is located in the town of Nong Khiaw. A small, quiet village in the mountainous area of Laos.
The village is around 3 hours North of Luang Prabang, and the roads to get there aren’t great, so we recommend hiring a taxi or a driver for your visit.
If it’s easier, you can prebook a Luang Prabang/Nong Khiaw: Private Transfer Service in advance.
Once you arrive in Nong Khiaw, the viewpoint is reachable from most places in town on foot.
To find the starting point of the hike, head to Temple of Ban Sop Houn.
The entrance to Nong Khiaw Viewpoint is about 50 meters further up from the temple.
You can’t miss the entrance as it has a big bomb shell and a notice board, which explains about the community project behind Nong Khiaw Viewpoint.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
Nong Kiaw Viewpoint Entrance Fee
Entrance Fee: 20,000 Kip.
A part of the entrance fee will go back to the local community.
Nong Kiaw Viewpoint Opening Times
Daily: 6am – 4pm.
The hike to the top takes roughly 1.5 hours through fields and jungle-like forest.
Best Time To Visit + Tips
The best time to visit Nong Kiaw Viewpoint is definitely early in the morning.
This way you avoid the peak heat of the day, the majority of tourists, and you get the best view of the clouds hopefully rising over the town, its rivers and its mountains.
As you can imagine it’s a pretty rural area, so there are options to purchase food or drink along the hike.
Therefore we recommend packing plenty of supplies (water, food and snacks) beforehand.
Also be sure to lather in sunscreen, because although you’re pretty covered by the trees on the way up, once you reach the top it can be pretty hot!
The final tip, or more of a necessity, is to wear solid shoes!
The trail can be a little muddy or slippery in points so closed shoes with grip are a must.
What To Pack:
What To Expect At Nong Kiaw Viewpoint (Pha Daeng Peak)
When travelling through the tiny town of Nong Khiaw in Laos, Pha Daeng Peak viewpoint is a certainly a spot not to be missed!
We set off at 5.30am, just as the sun was rising, in order to catch the low light on top of the hill and to hopefully avoid the heat at the top.
Upon arrival, you’ll no doubt be greeted by smiling faces. However, don’t be surprised at the entrance when you find bomb signs and even a huge bomb shell!
Nong Khiaw was one of the most bombed areas in Laos from 1964 to 1973, by the USA during the Vietnam war.
After calming down from the slight bomb scare, we paid our entrance fee and were ready to make tracks.
We’d heard from expats the night before that they’d climbed Nong Khiaw Viewpoint in little over an hour. Even with their children, but on a dry day.
Well we hit the trail the morning after a huge storm and so the track was a little muddy. Therefore it took us almost 2 hours in total to reach the summit.
The ascent is a relatively mild journey through fields and jungle-like forest.
So expect a small adventure, but don’t worry, the path is well maintained and safe!
Looking back the trek wasn’t too strenuous, just humid if anything, and the path is a mixture of paved steps and tree trunks. So as long as you have closed shoes you’ll be fine.
It was also extremely peaceful, knowing that while you’re out hiking the rest of the town is still rising from their beds.
Upon reaching the summit we were greeted by layers of mountains, covered by a sea of clouds and the town below slowly appearing from its best side.
The clouds were hovering just above the town and the mountains surrounding us were peaking through the top!
At the top there is a rather large hut, where you have space to relax and enjoy the scenery in the shade if need be.
There are also plenty of rocks and boulders that make for great photo opportunities. Just please be careful where you step!
We spent around an hour at the top of Pha Daeng Peak, taking in all the beautiful scenery whilst eating our Laos baguettes as a late breakfast.
Overall, we think you’ll agree that it’s definitely worth the early morning efforts for the rewarding scenery at the top of Nong Khiaw viewpoint.
For us, it was a day that we’ll always remember as an enjoyable one on our South East Asia adventures.
Mid-Budget – Mandala Ou Resort
Situated along the peaceful Ou River, Mandala Ou Resort welcomes guests with a beautiful outdoor infinity pool and free Wi-Fi access at all areas.
Spacious guest rooms come with a private balcony. Cooled with a fan, rooms at Mandala Ou Resort also come with a wardrobe and tea/coffee making facilities.
Bathroom facilities are en suite and include free toiletries.
This serene resort is located just opposite Phaxang Cliff.
Luang Prabang City Centre is 3 hours away by car while Luang Prabang Airport is 2.5 hours away by car.
For other places to stay in Nong Khiaw, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.