A Boat Trip to the former Backpacker Opium Hideout of Muang Noi, Northern Laos.

A Boat Trip to the former Backpacker Opium Hideout of Muang Noi, Northern Laos.

Above Photo: Mountains at Nong Khiaw, Laos.

As research for my backpacker novel, BACK, I recently took a scenic boat trip from Nong Kheaw to Muong Noi, a tiny, road-less village in remote northern Laos, up the Pak Ou river.

Mountains covered in early-morning mist.

Mountains covered in early-morning mist.

Many years ago, Muong Noi was a haven for Opium-loving backpackers, who’d hole up there and trip out for a dollar a day, unimpeded by the short arms of Laotian law enforcement. That’s all changed now, but it had resonance for some of the modern-day backpacker drug issues in the plot of BACK.

Vegetation growing in the Pak Ou River

Vegetation growing in the Pak Ou River

Nowadays, little-visited Muang Noi is so quiet, so tranquil, and incredibly beautiful, surrounded by soaring jungle-clad karst mountains, with the Pak Ou river flowing in front of the hamlet. It’s easy to imagine the place back in the day, full of chilled-out travellers tripping on opium, watching the days slip by.

Low cloud, mountains and trees along the Pak Ou River to Muang Noi

Low cloud, mountains and trees along the Pak Ou River to Muang Noi

I’d also come to Muang Noi to visit a cave which had some interesting Secret War artefacts in it, but upon arrival we enjoyed just sitting in a restaurant, listening to the silence and looking out over the lazy river and the majestic mountains reflected in it.

The view upriver from Muang Noi

The view up the Pak Ou River from Muang Noi

Visiting Muang Noi was a wonderful experience, which I can’t recommend highly enough.

The approach to Muang Noi from the Pak Ou River.

The approach to Muang Noi from the Pak Ou River.

Reflections of mountains in the Pak Ou River.

Reflections of mountains in the Pak Ou River.

Approximate location of Muang Noi and Nong Khiaw both in red circle.

Approximate location of Muang Noi and Nong Khiaw both in red circle.

See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.

For POWs and MIAs left behind in Laos, see also:

© Peter Alan Lloyd

BACK Parts 1 and 2:

Reviews: Amazon.co.uk: Customer Reviews 

UK: Amazon.co.uk: BACK Parts 1 and 2 

US: Amazon: Back Parts 1 and 2

Smashwords: Back Parts 1 and 2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.lloyd.94064?fref=ts

Website: www.peteralanlloyd.com

Twitter: @PeterAlanLloyd

Front cover of BACK Part 1.

Front cover of BACK Part 1.

Front cover of BACK Part 2.

Front cover of BACK Part 2.

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