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Laos’ Nam Ou River Permanently Blocked for Cruises

The permanent closure of the Nam Ou River from Nong Khiaw and Muang Khua, halting any river cruise possibilities, will take effect from 20 November onward. Official announcement by local authorities have announced that the completion of a new hydro dam (the Nam Ou 3 Dam) will terminate cruising possibilities between both towns, north of Luang Prabang. The closing of this popular waterway to see the natural splendour of Northern Laos will have to be replaced by overland transportation.

In addition, and in direct correlation with the above-mentioned, navigation between Nong Khiaw and Luang Prabang (nearby Done Nguen on the way down to Luang Prabang via the Pak Ou Caves) will too see limitations in cruise options. Customers, who have opted for this touring option after 20 November will partially enjoy the route by boat and partially travel by car to their next destination.

Asian Trails Laos deeply regrets passing on this news that effect our operations and any confirmed itineraries through this part of Laos. We will communicate individually with all our partners to offer alternative suggestions.

For any further information, please feel free to contact our team in Vientiane via

With kind regards

Asian Trails Laos