If you're in Nong Khiaw, visiting Pha Tok Cave is another affordable activity. The historic caves were originally used as a hideout during the Indochina war in the 1960s.
How to get there
About 3 kilometres from the bridge, the cave is located past the Viewpoint. After about a 45 minute walk, you'll reach a sign for Pha Tok Caves on your right.
There is an entrance fee of 10,000 kip. Take the path to the right, which will lead you to a makeshift bridge. When I say makeshift, I mean it's a tree with bamboo railings.
From here, if you head right, you'll make it to a smaller cave you can climb around. If you head left, you'll need to climb the small ladder over the fence to get to the main cave. From here, head up the concrete stairs to the large cave that people used to hide from the bombs. Make sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp because it gets pretty dark.
From the large cave, if you keep taking the trail left, you'll reach a smaller cave that you can climb around in. Although, we noticed that the trail isn't maintained as well. It's also much smaller than the first two. So, I wouldn't say that it's necessary to visit.
Finally, try not to let anyone guide you, as they'll expect a 50,000-80,000 kip tip.