The sleepy Laotian village of Nong Khiaw, in the north Luang Prabang province, can be deceptive. Before you arrive, you think, "Looks quite dull. Will pass through overnight and make my way somewhere more interesting." But once you arrive and see the towering limestone cliffs and the lazy river Ou, you might just want to stick around for a while. It really is one of the most beautiful spots in Asia, and the locals are super friendly - try to join in on a game of Petanque if you can find one!
Check out the lemon & mint shakes at any cafe along the main road. Refreshing and cheap!