Blogs from Muang Sing, North, Laos, Asia

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Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing May 1st 2012

The third new year in four months seen off in grand style, we feel we have acquired enough good karma to explore Asia's murkier side and start off the much anticipated expedition to the Golden Triangle, a wide swathe of northern Southeast Asia comprising remote parts of Burma, Laos and Thailand. A savage region of rugged mountains and inaccessible forests inhabited by Akha, Hmong, Karen, Lisu, Shan, Tai Lu and a few other hilltribes. Imagine warlords with private armies, megalomanic Burmese generals, opium mule trains chugging through the jungle, hidden opium refineries, Chinese triads, remote villages and above all the chest-high pink and white poppies that are the source of opium and numerous opiates deriving from it: codeine, morphine, heroin, just to mention a few. Add in the mix secret wars waged by CIA and financed ... read more
The White Temple
The Modern Monks
The Golden Triangle

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing March 10th 2011

7 mars 2011 Luang Namtha est hyper tranquille malgre les banques, le musee, les quelques guesthouses et restos qui s y trouvent. La ville y abrite 35 000 personnes mais c est a se demander ou ils sont tous passe. C est comme un oasis ou tout le monde aurait decide d habiter le desert. Il y a un peu plus de vie au soleil couchant mais quand meme, c est la paix totale. Midi. La chaleur est reellement pesante malgre que je sois dans les montagnes, tout au Nord du Laos. Je n ose meme pas imaginer la temperature qu il fera au mois d avril dans le sud de la Thailande. Le peuple laotien est un peuple tres tres calme. Tout le monde ici semble au repos. S enrichir ne fait assurement pas partie ... read more
Mountain kids
Monk and bike
Bananas

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing January 29th 2011

13/01/2010 - 16/01/2010 Being in the north in Thailand I entered Laos in the north (or nordish) as well and I would work my way down to the south as such, last stop 4000 islands. Entering Laos was easy, just take a small boat to cross the river and receive your visa on arrival, 35 dollars, made in 10 minutes. I have to admit, things really change once you cross that river, very different from Thailand: the English level off the local people is much lower, not so cheap as I expected (sometimes more expensive then Thailand, of course this was in the border town), but luckily not so busy and noisy!! From the border town, Huay Xai, I made my way more up to the north to Muang Sing together with Micky (ESP/FR) whom I ... read more
small village
beautiful girl
muang singh surroundings

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing January 18th 2010

It was a long eight hour day in a bus before we arrived in Muang Sing, but quite an interesting trip as we passed dozens of tiny poor roadside villages as the bus wound it's way around the hilly roads. Along the roadside, for literally the entire trip, we passed grass fronds drying - all carefully laid out in rows of bundles. It was the bushy heads of a natural grass which dotted the hillsides - we found out later that it is harvested and sold to the Chinese who use them to make into brooms Those horrible short brooms which you have to crouch down to use! After arriving in Luang Nam Tha we easily found a guest house and then set off to explore the city in the twilight - we certainly needed to ... read more
Monk's robe and drums at monastery
Linny crossing a bamboo bridge in Luang Nam Tha
Village tea stop...

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing December 27th 2009

Via ugly little Khon Kaen I make my way to the town of Nong Khai, sitting on the Mekong directly opposite Laos. The town is so relaxed, quite atypical of border towns, which are normally busy and seedy, that I stay for a couple of days doing nothing. I dine in a small vegetarian restaurant that serves incredibly cheap noodle soup with fake meat and hang out at a guesthouse overlooking the Mekong. I don't stay there, but I use their free wireless, which is one of the reasons why the guesthouse is teeming with backpackers. The other reason is that it's the first recommendation in LP, which guarantees a steady flow of brainless, pale-skinned young hedonists. As I sit in the garden of the guesthouse, all of a sudden the earth starts to shake, glasses ... read more
Nong Khai music show I
Nong Khai music show II
Sunset over the Mekong

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Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing June 23rd 2009

Day 351: Monday 15th June - The bus breaks down on the way to Luang Namtha If one day could sum up why I love Laos this would be it. Nothing spectacular happens, but in Laos that doesn’t matter. Day to day life in this most laid back and relaxing of countries is interesting enough on its own. As I wait in the tiny village of Ban Donchai for the bus to pass, I am treated to various antiquated tractors, stripped down to their engine driving past at a fraction above walking pace. Then a group of young monks, dressed in saffron robes cycle past and take an interest in the farang (tourist) sat waiting for a bus in the most unlikely of places. The bus arrives at a little after 2pm, my luggage is strapped ... read more
2. Monks riding along in Ban Donchai whilst I wait for the bus to Luang Namtha
4. The journey  terminates here....the bus isn't going to get fixed, journey to Luang Namtha
6. Scenery around Muang Sing

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing April 26th 2009

The day we leave Muang Ngoi Neua is entirely spent in transit. It says a lot about the landscape we're in when a journey of around 100kms takes 12 hours. The longboat is followed by a succession of ever increasingly dilapidated minibuses which take us further up into the highland, ending in Luang Nam Tha, just a few miles from the border with China. I'm feeling grotty, coming down with a cold and my foot is still far from well (Lao Lao lies!) We decide to check into a decent guesthouse with cable TV to catch up with the past weekends' football. A powercut almost stops play, but is fixed just in time to watch Chelsea knock Arsenal out of the FA Cup...happy days :) Full of cold the next morning and with a fun ear ... read more
Akha ladies
Muang Sing market
moving on

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing March 3rd 2009

…But here is just one or two… I came at break neck speed with a razor and two peeny pennies at a boa constrictor and realised I needed neither for the situation arising and (arising)ly getting out of hand, prior to this he had told me he eats slugs for breakfast and so you can see why the situation had had to arose. Confused?1 I am at least and so I won’t end it just yet but tell you more on how it had started… Last time I blogged I ended with my intention of getting lost in Laos and that is what I certainly did. To get lost I meant to lose myself entirely; ridding me, myself and I from this brave new world. All things considered suicide didn’t seem too appealing and so I ... read more
Paddy fields and huts
Akha (Laos) tribe
Akha (Laos) tribe kids

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing July 4th 2008

Am naechsten Morgen gings mit dem Roller nach Muang Sing, wo die GTZ (Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit) ihr Quartier hat. Zwei Stunden Fahrt ueber eine recht holperige Strasse durch sehr schoene Dschungellandschaft, die jedoch oftmals Feldern weicht, die durch Abbrennen des Dschungels entstehen. Hier kann dann fuer zwei oder drei Jahre Reis gepflanzt werden, bevor die Felder ausgelaugt sind. Oder es wird Kautschuk angepflanzt. Nach drei Jahren werden dann die Baeume angeschnitten und das Harz wird in Behaeltern aufgefangen woraus dann Kautschuk gewonnen und an die Chinesen verkauft wird. Die betreiben hier viel Handel und sind fuer einen Grossteil der Exporte hier verantwortlich. Ein weiteres Produkt, dass bis ins Jahr 2000 den Grossteil der Wirtschaft im Muang Sing District dominiert hat ist Schlafmohn, woraus Opium ("O") gewonnen wird. Nachdem die DEA in Amerika aber Druck ... read more
Laap
Die Reisfelder rund um Muang Sing
Ziegen auf der Strasse zwischen Luang Nam Tha und Muang Sing

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing May 4th 2008

As expected we took this day easy and did not do much at all, played cards and made plans where to go next... Muang Sing tomorrow. We have rented a motorbike and drove to Muang Sing. The ride was spectacular, cool breeze, the smell of the forest, and as far as you could see hills covered in trees, what more do you need.... Once we have got to Muang Sing we found out there was not much to do so we drove aimlessly until we found ourselves on the china border, turned around and drove different directions.... bloody Chinese borders they are everywhere... so we have headed back to Lung Nam Tha. "Stop I want to take picture..." I Romi have shouted at Reni. Ok turn around... shit! .. where? .. in my shoe... the only ... read more
 Tree / Strom
 Look who's driving / Hele kdo to ridi
 Who's there ??? / Kdo to tam jde???




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