Blogs from North, Laos, Asia

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Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua February 24th 2015

So much has happened in the past couple of weeks that it would be impossible to condense it all into a blog entry without writing a dissertation. In summary: In luang nam tha I cycled to a waterfall out of town. The journey took me through some local villages and impossibly green rice paddies and agricultural areas. After luang nam tha I returned to Huay Xai. Here I embarked on the gibbon experience. It lasted for three days and it was exhilarating. I ziplined at dizzying heights over dense jungle (this was fun in the dark at 5.30 in the morning), trekked, jumped in a freezing waterfall pool, stayed for the night in (apparently) the tallest treehouse in the world, enjoyed bamboo soup which the guide had rustled up from the jungle and managed to stomach ... read more

Asia » Laos » North » Luang Namtha February 9th 2015

From Chiang Mai I made my way to Chiang rai, which is further north. I found this guesthouse which had a strong, laid back, reggae vibe. My room was little more than a shack indoors with holes between the wooden slats forming the wall. But it was a social place and it was character building. The guesthouse had a bar lounge area and I met several cool people there over drinks which led to a woozy head in the morning and on one occasion bile in the toilet. My lonely planet guide told me that I shouldn't expect the highest standards of service from the place given its super chilled vibe. Well it could say that again: on my last night a member of staff became embroiled in a brawl with a customer over the bar ... read more
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Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing February 1st 2015

well...despite the dusty surrounding, walking still seem not a bad option in Muang Sing, walking allow me more time to look closely whatever behind fence and bush, chance to run into village stupa's day and deity's day. Armed with a local map got name of the villages, together will GPS and google map, I guess I was well equipped. but I had forgot the human factor. one day I stupidy walk inside the sugarcane bush, trying to through a shortcut that shown on the google map but seem not exist in the actual real location, hey...I had GPS, no problem! trail turn to path then...nothing, only wild bush of sugarcane, checked the GPS, the blue dot in line, the right direction in my non-exist field. I told myself "not far" so I kept go ahead, stepping ... read more
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making brown sugar
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Asia » Laos » North January 25th 2015

Ka-ba-deee!!! (Lous now) Wow Chang Mei was intense. We took part in "flight of the gibbon" which is go ape for everyone at home (zip lining up to 800m) in the jungle!! We actually saw some gibbons to. We had the most amazing guides and he told me his name was Obama haha and his partner was Mr ladyboy, they couldn't have made us feel more comfortable. The sights we saw up in the canopy were breathtaking and Carol really embraced it and loved every second as much as I did. Carol unfortunately had a bit of flu but is on the mend now, started feeling a lot better as we jumped on the coach to make our way through the rest of Chang Mei and visit Chang rei on the way to the Laos border. ... read more

Asia » Laos » North » Louang Namtha January 23rd 2015

ooh...a traffic light! I was wondering why our bus stop before entered the town center, seem like Namtha took another step further to became a city! but look around the surrounding...well...the road work from the airport is almost finish, town still expanding and more houses, but the town still the same...quiet! wondered where the economy come from? where are the money? there must be something behind the scene! for us tourists...those bunch of trekking agency, guesthouses and cafe around the night market is the business center. not much had been change from my last visit 2 years ago. but room rate along the main street seem to be unified to 70000kip for the same old room and same old service. lucky there still couple of places offered room for 50000 that I could afford to lazy ... read more
seldom see flip flog game nowaday
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Asia » Laos » North January 13th 2015

One more bridge linking between the two countries over the Mekhong. mean another boat border crossing point disappeared! also mean more time consumed for extra distant to get to the costom entry point. to avoid it, I skipped Chiang Khong all together. by grapping the direct bus from Chiang Rai to Houyxai. came back here again after 7 years, still a quiet little town seem like only live on the slow boat business for tourists down to Luang Prabang, beside...the town really get not much to offer, climb up the temple right from the boat landing kind of a good excuse to do some execise. but the less known Fort Carnot offered an great view once you scale up the old fort, still got some energy, you can walk further down to the main market but ... read more
Houyxai
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Asia » Laos » North » Oudomxay July 24th 2014

OK I have gone & done it. I ate dog. Yep, dog, as in a family dog. My Laos friends live high up in northern Laos. Their family had a dog, a black dog, which is traditionally considered better eating or better for your health. It kept running away and they knew that someone else would eventually kill it for dinner so they decided to do it themselves. They also knew that l was arriving after a 7 or 8 hour journey in a bus filled with all manner of produce & people along some very tired & winding roads. And they appreciated that I had gone way out of my way to visit them. So as a festive treat, they cooked up in Laos style, black dog, lizard, bamboo rattan & spiced wood. How could ... read more
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Asia » Laos » North June 10th 2014

Hi everyone, Well I have left the craziness of Vientiane behind and have travelled to Kong Lor for two nights. We are a small group of 3. paukine from France who has been working in NZ for 7 months and Paddy who has been working in Australia for 2 years And our Gide Boon. We took the stray bus for the 6 hour ish journey from Vientiane to Kong Lor. We stopped off along the way at a local eatery for food, but as the lady was on her own we were limited to what we could have so it was rice with stir fried veggies and pork lol. We also stopped off at a temple which contains a foot print of bhuddha which was imprinted into the rock so the story goes. We also stopped ... read more
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Asia » Laos » North » Luang Namtha May 27th 2014

The bus trip to Luang Namtha was back to our usual standards, cramped with extra people sitting in the aisle, hot and sweaty. The scenery was beautiful as we wound our way up towards the northern border of Laos, China and Myanmar. The area is famous for trekking in the jungle and visiting hill tribes. The villages in the mountains retain their own animist beliefs and local customs and there are over 20 unique ethnic tribes. There are similar trekking experiences in Thailand and Vietnam but this area has not been on the tourist as long. The region is particularly important in Laos as the Nam Ha jungle was designated as the first national park in Laos and is also one of the biggest parks in the country. Luckily for me, Luang Nam Tha town is ... read more
Akha Village
our bed in the Chief's house
Cooking dinner

Asia » Laos » North April 9th 2014

SOK DI PI MAI !! (Happy New Year!) It’s coming up to Buddhist New Year and it’s an exciting & happy time to be in SE Asia. Most Buddhist festivals are set according to the the moon cycles. But for some reason, Buddhist New Year is set into the Gregorian calendar at April 13th – 15th. It sometimes falls around Easter. Though most Buddhists have never heard of Easter or seen a chocolate easter egg! The major Buddhist countries & their New Year festivals in SE Asia are Thailand (Songkran), Laos (Sok do pi mai), Cambodia (Chaul Chnam Thmey) & Myanmar (Thingyan). For anyone considering the experience of a traditional festival in Asia, Buddhist New Year would undoubtedly & absolutely be the best fun! It is a 3 day festival consisting of water 'splashings' which is ... read more
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