Blogs from North, Laos, Asia - page 33


Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua October 14th 2007

Hello one and all! Long time no talk - sorry for the lack of communication, Patrick and I have been internet-less for quite some time. The lack of e-mail has been one of the many differences we have noticed between Laos and Vietnam. We emerged from the plane from Hanoi into a land of calm, quiet, and beauty. Luang Prapang, the 2nd or 3rd largest town in Laos (at 26 000 ppl) is situated between two rivers, the Nam Ou, which runs from Northern Laos, and the Mekong, originating in China I believe. The surrounding area is a dense jungle of beautiful green colours and much wildlife, I am sure. However, the life in Luang Prapang isn't so wild. It is beautiful little town, with tidy streets and shops and welcoming restaurants lined along the Mekong. ... read more
Monk walking in the Luang Prabang Rain
Our bus to Nong Khaih
Our boat to Muang Ngoi

Asia » Laos » North » Luang Namtha October 14th 2007

It is I, Ashlee. Patrick is not feeling well after our bumpy bus ride to Luang Nam Tha, so is sleeping, but he will write again soon I promise :) We departed Muang Ngoi Neau by boat, and landed in Nhong Khiew, back on the main trails of Laos. From there, we ran into some travel difficulties, which although frustrating at first, actually led to be one of our most memorable days here so far. We originally wanted to catch a bus to Luang Nam Tha, about 6 hrs bus-ride away, but quickly learned that as we were the only two people going, the bus wouldn't take us. This isn't the first time the low tourist season hasn't worked in our favour. We then decided to catch a bus headed to Luang Prabang but we would ... read more
Looking over Muang Sing valley
En route to Nam Ded Kauw
Taking a rest from hunting

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing September 23rd 2007

Today five of us woke up really early to go to Muang Sing to see the morning maret. I really enjoyed the food market as it was the most different from anything I've seen before. The vegetable market was selling some interesting things that included some sort of noodle jello, Lao popcorn, the biggest bunch of garlic I've ever seen, as well as some Lao vegetables and snacks (that I have no idea how to say in English). There were so many Lao people there with such energy! The majority of the people had on every day street clothes but there are some older women who have beautiful sarongs, wonderful shell bracelets and head coverings that they wear as they walk around and sell them. I think what really blew me away about the whole trip ... read more

Asia » Laos » North » Luang Namtha September 22nd 2007

I seem to adjust to people I talk to. "Xishuangbanna is a great place" "What do you mean by great place?" I want to say whatever you think a great place is, that's what it is, but I just describe the kind of place he wants to hear to him. I picked that place simply because I know he will like it. I love watching people smile, love listening to people laugh and love when others are happy. I just talked with a bunch of Europeans (German, English and Belgium) about why they're here, what they're doing here, how did they come here, it's the same conversation every time but it's new and interesting every single time. It's truly amazing to discover these things about people and what they think of the world, it's life changing ... read more
Muang Sing Market
Woman selling Wares

Asia » Laos » North » Luang Namtha September 21st 2007

I am totally exhausted! Damian is moaning like an old man...nope sorry an old woman actually! We have had a really magnificent experince today. We went treking! We started on our trek in the Lanteen Village of Ban Nam Dee wher we could see rice fields that wandered high up onto the mountainside. we treked up teh mountain side through a forest where we stopped and had lunch. We then went to some upland rice paddies where we met the cheif of teh Sida ethnic group (tibeto-burman group) and his men chopping bamboo up to make a hut to dry rice in.They were so welcoming even though we could not say anymore than hello or thankyou. we sat under one of the huts while our guide Paul chatted to them they even shared their Lao whiskey,fags ... read more
yummy fish
The View

Asia » Laos » North » Luang Namtha September 21st 2007

Today I am extremely tired. I woke up at 6:30am and then got on a bus to Mohan (again, it was that same kind of horrible road with even worse driver where all you can do is hold on and hope you don't throw up - which I was fortunate enough not to). Then I met an English guy who seemed to who only half wanted me around when I crossed into Boten where we waited for a bit until a sawngthaew took us to Nam Tha. A sawngthaew is like a pick-up truck with seats built into the back with a roof overhead where luggage can be placed (or apparently so can people), ours was crammed but not that crowded. I talked with the English man, a Chinese guy (who said there were a lot ... read more

Asia » Laos » North » Luang Namtha September 19th 2007

We got ourselves up nice and early as teh lady that runs BAP gusethouse told us we she would be able to get us a mini bus to Luang Namta. we had our brekkie and asked us what time it left she said she would come and get us "nice lady we thought" eeerrrrr nooooo.....she said she couldn't get us a mini bus but that she could get us on a normal bus for teh same price fair enough we thought...she said her son would take us to teh bus statin and it left at 930 eerrrr noooooo......she well ripped us off for the price of the bus and we had to wait until 1330 for teh bus so not really a great start for our first full day in Laos lets hoep that improves! teh ... read more

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Sing August 22nd 2007

Day 147 Waking early Mark left Chrissie asleep to explore the town. We had been told that the market was worth a visit but you had to go between 6 and 7 to see it at its best, so this was the first stop. Arriving just after 7 the market was still bustling with life selling all kinds of food. Picking up a bit of fruit he went back into town to check out what treks were on offer. Muang Sing is known for Eco Trekking. This means that all of the trekking is regulated through one governed organization, anyone else offering treks in the area are illegal. This allows them to monitor and limit the number of tourists visiting or staying at minority villages; it limits the number of people per group: it also means ... read more
Our village for the night

Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua August 21st 2007

Day 144 We got up early as we'd been told (although very unclearly!) that there was a boat to Muang Ngoi Neua (MNN) at 8am. MNN is about an hour further up the river and only reachable by boat and we'd been told it was a great place to explore some of the local countryside and visit some of the small local villages without needing a guide. There was no boat at 8, the first being at 11, so we dropped our bags near the dock and had a wander around the village. At 11 we got the boat and when we arrived at MNN we found a little bungalow on the riverfront for 75p a night and settled in. As we had lunch we watched the local ladies making LaoLao - the knock-your-head-off local rice ... read more
our bungalow
Local ladies making LaoLao
taking advantage of a river on our walk

Asia » Laos » North August 19th 2007

We were both looking forward to Lao after so many great reports from friends and fellow travellers. We were not disappointed by any means..... On the surface, it looks like a quieter, equally as friendly and polite, cheaper version of Thailand. (35$/day for two without skimping - amazing to think that 2 can live well on the same amount as you would pay on a short commute into London each day!) . The food is similar but interestingly different. People take the time to chat. Wats (Temples), beautiful cultural heritage and nature abound. It is simply THE best place to relax on the planet we reckon. We woke in Chiang Khong at 7.30am to get packed and ready to be dropped by the Guesthouse owner at the muddy Mekong ferry slipway to do our checking out ... read more
Wat Pha That Luang (Golden Temple) - Vientiane
Hmong girls...
Giving of Alms - Luang Prabang

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