Blogs from Muang Xai, West, Laos, Asia

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Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai July 2nd 2010

This is definitely one of the highlights of our trip. 3 days of living in trees and zip-lining through the jungle? Does it get any better? It all begins with a trek up into the limestone mountains in Northern Laos. Once we reached a sufficient height we threw on our harnesses and zipped from tree canopy to tree canopy, whizzing through the trees only to suddenly emerge and fly across deep valleys, viewing the world from the eyes of a condor. These views were breath-taking. Most of the lines, start in the dense jungle, so you can’t see where you are zipping to, so when you suddenly emerge and see that you’re about to zip over a valley to the next peak, it steals your breath away. There are seven tree houses in total, and many ... read more
Treehouse#3
A long way down
Dana Zipping from our home: Treehouse #7

Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai October 3rd 2009

Day 4 It was a 9am we were all abroad our mini-bus Chang Mai - Laos (pronounced Lao) here we go! Within one hour I was rudely awaken from my slumber to be told to get out, our mini-van had a slash in the type the required it to be changed. 3 men and a new tyre later we were on the road again. Next stop a cashew plantation, which was good cos I love cashews. At home I don’t buy cashews as much as I would like to because they are so expensive, well I now know why. The cashew comes from a fruit on the tree, each tree on produces about 80 nuts in total. The cashew is grown in a shell similar to that of a chestnut, but pear shaped. The thing ... read more
white temple
begging hands
twin towers comic style

Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai January 30th 2009

As we have been on the move recently we have included in this blog Udomxai (Laos), Muang Khau (Laos), and our entry into Vietnam at the border of Dien Bien Phu. We stepped of the bus into Udomxai with a smile on our face. After braving the cold for a couple of weeks it was nice to have the sun beating down for a change. As mentioned in the last blog, we had 12 days of our Laos visa to kill, and not wanting to head back on ourselves and go south we didn't have much choice but to stay in the town Udomxai. The place itself has nothing to offer tourist, its mainly a thoroughfare for Chinese truckers. It hosts one main road that leads through the town, and a couple of side streets with ... read more
View over the mountains
The owners party trick (Dien Bien)
The beaver for sale (Udomxai)

Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai November 14th 2008

Felt a bit tender in the morning, not too bad though considering the amount of whiskey we drank. However, the thought of 7 hours on the slow boat down the mekong river wasn't filling me with much joy. We got to the border crossing at 9.30am, it cost 40 baht (just under a quid) each to leave Thailand on a little boat over the river to Laos. 5 minutes later we were in Laos. We didn't have a visa, but it was pretty painless considering some of the stories we had heard in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. It cost 1500 baht each and we were done within 10 minutes, thankfully we had printed off copies of our passport photos as 2 were required by passport control. We were still undecided whether to get the slowboat, we ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai March 27th 2008

At the Bus station with plenty of time to spare. Just as well as the bus is going to be very full, even when we arrived people are sitting waiting for it’s departure. As the time grows near people are still arriving, more people, more goods to carry. We end up crammed into our seats unable to move. Bales of goods are stacked into the aisle of the Mini Bus and we set off. Stops are frequent as people on the bus finish their shopping; Paw Paws here, some Mushrooms there, maybe some birds here. The list goes on and the bus continues to get fuller. More stops, people getting on and people getting off. Bales, buckets, shopping bags come and go. 5 hours latter after travelling through some beautiful country we arrive at Udomxai, not ... read more
Clouded Mountains
A spot of shopping on the way

Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai March 9th 2008

Voici les photos de mon parcours en velo jusqu aux cascasdes. Bon il y en a une que je n ai jamais trouvemais mais l autre etait sympas. Malheureusement ilne faisaitpas beauet le coin etait un peu desertique. Pas de ville et il faut remonter 25 bornes pour trouver une guest house. Je ne suis pas alle sur les 4000 iles une prochaines fois peut etre.... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai February 10th 2008

After CM we drove to Chiang Khong in order to cross the border into Laos. CK is a small town with not much there but we found a nice place to eat and a hippie bar. The hotel overlooked the Mekong river and had fab sunrise views at 5.30am. It was soon time to pile into some Tuk Tuks and clear Thai immigration to cross the Mekong to Laos soil and join our boat crew for a 2 day journey down the Mekong. Clearing Laos immigration was pretty quick and then we changed some Thai Bahts into Laos Kip ( 20,000 kip to 1 dollar so you get lots of notes!!). The scenary along the Mekong was superb and we stopped off at Pak Beng for the night which is a nice sleepy town. On the ... read more
Guesthouse
Tuk Tuk
Crossing the border

Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai January 2nd 2008

Tuesday January, 1st 2008 At 4 AM, the monks are waking up at the sound of the gong. At 6 AM, I woke up again at the sound of the monks chanting on their way to collect alms. Half asleep, I want to go and see what happens but as the guest house's door is locked, I comfortably get back to my bed. I've decided to move away from Luang Prabang and come back when prices has dropped back to normal. I'm heading to Udomxai. The small bus goes on small, sometimes bumpy mountain road and the landscape is once again amazing. On the bus are mainly locals and a group of Christian Americans. They go to visit a project they have in Udomxai province and estimates needs. At Udomxai, the weather is cloudy and very ... read more
From the bus

Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai December 24th 2007

Two days on the road now and the scenery is beautiful! I love how up and close you can get on a bike. The dust, sweat and bugs in the eyes aside, it's great. I am also trying to zen out with the hills. Instead of asking myself, is this the last turn before it levels out, I am trying to appreciate "the moment". According, to the leader of an organized cycling tour I ran into yesterday. I will learn to love hills. I'm not sure I will go that far but so far the hills haven't been too steep. All I can say is I'm glad I'm going South because despite the uphills, the descents are longer : ) Yesterday, I put in 75kms from Luang Namtha to Na Mor. I stayed in a small ... read more
ClearRoads
WalkingBackToTown
Shopper

Asia » Laos » West » Muang Xai November 18th 2007

After all the partying, shopping and outdoor activies in Chiang Mai I was feeling a bit exhausted, so it was time to head to Laos to chill out for a bit. The cheapest and easiest way to get to our next destination, Luang Prabang was to take the slow boat. The other options were to fly (too expensive) or take the speedboat (way too dangerous - apparently it crashes most weeks!!). To get to the Laos border we took a minibus with some other westerners and ended up making good friends with two English girls, Sophie and Pippa and an American guy called Matt. It took most of the day to reach the border town of Chiang Khong, so by the time we arrived the border was closed, so we stayed overnight in a guesthouse with ... read more
Looking at Laos from across the river in Thailand
The slow boats!
Me & Matt




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