Friday, April 8, 2011

Week 9 - Northern Laos

Written by Dan

The internet is almost non-existent in Laos so we've been forced to reduce the blogs to weekly rather than daily updates. And this one will be more pictures than writing.

In Short, coming over from Vietnam into Laos vis the North is physically brutal but spiritually the most refreshing feeling we've ever had. The horns and the cars disappear, the frowns turn into smiles, the air becomes clean and the skies become sunny and blue!

The day we left DBP, Vietnam was the first day we started at 7am so far on this trip. We new we had to clear a big mountain pass to get to the border to se wanted a head start on the heat. since the road on the Laos side is completely unpaved, most people do the ride between DBP in Vietnam and Muang Khua, the first town with accommodation in that area of Laos, in 2 days. For some reason we decided to do it in one. It was a painful 13-hour day of 3 giant mountain climbs and terrible dusty roads.

From Muang khua, we joined other backpackers for a boat trip down the river to the isloated village of Muang Ngoi where we based ourselves for some chilling and getting accustomed to Laos for two days. Here we met an older French guy named Olivier, some Young people for Quebec, Canada, a couple from Israel, a Dutch guy and a few other travelers. With only very few places to visit in the region, we ended up beoing an impromptu tour group following almost the same schedule and itinerary - except for the fact that we were going by bike.

After boating out of Muang Ngoi to the next town south called Nong Khiaw, we re-mounted our bikes and headed for Luang Prabang. Along the way we met two professional bike tourists who had cycled over from Switzerland! a day later we met two couple whoi had cycled over from London, England and were using the trip to move to their new homes in Australia and New Zealand! We shared the road with the latter two couples from a small dirty town called Pak Mong where the locals seemed to enjoy eating squirrel and skunk meat, all the way to Luang Prabang.

The ride to Luang Prabang was another long one - 110km! But once we arrived we were in heaven. It is the first time we have ever seen the Mekong (Luang Prabang is located on it's banks). We have just spent the last 3 days exploring the temples, markets, food stalls, and waterfalls and have loved every minute. We also met a few groups of Americans, two from tennessee and two from New York City - it has been really nice to finally talk to some people from home and it makes us even more home sick.

Tomorrow we start our 3-day trip to the tubing and party capital of Vang Vieng. This section will consist of another few big mountain passes, but we will take our time and try to enjoy the scenery along the way.

So far, the peace and quiet has been nice - hope you all have chance to get some in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Great to see your blog and photos! Have a great trip.