A Travellerspoint blog

Week three

Have really enjoyed our time in Nong Khiaw. The trip to Phongsali perplexed me. I thought the hotel was hateful but was aware it was a higher standard that most local people enjoyed. I found the blank stares we were occasionally greeted with unnerving, but it's not disneyland, why would people smile? Mostly it made me question what we want from this trip? What works for us? We are referencing backpacker sites but really? I can safely say we are not here for the trekking and a homestay would knock us over the edge. I suppose my expectations of what intrepid travellers we would make and how domesticated we actually are, are at odds.
No such concerns sitting on our balcony overlooking the river for the past few days. This place works because we can head out on bikes, or walking and see what happens along the way. Yesterday we had a great day, went walking to the next village to see caves that people holed up in during the Indochina war. We then raised a posse of 5 eight/ nine year olds to show us where the waterfall was. They were quite the little men, breaking off palm leaves to make hats for the expedition. The waterfall was gorgeous, all in, leeches included.On the way back there was a commotion, the boy/men had spotted a snake beside the path. Catapults did the initial work, then they set on it with vigour using sticks and stones and flung it into the ravine. A snake is held in such low regard it is not even eaten, and these boys didn't look over fed. Ours were impressed by the lack of parental involvement these boys enjoyed, and by their murderous ways. I feel the day of the snake will be remembered. I hope it's the only such day.
Arrived in Luang Prabang yesterday, it looks beautiful. Lots of tourists and higher prices. Will stay here for four days and start to head south. River travel has been wonderful, entertainment as you go, and cheap. You get to see all the coming and goings, remote villages. It is inexpensive to travel here, could be done a lot cheaper than we are doing it. I'm sure that day will come.

Sent from my iPhone

Posted by caroline 18:11

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Good stuff guys enjoy Luang Prebang, you going to try the plain of jars at Phonsavan or move down to Vin Vieng, (spelling). Keep up the writing we are enjoying it

by Richie

We appear to be swimming against the backpacker tide. By the looks of what's coming from Vang Vieng I think we'll give it a wide berth and head for Phonsavan instead.

by goldenmaverick

Vang Vieng has nice places around it, you will be going that way in anycase. So stop and see the "freak show" for youselves....
BTW there is a fantastic Indian curry house in Vientienne along the river, it is a small city you will find the resto easily.

by Richie

definitely give VangVieng a miss.it was horrible in 2004 and by all accounts it an absolute cesspool nowadays.
Phonsavan was nice,plain of Jars there very impressive and you really get a sense of the destruction heaped on the poor auld Lao folk there.
Vientiane is a nice lazy wee city,not loads to do or see there but lovely atmosphere.check out the buddha park outside the town there.really surreal and the kids will love it.
Four thousand islands is the most chilled place i've ever been.a bit out of he way though

by Finto

Richie - it looks like we're going to VV. They still haven't finished the highway between Phonsovan and Tha Khaek so we'd have to double back on ourselves to VV in any case. Will also stay in vientiane for a couple of nights to break up the journey.

Finto - the Four Thousand Islands buzz will be on our itinerary before we cross over to Cambodia. We're looking forward to a bit of a chill-out there. Mind you, we're not exactly killing ourselves thus far.

by goldenmaverick

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