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Nang Kiaw

sunny 32 °C

Yesterday we took a boat from Muang Khoua which took five hours or so. Taking the boat is a far nicer way to travel in Laos than the normal local bus service. The only drawback is that you get a very sore backside. You get to sit on a plank with not a huge amount of legroom to begin with but as the locals alight along the way you do get a bit of a stretch. We landed yesterday afternoon and a little while after sorting the accomodation we were sitting down having a Beer Lao overlooking the Nam Ou river. This is quite a place. Its surrounded by huge limestone mountains on all sides which are covered in their natural forests. The journey down the river over the last couple of days only served to highlight how much slash and burn farming has been going on. Teak and mahogany forests have been removed and replaced with rubber and tea plants.

Today we rented some bikes and went to visit some caves in the village of Pakse. The limestone caverns were used to hide out in during the Indochina wars. The entire village population lived there for periods of the war. Pretty amazing stuff. There was a small river beside the caves where some local kids were taking a dip. Harry decided to join them. It was quite delightful until I saw one of the kids picking leeches from his leg. When I mentioned it to Harry it seemed to cool his ardour for swimming. In any case, he appears to be leech-free.

Unlike a lot of places we've been recently this place seems to welcome tourists. There's a good selection of restaurants and guesthouses and even in low-season there's plenty of tourists around. We'll chill here for a few days and then move on to Luang Prabang, the former capital of Laos.

We'll go out for dinner in the fanciest place in town tonight as its Carolines birthday. I think we'll steer clear of the Laos Mojitoes we sampled last night. Made from rice wine its akin to drinking laundered diesel with mint, lime and crushed ice.

Posted by goldenmaverick 02:03 Archived in Laos Tagged caves birthday nang_kiaw Comments (7)

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