My trip to Muang Noi
Well I'm back in Luang Prabang today, arrived yesterday afternoon, planning to head to Phonsavan tomorrow to go see the plain of Jars.
Originally I had planned to head south earlier, but after talking to some people coming from the north (and seeing their pictures) I decided to head to Muang Ngoi Neua with Hayley and Pauline (A dutch lady I met on the slow boat).
To get to Muang Ngoi we took a 4 hour bus ride to Nong Khiaw, then jumped on a boat for a 1 hour ride up to the village - there are no roads leading to this village you see - the boat ride was spectacular as we plied our way upstream through little sets of rapids between the mightly limestone peaks.
Once arriving at Muang Ngoi we headed to the quiet end of town and rented some Bungalows, mine cost $1 US per night, for a double bed and a couple of hammocks outside on my deck - all very pleasant. For the first day I pretty much just drank some Laos tea and slept in the hammock while the sun went down, finishing off a book (Titan, which has a daft ending IMO..).
That night we had quite a violent storm (loads of fork and sheet lightening) which was amazing to watch - thankfully my bungalow stayed upright ;o)
Second day we got up and went on a bit of a Trek, first to some nearby caves, and then off to the Huay Bo, about an hours walk away which is of mixed Laos and Khamu village people. It was here that we got befriended by a man who runs the local guesthouse and I ended up sampling 5 or 6 shots of his home brewed Laos Laos... which was surprisingly clean compared to the crap we drank on the slow boat.. though it was still painful.
After this we headed back to the village, chilled out and had some dinner.
Third day was lazy... a little more reading, I'm onto "American Psycho" - not something I'd normally read, but It was recommended to me by Charlotte, so I thought I'd give it a go - so far it's been pretty funny. This day I got a really dodgy stomach, cramps, the whole shebang... not sure what I've eat that's caused it - but it's no fun - didn't sleep at all.
Fourth day I got the 9:30 boat back to Nong Khiaw, then took a jumbo truck (basically a small truck with 2 bench seats running down either side of the back tray) - which was not the most fun I've ever had - back to Luang Prabang, and got myself a $8US (extravagance!) guesthouse room with own bathroom, where I'll stay till I feel better.
Fifth day (today) - feeling a bit better, will travel to Phonsavan tomorrow morning unless I feel really sick again - though I can probably counter that with the magical "Imodium". anyway, here are some pictures:
The guesthouse owner who fed me up on his Laos Laos (rice wine).
The local dock at Muang Ngoi, the roofed boats are what they stuff 20 people into when negotiating the rapids up/down stream.
The view from my Hammock - not too shabby.