Luang Nam Tha (by Anna)

Trip Start Mar 01, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Zuela Guest House

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm sat writing this entry from the top of our guest house terrace watching the world go slowly by. It's about 9 pm in the evening, however you'd never suspect what time of day it was as nothing appears to change. Lao retains it's tranquil pace of life at all hours of the day. Its rhthym is soothing and a huge contrast to the hustle and bustle of China. It's no surprise that this place seems to attract so many Saga like backpackers trying to relive their youth.

Luang Nam Tha resembles more of a village than a town and is pretty much made up of one main drag with a dozen or so guest houses on either side and small shops selling just about anything a backpacker would need. The landscape is dotted with palm trees and lush vegetation which makes a change to the grey concrete views that were everywhere in China. The weather isn't as hot as I expected but it's still warm enough to walk in short sleeve and although the sky isn’t as clear as it was in Lijiang (due to the burning of nearby fields) the sun still manages to shine through.

Today we gave ourselves the day to rest before tomorrow’s 2 day trek through the jungle. Although there isn’t an awful lot to do in the town, we soon managed to adapt to the relaxed pace of life and have enjoyed lounging around and watching the world go by.

This morning we decided to rent a couple of bikes after Nicola road tested a motorbike and with quite some embarrassment, discovered that she was no 'Evel Knievel‘. We rode for about 12 kilometers around the surrounding areas and stopped off at the local market to buy some fruit.  Initially we’d intended to ride out to a local tribe village and to a nearby golden stupa but once the asphalt road came to the end we soon found that the bumpy muddy track was far too painful to cycle on so we headed back to sit in the sun and eat watermelon which funnily enough was yellow instead of red!

With very bruised bottoms from our bikes, we headed out after sunset to the night market opposite our guesthouse to try some of the local specialties. We tried some very spicy crushed up root and herb salad, green papaya salad which was almost inedible from the sheer amount of garlic and a plate of vegetable noodles. We have no idea what some of the dishes were we tried but what ever they were, each felt like they were loaded with about 15 garlic cloves!......

…… And so with the pungent smell of garlic still lingering on our breaths we headed back to our guest house feeling very smug in the knowledge that no mosquito would dare to come near us tonight with this amount of garlic seeping from our pores!
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