Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang on the slow boat

Trip Start Jan 01, 2011
Trip End Mar 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Sokdee Guesthouse

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, January 14, 2011

Chinese Disco Update: So we went to the Chinese disco last night and it was quite a strange experience. We arrived around 8:30 and were gone by 10:30 pm as the disco closes at 11 pm as there is a curfew in Laos. I don't think I've ever left a club so early! When we walked in, it was extremely busy with mostly Chinese customers. The mix of people was quite interesting - there were very young people (like 12 year olds) and a couple police officers, with Asian techno music playing. The toilets were also quite interesting - squat toilets with only dividers between and no doors. All the ladies on the tour found this quite entertaining.

On Thursday morning, we loaded up the Stray bus and started our journey to Nong Khiaw. The roads were very windy and quite bumpy in places. Luckily, we were near the front, so it wasn't too bumpy for us, but at the back of the bus, people were flying up in the air. The roads were winding so relentlessly that Jeff had to move to the very front of the bus. On the way, we stopped for lunch at a Chinese food restaurant. The food didn't appeal to me, but Jeff seemed to enjoy himself. There was fish soup (we saw the fish killed outside), stir-fried pig intestines, chili tofu, stir fried vegetables (with and without meet) and bacon (super fatty) all with rice. I could only eat the vegetables and the rice, but Jeff ate everything and really liked the fish soup.

On the mountainous drive, we stopped at a village, which was not touristy at all. We walked through the village and saw how the rural hill tribes in Laos live. The houses are made of rattan and banana leaves and are only a couple rooms. It was great to see how the people really live.

Once in Nong Khiaw, we went to Phathok cave, which was used as a war shelter during the secret Laos war. We were able to go up to the top cave as there were new stairs built. Previously, there were bamboo stairs.

After the caves, we checked into the Sunrise Bungalows which were right on the river. The setting was beautiful as the river is surrounded by jungle covered mountains. However, the accommodation wasn't the best. Yes, it was right overlooking the river with a balcony and a hammock, but it was a bamboo hut with no heat and a squat toilet. We froze all night and couldn't shower in the morning because it was so cold!

Friday morning, we boarded a slow boat to Luang Prabang which took 6 hours. It was a very cold journey. On the way, we stopped at the Pak Ou caves which is at the junction where the Mekong River and the Nam Ou River meet (we came down the Nam Ou River). The Pak Ou caves contain hundreds of Buddhas which have been brought by Buddhists over the years.

In Luang Prabang, we watched the sunset from a wat on a hill and then went to the night market in the evening for some delicious noodle soup, a Laos sandwich baguette and an iced Laos coffee.
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Jaylene on

It all sounds so interesting! How cold is it there? big change from thailand I guess?
How was the coffee?

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