Muang Khua is just a connection port between two rivers and many roads. A busy place where in any corner there are buildings constructed or destroyed, packed goods being sold or shipped. For us is just a stopover between two rides, that unexpectedly change overnight
. After talking with another traveler, we decide to change our destination, instead of Phongsali (North-East, strong Chinese influence) we decide to move to the North-West (Still more Laotian Culture). I should have more opportunities to get in contact with the Chinese culture in the future, and the description of the trek in the North-West is quite close to what we are looking for. It seems that really close to Luam Namtha (a quite known starting spot for the Nam Ha Area, there is a small village from where really few move into almost untouched villages, all encircled with a environmental- and cultural- friendly attitude.
Three bus afterword (have you ever played Tetris with human beings?) we arrived in a small village: Vieng Phuka. At the tourist information center they informed us that in a standard year there are just 20 tourist stopping here and organizing treks. Quite unbelievably we met an Italian girl just in front of the door that confirmed us that we may have found our place: just seen couple of tourist passing by bike in the last 24 hours.
We decided to follow the suggestions of Nik till the end and the day after 6 am we woke up the guide he referred to in order to organize the trek. Let's start to walk!
From Muang Ngoi Neua, North on a boat cruising the Nam Ou till Muang Khua. The boat gives the time to watch, sleep, and think more about what seen before. The small villages are announced from a swarm of kids playing in the water. They are usually completely naked and it is funny to see how they run to hide under the sand when they see the falang. The modesty depends only by the presence of a foreign eye, The driver is something similar to the caravan head in the wild wild west, smoking cigarettes rolled in paper (meaning the one from the block note) more interested to the balance of the boat than anything else.