Living like a local in Muang Ngoy Neua
Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
124Trip End Feb 01, 2012
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It took 1 hour by boat to get from Nong Khiaw to Muang Ngoy Neua. Our "seats" were a bag of onions. Don't you just love Laos!
We had learnt our lesson from Nong Khiaw about finding accomodation and Karen quickly jumped of the boat and found us a place within 5 minutes! Good girl. It was a lovely bungalow too with great river views.
Muang Ngoy Neua has been on the backpacker circuit for some time now and as soon as you get here you can see why. It is situated in such a beautiful stretch of the river. The amazing thing about it is how the locals have all opened up their homes to accomodate all us Farangs (foreigners). For such a small village there are loads of guesthouses and restaurants. The only way to get to the village is by boat as there are no roads in the village and electricity comes on from 18:00 - 22:00. It is by far the smallest place we have stayed in the past 7 months and we loved it!
In this area there are loads of treks to nearby villages which Kaz & I declined to do as it was way too hot to be walking up and down mountains. Instead we did what we are really good at, i.e. lounging about reading our books. During one of our reading sessions we got talking to a guy called Sultan, a Malaysian rasta business man. He sounds exactly as he looks, really interesting!
Most of the restaurants here overlook the river. When I think about all the places we have eaten in, in the past 7 months we have must have eaten is some of the most picturesque restaurants on earth.
One of the joys about staying in a town like this is watching the local life, especially the kids. To watch them playing in the river or on the hillside was a joy. They may not have much but they are free and happy. i would say that they have a better childhood than a lot of kids in the west.
We finally managed to use the solar shower that Bob gave us back in Mongolia. We hung it up and let the sun do it's magical work. By 18:00 we had hot water. Ahh, bliss. Although I filled it up to the max which meant it was bloody heavy. I heaved it into our bathroom where Kaz was waiting patiently for her hot shower. We somehow managed to attach it to a breeze block and thought we were done. Oh no! It was hanging so low that we had to sit on the floor to actually have the water over us. So I decided to hold it up for Kaz whilst she washed and vice versa. As you can imagine we looked very comical especially as the water was missing us half the time. So when you readers get into your nice shower cubicles with unlimited hot water, think about us poor travellers who have to really work for our hot water! Lol.
On that wet note, our next stop is a place called Mong Khiaw which is 4 hours up the river. Talk to you when we disembark!
All our love,
Paul & Karen xxx