Nong Khiaw, short and sweet.
We have fallen in love with this place, its so quiet and relaxed, there is very little to do here other than force yourself to chill out and re-charge which i think weve just about managed to do.
The journey up was horrendous, the worst yet. we had booked a VIP mini bus to pick us up from our hotel at 7:30 am, at 6:45 we get a knock at the door and from what im guessing they forgot to book us onto it so have got us a tuktuk to take us to the main bus station to get on the fun bus. Ok so not thrilled but its ok, until we see our bus pull up, sorry open sided van, or large tuktuk if you can even call it that. Imagine a van with a bench either side, made of metal and no windows, thats it! So then we see another bus that they say will stop at our destination, so we get on that one but are quickly joined by about 50 locals all squeezing onto this 10 seater mini bus....so we got off, bags unloaded and reloaded onto this metal cage. It wasnt as bad as i was expecting, i mean it was cold and blowing the whole way and we had to stop and let people get on and off about 50 times. I wasnt feeling sick either until Damo pulled out these two big bags of what he described as tasting like sugar puffs (this is after i had asked for some biscuits as we hadnt had breakfast) what i think they actually may have been were pieces of deep fried sugary pig fat.....YACK!
However i would have done that journey three times over just to come here, it was well worth it. The Village is split across the Mekong river with restraunts, cafes and guest houses along the river side, and then surrounded by these huge forest clad mountains or Karsts as i think they are called, just stunning.
We even managed to find an indian! and it was a real life indian man who ran the place, so bizzar, i mean why would an indian man be in a small Laos village? But anyway we are glad he is because he cooked us a mean curry, not as you would have at home but still delicious, we orded onion baji and what we actualy got was like a dough parcel with whole rings on onion in it...different.
Today we walked to some local caves, people hid out in them during the war so lived there for months, they were really spookey and went in quite far, we were the only ones looking around them at that point too so even more spooky.
Oh and Damo has discoverd the wonderful world of candy crush so i have officially lost my travel buddy, anyone fancy taking his place?
We got really lucky on our bus ride back, we got the times wrong and turned up just as the bus was leaving, and we knew there was another 2 hour wait but we sat and waited until one of the men standing by the ticket office said he would take us back on our own right there and then but for over double the price of a normal ticket, we said no we would wait and he came back and said he would do it for just £1 extra each so we were like yes please! He stopped to let on some locals along the way but we really didnt mind as we had seats right at the front, and trust me even the non car sick could get sick on these roads, they are awful!
So we booked our ticket on a bus to VangVien for in the morning, another 6 hours ride down south where we will see in the new year :)
Update soon x