After arriving in Laos via the Mekong River we stayed in Huay Xai for the evening, here we met our hostel host Mr Sing who was very charming and his lovely little dog mui mui.
The next day we boarded a boat and headed south down the Mekong River. It was a very peaceful journey, where we saw some stunning scenery and had a chance to meet all our group properly. We stopped that evening in Pak Beng, and took a walk through the village seeing local houses and the Laos people's relaxed way of life.
The following morning we were back on the boat again and sailed some more miles down the Mekong River before stopping of at the Pak Ou caves and another local village. This village produces its own lethal whiskey (also illegal). We reached the caves after an hours hike through the jungle in the midday heat. One of the caves hosted over 4,000 buddha statues, fascinating to see.
At the end of our two day boat trip we finally reached Luang Prabang. We stayed in a gorgeous bungalow complex which was well kept and over looked the Mekong River. Here we spent three nights with the highlights being eating local cuisine, spending lots of Laos kip at the night markets and swimming in the crystal clear water of the Kuang Si Falls.
On our final morning in Luang Prabang, Danny managed the 5am wake up call to go and see the monks collect the daily offerings of food from the locals. This was an amazing experience with the photos to show. Later that morning we flew to Vientiane, Laos' capital city (we found it to be more like a small, quiet English town). We spent two nights here and visited Laos' version of the Arc De Triomphe with its very own Champs Elysee (very pretty from a distance, but badly maintained close up). We also braved our second local massage, which was equally as painful as the first.
Our next stop in Laos was Hin Boun, a small town, where we spent the night in a local homestay. The hosts cooked us a traditional Laos dinner and were very entertaining and welcoming (although spoke about as much English as we did Laos!). Here Danny also took a boat trip up the river in what was a former bomb shell.
Early next moring we caught a bus to the Vietnam boarder, and afer a long days travel we arrived in Ninh Binh early evening.
The Vietnam entry is to follow shortly.
Danny and Josie XXX