Up at 5am for the bus and not even bothered; we're top backpackers now, and get excited for every journey and every destination lol! The unknown is exhilarating!
The bus took 5 hours to our days' final destination costing only $11 for both. The road was much better than the previous days' bus journey, so in all a pretty easy ride :)
We also did the journey with our 2 new Devon friends, and also made 2 more friends along the way; 1 from NY, the other California. Another awesome couple!
Driving from Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam to Muang Khua in Laos was insanely beautiful!!! So green and jungle-like on the mountains. The tribes and local villages that we passed along the way were so cool, and you could immediately see the difference in how the Vietnamese and the Lao people build their homes and how they live.
The Vietnamese use a lot of concrete and metal, Lao people weave a type of bark and use a lot of wood and bamboo.
Leaving one country and entering the other was pretty straightforward, minus a couple of language barriers.
Visas are not cheap though; Vietnam = $95 USD each / Laos = $45 USD each.
We arrived in our small village for this evening. It was SMALL. Well, it had 1 working ATM, so I guess not that small lol ;)
We could only find 1 place to eat for breakfast (it's 10:30am by now), so pork Pho it was; pronounced FO this is a SEA local dish that is eaten/slurped all day every day every where! It consists of stock, a choice of meat, spring onion, herbs and rice noodles.
By 12pm we thought it only proper to crack open some beers with our new friends. This took place on the veranda of our guest house, just up the hill from the lake and boat depot (if you can really call it a boat depot lol; It's half a dozen wooden canoe type boats that fit upto 20 people).
By 4pm our group of 6 had doubled! Other westerners (another NYer, 2 Swiss, 1 French and 2 Canadian) had heard/spotted us from the street so we invited them up to join us. We swapped stories and laughed for the rest of the evening. It was a lot of fun. That is probably my 2nd favourite thing about travelling; the people you meet. My first being the places you see.
At 6pm we all ventured to the nearest restaurant for dinner. A table for 12 people meant very slow service, as the kitchen consisted of two fire burners lol.
The food was great however. Olly and I like to try the local dishes everywhere we go. So tonight, it's Lao chicken Laap; minced chicken, herbs and a hell of a lot of coriander!!! We both liked the dish, but would prefer half the quantity of coriander (or, cilantro, as the Americans/Canadians call it). Dinner was washed down with a few more beers for some, and ginger tea for others.
A relatively early bedtime (of which we shared with 2 gecko's) for all at around 10pm :)