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running away Traveling south east asia, china, australia, new zealand and america. wherever the mood takes me!

muang sing

LAOS | Friday, 19 December 2008 | Views [653]

me and the gang, chill chill bill bang!

me and the gang, chill chill bill bang!

when we got jostled back to the village on the the main road in the truck, we all got out to have lunch and say good bye to each other as we were pretty much splitting the group in half. Me and all the couples were heading on the bus to luang nam tha and all the other singles were heading back huay xai. So we swapped each others e-mails and said we would connect on facebook. Good ol' facebook. And the lads headed off in the truck while we had to wait around for the bus. We thought we were going to have to wait around for it but it ended up coming pretty much right after the truck left, it was great. I had a whole seat to myself which was great and ended up in luang nam tha earlier then we expected. We got a tuk tuk to the bus station in town and we arrived just in time to get a sawngthaew ( local bus like pickup) to muang sing.

We arrived in muang sing just before sunset. We ended up walking around looking for hotel. We find one and get rooms. We all decided we would go for shower first before we went for dinner, but that when we noticed that none of our bathroom lights were working and our hot showers, weren't hot. The people at the hotel were trying to fix them while we waited but it was starting to get late and we didn't really want to wait much longer. We decided in the end that we would go for dinner went our bags and a couple of us would go and check out places after while the rest watched the bags.

So we picked up our bags and left. We couldn't understand why they didn't keep their hotel up and working. They just missed out on 3 full rooms. After dinner Mia and davide headed to check out hotels. They came back successful. They a great place. With even a great hang out spot with couches. So we checked in and hung out together. Davide and I ended up getting the friends series off gias as he had the whole 10 series on his laptop. Which took awhile to get through all 10 series. We ended up only getting half way and saying we would finish the next day. It was getting to late. The next morning. I woke up quite early all on my own. I must be getting used to it. We all headed off to breakfast together and we decided we would go off cycling to china. As the border was only 12km away. So we all got bikes and cycled off. The cycle was so fun and very peaceful. You could never tell by looking at the road but it was slightly going up hill all the way. Karline and gias said that they called it a false flat. At least it was going to be easy get back. Like going up river in a kayak.

We came across a village and decided to cycle in and have a look. There wasn't much happening there and we had started to make our way back out when we came across kids playing volleyball in a yard. We all stop to play with them. It ended up being the boys against the girls. Ha ha

it was really great fun and the kids were great. After awhile we had to stop as it was just getting way to hot. There were a couple of girls there that had good English so with the kids all gathered around us. We asked each other questions, like how old they were and us. After awhile we said good bye and headed off down the road again.

After awhile we came across a sign saying there was a restaurant down this road a bit, so we cycled down there to have lunch. In the restaurant, a local lady came into us trying to sell us necklaces and bags and bracelets. None of us really wanted anything, but she was selling these necklaces made from seeds and painted. They were quite nice and I decided to get a couple off her for 50c. Couldn't go too wrong. At the restaurant, there was a map there of the surrounding area and it was showing that there was a couple villages up the road from it that we could visit. So after lunch we left our bikes there and walked up the hill to the first village, as it was too rocky to cycle there. When we arrive I saw a spirit gate. It was my first and only one I saw. They don't like you take pictures of it so I didn't of course. But it was really cool. They have it there to confuse spirits and for good luck, I think. It was really cool. They even had gun shapes made of wood on it. I guess for protection.

As we walked into the village, all we got were kids coming up to us and begging for sweets. It was terrible. It wasn't the kind of experience we were looking for. And the village seemed a bit hostile, well not hostile but not very welcoming. I guess because we wouldn't buy anything off the kids or give sweets I guess. But its not nice to see kids begging for sweets. Responsible travel means you don't give like that especially to children as it encourages begging. Buy something if you want contribute. And they kids teeth end up all rotten as they don't know about oral hygiene. We walked through and it was turning out great so, we were going to leave. When Mia had disappeared. We found her talking to some young girls, who ended up inviting her down to the river with them were they were going to have their shower. I didn't follow her down, gias and myself could hear laughter and screams from them playing down there.

Mia and the girls came back up after they were finished and we walked back with them through the village on the way out. Half way through we said goodbye to them and continued on our way out. Near the entrance to the village we saw kids playing with a rubber rope. Its an Asian kids game they were playing. I had seen it before in other countries as while, especially Vietnam and Cambodia.

They have this rubber rope that they hold straight between to of them and then the rest of them jump over it. And eventually as far as I can tell they raise it higher and higher. We stopped by to watch them play a little. Karline mentioned, did they know how to skip with it. So gias, karline and Mia went to show them how to skip. They asked the kids could they show them some thing. And the kids gave the rope over. Mia and gias started to turn the rope for karline to jump through it. The kids were all laughing and watching. After a few jumps, they asked them did they want to try. No one was brave enough to be the first. Mia and karline swapped places and Mia did some jumping through it. And again after she asked the group of kids did any of them want to try but no one was going to. So Mia tried doing enie, meni, minei, mo. But what ever kid got picked ran away instead.

Eventually an older boy, who was watching. Stepped forward was was the first to try jumping the rope. The highest he ended up getting to was 11 after a few tries which was great. A couple of other kids tries after that but they only jumped a few times before they stopped it and I guess they were afraid to keep going. We decided in the end that we would leave them to it as they were more likely to try it with out strangers watching them. Before we left Mia was getting davide to spin some of the boys around in the air by holding onto their arms. Davide only ended up spinning one boy in the end as there was a older lady there watching and when she saw the boy go so high up in the air. She freaked out and started yelling. Mostly at the boy though. So we decided to was definitely time to go. So we said good bye to the kids and started walking back towards the restaurant One of the boys followed us though and when we were out of sight of the lady he asked to be spun around around like the other boy. So davide gave him a quick spin which left the boy grinning ear to ear. And we headed off on our bikes.

We still had about 4 km to go to get to the Chinese border and it was the toughest part yet. As it started to get steep then and we only had these city bikes were their were no gears on it. It was hard work. We got to the border, looked and turned around. We could have gotten to anywhere the amount of notice we gave it. But the ride back down was great. Especially at the start as it was a good down hill ride. We stopped a couple of times on the way back to take photos and Mia always seemed to be ahead of us. And that's how we came across a couple more ladies selling bracelets where us girls all bought one each. And came across some women with these vegetables. And we all bought a bunch each. The veggies looked like small fat parsnips that you can peel like an orange. But the taste. Well its hard to describe. I thought it taste like fresh garden peas, mia said like an apple potato, gias had a different description.

While we finally made it just back in time ti give the bikes back and we decided that we would have a little drink as gias and karline had a bottle of vodka in their bag. So we bought mixers on the way back to the hotel. We tried having showers when we got back but I think we all tried at the same time and short corrected the electricity. I was wet already and nearly done so I had to finish in cold water. The guy at the hotel fixed it for us but as soon as a shower was turned on again it went. So we decided we would head to dinner instead. We ate at our hotel and it was really busy. Full of local people, who had come for Laos BBQ. Now a Laos BBQ, is a do it yourself job. Where you have a small fire pit with a metal try in front of you with the middle of it raised with holes in it. What you do is pour stock in the base around the raised bit where you, cook eggs, noddles and vegetables. in the hot stock. And then you cook the meat on the piping hot raise part and that's your Laos BBQ. Now I wanted to buy one of those trays as I saw one in a shop but there was no way it would fit in a box I was going to ship home. Next time!

But the BBQ was a great success, we all had great fun at it and we really stuffed ourselves. We were a afraid of how much it was going to cost as we never asked before hand. But when we went to pay it ended up costing us like 30,000 kip each which was like 7 euro. It was amazing.

We then headed back to our little hangout spot, where davide and I grabbed the last few series of friends of gias and we a a drink of vodka each as there was only enough for one glass. Davide and Mia introduced us to this drinking game called chill chill bill bang. It was hilarious, so much fun. We'll have to play it when I get home. Remind me. Ha ha

but the electricity ended up going off and on all night, so we found a candle in the room that we ended up lighting. So it went from lights to candlelights quite often in the end we preferred the candlelight. When it got late enough, we still hadn't finished getting all the friends series. We just needed the last, one series 10. but we said we would get it in the morning instead.

The next morning, gias, karline and I got up early and went to the market just to check it out but there wasn't really anything there as it was a real locals market, so karline was a bit disappointed. We headed for breakfast then and checked out what time the buses where leaving for luang nam tha that day. as we decided the night before if all the villages were like the one we went to the day before it wasn't the experience we were all looking for. There was one for half 11 which we could make if we went back now to pack. So we headed back ran into davide and Mia and they were heading for that one too.

So we all got packed and walked to the station and we got there on time but the bus was actually at 11 not half, so we had to wait for the next one which was in an hours time. It ended up being a mini bus which the shocks gone as I never had been bumped around so much. The sawtngthaew we got to muang sing was more comfortable.

But we got to luang nam tha in one piece and then we had to say goodbye to Mia and davide, as they were staying in there for the night before heading off to luang prabang. It was sad to say goodbye to them after spending 5 days together. And they are such a nice couple. Too bad it had to end so soon. But they were heading to Mexico next year to open a hostel, so hopefully we would meet again there in the near future.

Gias and karline were heading to muang ngoi and I wanted to go there to, so we were trying to get a connecting bus to odomxai for that night so we could arrive there the next day. And we were lucky we arrived just in time for the last bus. Which got us to odomxai just at sunset and all we had to do was a hotel for the night so we could make it to the bus station in the morning.

Tags: cycling, laos bbq chill chill bill bang, muang sing, villages


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