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Rosi & Jen's 11 Thousand Beach Odyssey Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do, then the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream...."

Paradise and Pommy Gals

LAOS | Thursday, 15 May 2008 | Views [1120]

Yesterday was a great day.  When we caught the bus from Luang Prubang to Nong Khiaw the other day we met these wonderful English girls Catherine and Sasha.  They were staying at the same bungalows as us and we instantly befriended each other.  The first night we all had dinner together overlooking the Nam Ou River and they told us about their amazing lives.  They have both travelled extensively all over the world for both work and pleasure and Jen and I sat wide eyed, listening intently as they relayed the stories of their adventures to us.  They were both terribly British and there is something just so lovely about hearing British voices tell travel stories.  I don’t know what it is, but it somehow gives you a bit of an old world feeling and seems to make the adventures seem all the more fascinating, like they are being read to you from some exotic travel book or something.    That probably sounds dumb but that’s how I felt.

Yesterday they asked us to charter a long boat with them yesterday so we could travel up river an hour to an isolated village called Muang Ngoi Neua.  Having nothing particularly pressing to do we jumped at the chance and away we went.  The trip itself was magic.  Life along the Nam Ou provides endless photo opportunities and fascination.  Herds of Water Buffalo cool themselves in the river and giggling waving Lao children swim and play on the muddy banks.  Fisherman don diving masks and cast nets or use long bamboo poles to stun fish and the local farmers tend their crops on impossibly steep slopes.  The river is alive with colour and rapids and birds and long boats.  Dotted along the banks are bamboo shacks and villages.  A little further back are the massive limestone mountains that seem to rise up out of no where and give the whole area, infact almost the whole of northern Lao, a mystical lost world feel.  The jungle in most parts is lush and dense and appears impenetrable.  When we got to Muang Ngoi Neua  we decided to walk to a local cave about an hour away.  As the village became country side we were inundated with every imaginable type, size and colour of butterfly.  Catherine spent ages stalking them desperate for that one illusive picture.  It wasn’t to be but she had a great time trying.  As we were putting along the river I thought about how truly special this country is and how I want to tell everyone about how beautiful and alive it is but don’t want to tell anyone at all because I don’t want it to change.

We arrived back at our bungalows in Nong Khiaw and immediately went and asked if we could stay for 7 days instead of 4.  We have truly found paradise here and we’re in no hurry to give it up just yet.

Tags: nong khiaw

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