Adventures in Laos - Ban Nama, Laos
Ban Houayxay Travel Blog› entry 188 of 247 › view all entries
Quite a thrilling feeling, as we crossed the Mekong River to land on Laotian territory. And gosh, what a drastic change!!
Getting through immigration wasn’t as easy as we had expected, but fortunately we eventually got everything squared away and were able to continue our journey towards Louang Prabang . . .
Ah!! Spoke too soon!!!
Ok, so about the sudden changes from Thailand and Laos . . .
Where are all the vehicles??!!!
And the folks, where were they all hiding?! I seriously felt as though I was crossing into No Man's Land at the border town of Bokeo!!
Anyway, coming back to the sudden disappearance of cars, trucks, and buses . . . this would prove to be a huge problem for us, especially if we counted on them for hitching!! Uh oh!! :( And indeed it was!!!
Our first day in Laos wasn’t as productive as we would have liked.
We only got as far as this very tiny place called Ban Nama, just about 15km from the border!! Tough day for us!!
How crazy was I to think that we would actually make it to Louang Prabang that day??!!
Silly me, we still had over 450km to go!! And worse yet, we had no clue as to how bad traveling would be here in Laos!! We would soon find out though!!
Anyhow, we had our first taste of Laos, in many ways that day.
How about being welcomed by the pouring down rain for a start??!! And boy, when it rains, it sure does rain here!!
We also had our first taste of Laotian food. And between you and me . . . let’s just say, so far, it’s not amongst my favorite!! :(
The highlight of our first day in Laos was the evening spent amongst smiling faces, the villagers of Ban Nama.
Very nice folks, incredibly poor, but extremely warm and generous.
The gentleman who dropped us off there arranged for us to stay the night with a family that he "knew" there.
Well, I’m still not sure he really knew them!! Actually, I think he spoke to this family, told them we had no place to sleep, and so asked them to put us up for the night.
Lucky for us, they didn’t refuse and opened their modest home up to us.
That night, it was bathing time in the river again for us!! Good thing we already had experienced river bathing in Malaysia!!
So, it was a piece of cake this time ‘round!!
And once again, that special fabric thingie was given to me, but this time I knew I had to wrap it around me, while bathing.
Once we were clean, it was dinnertime . . . hmmm, some delicious Pad Thai would’ve done the trick!! Nope!!! Just wishful thinking!!
It’d be more soup for us again . . . seems to be the specialty in Laos.
Well, so far that’s the impression I'm getting because that’s all there is, everywhere you turn!!! Not the best soup, we’ve had either! And expensive!!! :(
The rest of the evening was spent trying to communicate with the family and neighborhood, itself (we were the event of the year, I think!!), but unfortunately not very successful in doing so!! :(
Still, I greatly appreciated their hospitality and good-heartedness.
And I was incredibly touched, when they wanted to share the little they had with us.
The following day, as we packed up our bags, hoping for a better day of hitchhiking, they wanted to give us some sticky rice, but I just felt too guilty to take it, so I had to say no.
I don’t think they took offense to my refusal . . . I hope not!! :(
All in all, good first day in Laos, now it’s time to get back on the road and hopefully make it to Louang Prabang!!
Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a better day of travel!!
Ciao for now!
Voici notre arrivée sur le Laos. Il était nécessaire de traverser le fleuve Mékong, de l’autre coté. La douane nous attendait de pied ferme !!
Je commençais les négociations avec le capitaine de police, puis un autre chef, puis un autre.
Malheureusement ils ne voulaient rien savoir, rajoutez une incompréhension de langage et l’affaire tombe à l’eau. La corruption ici était déjà plus difficile !!
On commença donc notre descente vers le sud mais la surprise, il n’y a qu’une seule route, et bien sûr elle ne va que part le nord.
Louang Prabang était situé à vol d’oiseau à 200km, mais il fallait en faire 400km, les montagnes mon ami, les montagnes...
Nos premières impressions sur le pays furent focalisées sur mon camion préféré avec son moteur de motoculteur !!
Après quelques photos, le stop commença, après 2 h, une voiture passa et nous amena que pour quelques kilomètres.
On passa la nuit dans ce village, où le village nous remettait dans l’ambiance Malaysienne, douche et toilette dans la rivière.
La communication était assez difficile, et cela allait continuer encore longtemps.