Muang Ngoi Neau Travel Blog› entry 116 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia), Joe and Louise (England)
We arrived into Muang Ngoi from Luang Prabang via Nong Khiaw. Our journey had begun with a 3 hour bus journey, but ended with an hour on a motorised canoe through some rocky rapids. Muang Ngoi is isolated from the outside World with the exception of the Nam Ou river, although the village is getting its claws into the thriving tourism industry, with guesthouses, shops and restaurants attached to every building.
We spent our first day relaxing on our riverside balcony with superlative views across the river, whilst the locals practiced rowing in their canoes, for their upcoming festival.
The following day we decided to do a 5 hour round trip to a nearby village called Hoyxen. After we visited a small cave along the way, we met a nice English couple called Joe and Louise at a river crossing, who were heading in the same direction. We had to take our walking boots off to cross the river and some 15 minutes later we came across the same problem.
Half a dozen or more crossings later and we eventually arrived at the village, where we were greeted with sabadiy's (hello's) from all the people who we passed. There was one building that the owner had made into a restaurant i.e put a table and a few chairs around, and a couple of wooden bungalows that had been set up for anyone wanting to stay the night. We ordered some noodles and took a little walk around the village, which was unlike any we'd previously seen. The people were going about their everyday lives, with 2 guys building a new house, the local children playing on the street and looking after their younger siblings and the women doing some washing and cooking, whilst we watched a guy come back with his hunting gun.
Noodles eaten and washed down with free Lao Lao homebrewed Whisky and we were ready to head back to Muang Ngoi. After a short distance we got to our first river crossing and i realised a strange mark on my trousers. I soon realised that my leg had been oozing blood and i'd had a leech stuck to me. As we continued our walk back i managed to attract one more onto my ankle, whilst nobody elses blood can have been as sweet as mine! Back in Muang Ngoi we went out for an evening meal with Joe and Louise, before battoning down the hatches for another stormy night.
We were supposed to leave the next day, but didn't realise that there was only 1 boat a day, which had already left. We therefore spent our last day in the village relaxing in restaurants and catching up with writing some postcards. We went and ate another banana pancake/cake and both enjoyed and dispared at living our night by candle light, with a freezing cold shower to look forward to the following morning!