Stormy weather

Muang Ngoi Neau Travel Blog

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Bird of Prey and American bomb in the front of a restaurant

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.

Julia on our walk from Muang Ngoi to Hoyxen
 We spent the evening eating banana and chocolate pancakes - their pancakes are more like cakes and i felt sick after a whole one! - by candlelight as they have no electricity. Around 9pm the generator giving temporary electricity to our room packed up and we were left to read by candlelight, which was actually quite nice. In the middle of the night, it wasn't so pleasant to be in the middle of nowhere, as a huge storm kicked up that nearly blew our wooden hut away!

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.

Local family in Hoyxen
It started making me wish i'd warn my flip flops as we were constantly changing in and out of our boots. This thought soon changed when i found a leech on my boot. At first i wasn't sure what it was, but when i picked it off my boot to throw it away, i soon realised as it wouldn't let go of my finger!

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.

Foggy day on the Nam Ou
It all felt like you had just taken a step back in time.

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!

Deats says:
Yeah, you should have seen me when the thing attached to my finger! God i felt like a little petrified girl :) Horrible things though, like something out of 'stand by me'
Posted on: Apr 28, 2007
Amanda says:
BLECH!!!! Leeches would make me cry like a girl....
Posted on: Apr 26, 2007
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Bird of Prey and American bomb in …
Bird of Prey and American bomb in…
Julia on our walk from Muang Ngoi …
Julia on our walk from Muang Ngoi…
Local family in Hoyxen
Local family in Hoyxen
Foggy day on the Nam Ou
Foggy day on the Nam Ou
Julia at Nong Khiaw
Julia at Nong Khiaw
Boat race on the Nam Ou river
Boat race on the Nam Ou river
Muang Ngois main street
Muang Ngoi's main street
Me at a cave on the way to Hoyxen
Me at a cave on the way to Hoyxen
2 Hoyxen villagers bulding a house
2 Hoyxen villagers bulding a house
Hoyxen village
Hoyxen village
Scenery around Muang Ngoi
Scenery around Muang Ngoi
Muang Ngoi and the Nam Ou river
Muang Ngoi and the Nam Ou river
Muang Ngoi Neau
photo by: xander_van_hoof