in touch with nature

Luang Prabang Travel Blog

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nong khiaw - the impressions part 2...

now it's night in nong khiaw and the town is asleep (well, it was during the day already, it's probably close to dead now). after a tasty dinner in a river view restaurant i'm back in my bungalow enjoying every dollar i've put in it :-)

and this moment (well, until i've booted up my laptop that is) was the 3rd time on my trip so far that i'm really in touch with nature. like in the salaar de uyuni (bolivia) and lake tekapo (nz) this is one of the moments you really feel alive in a strange way

the silence of the village, the bugs doing their noises, the fan over me, the huge mountain silhouette - everything is perfect... except maybe the fact that no perfect girl is sitting next to me.. my birthday is coming soon and i'm getting lonely hehe

used those minutes to think about what to do... i really try to live day by day here in laos because that's the vibe here and it gives you the freedom to explore it to the max... but issues like visas, flights, where to spend my birthday and what my masterplan for se asia is are still there... and of course what i should do when and if i return.

tomorrow i will move to muang ngoi, a village only accessible by boat one hour north of here. it's supposed to be kinda like a mini pai / khao san road in terms of backpacker (facilities) penetration but it's definitely cheaper to get a river bungalow there than here... so i might do some relax days over there

flickr set: nong khiaw
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at the bus station at 07:30, ticket bought, minivan (argh!!! i prefer normal busses) found, only seat with legroom reserved, breakfast bought, back to the seat... what the hell is that? some 150 years old geezer is sitting on my seat, having put my things aside and won't move. i bet he's chinese

got a new seat with enough legroom to somehow fit my legs in it and my small bags on top of it but unable to move thereafter. this journey promised to be great already :-)

it took forever, it was uncomfortable, the road has some huge holes in it but the scenery was kind of nice - lots of rice fields, forests, hills with forests, more forests, burned down forest, palm tree forest, normal forest, and where there was no forest there were wooden shack villages, and trees of course.

kids everywhere... billions of kids... half of them naked in some muddy river or pond

the bus stopped! are we there? no, the driver just wants to buy some snacks... next stop, looks like a proper village, but it's only pak mong, the other, smaller, transport hub but luckily some people got out so i could stretch my leg a bit for the next 30 minutes. the driver speeded like mad passing (with some near misses) tons of schoolkids doing the same route by foot

we arrive in nong khiaw and i am surprised: it's absolutely gorgeous: huge limestone hills, the wide nam ou river and lovely bungalows on the other side of the bridge... finally a worthy place to rest and relax!

on the thorntree forum i picked up the tip for the riverside resort, which is very pricey but must be the best thing in town (affordable). the got a room and i splurged it once again (too often..) by getting a nice, huge river facing bungalow right vis-a-vis of the local mountain. what a view! cost me 190'000 kip including breakfast, which is 21 usd, which is twice my daily laos budget but less than what a dorm room in sydney costs... no need to be ashamed here i think :-)

one of the best views i've had so far! everything looks like in one of those ethno-spas all over chiang mai, dark wood & white linen and hammock on the balcony. as i type this i'm lying on my floor mat watching the sun go down over the mountain in front of me... amazing and breathtaking!

Luang Prabang
photo by: oxangu2