In And Around Luang Nam Tha
Louang Namtha Travel Blog› entry 92 of 117 › view all entries
When I arrived in Luang Nam Tha I thought it looked like a bit of a ghost town - and a bit of dive. But then it was only five in the morning and I knew it would only really be a launchpad for trekking in the surrounding forest. It felt weird arriving in a place on my own; I hadn't done so since the south of Vietnam and was used to always having at least one travel companion.
Despite being told by French Canadian girl on the overnight bus that it would be hard to find any trekking during low season as she had tried and failed, I managed to sign myself up for one within moments of arrival. That done and done, I had a day to amuse myself in what seemed like a town with very little to amuse one's self.
I decided to hire a bike (seen as I was becoming quite adept on one with all the recent cycling I had been doing) and have a look around the outskirts of town.
I saddled up and took a dirt track that passed through fields and rice paddies to a hill where I could see That Phum Phuk. The gold stupa has replaced the original stone one that was destroyed by those meddling Yanks in the Secret War while fighting the Vietnamese, in 1966.
A Westerner on a bike still proves great amusement for the locals who will undoubtedly either shout, "sabaidee" (hello), or give you a wave. Some kids thought they would make the fatal error of trying to overtake me at speed. I showed them how top gear on a mountain bike worked while giving them the evilist laugh I could muster. That'll teach them for being weak and young.
After handing back the bike and getting some food, I realised there really is very little to do in LNT to amuse yourself. So I ended up going back to get the bike and cycling at full speed down to where the rice paddies were to admire the sunset. It wasn't long, though, before a group of dogs found my presence offensive and barked me out of their territory. I will lie to save face: they were very big dogs.