Luang Nam Tha - Udomxai
Muang Xai Travel Blog› entry 7 of 27 › view all entries
November 11th, 2009 – by: edsander
At the bike rental across the road we rented some sturdy looking mountain bikes, the type that was absolutely essential to navigate the surroundings of Luang Namtha since most of the roads consist of sand and stones. We rode out of Luang Namtha to That Luang Namtha, a golden coloured new stupa that had been build several years ago.
After checking out the small hermit shrine behind the stupa we were on our way again. We cycled southwards past small villages and many, many rice fields. Eventually we arrived at That Phum Phuk, another stupa, which could be reached by climbing the 177 step naga stairs.
Another 10 km of cycling took us back to the center of Luang Namtha, were we dropped of our bikes and headed back for the hotel to check out. Before moving on to Udomxai we had lunch at the morning market first. Keo ordered us a big bowl of 'foe' (noodle soup), delicious and cheap as dirt ! After washing it down with a Beerlao, Keo showed us around the market explaining the food that people were selling here. Paul spotted a rather ominous looking bottle of greenish liquid, which turned out to be a stronger variety of lao-lao whiskey.
After the first 35 kilometers the road to Udomxai went pretty bad. Whole pieces of road were missing and it was obvious that the road workers we passed still had a lot of work to do. This was the reason why the drive to Udomxai, a mere 120 km, took three and a half hours. Fortunately we made a stop at the Khamu village of Ban Nambotakay to stretch our legs and have a look at some ore hill tribe life. At a quarter to five we arrived in Udomxai, just in time to climb up the hill on which the Phu That stupa is located and see the sun go down behind the hills in the west.
After quickly checking our e-mails Keo took us to a local restaurant for another Lao speciality. After the lao-lao whiskey, foe noodle soup, sticky rice and even fried buffalo skin it was now time to try 'laap'. A nice combination of minced meat with spices. Of course our taste for diversity needed more than that and we started and finished dinner with springrolls. It was still relatively early, but since we'd agreed to leave at eight for Nong Khiaw we decided to retire a bit earlier than normal today.
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