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Hat Sa, Nam Ou, Muang Khua, Lao

Written on: Sunday March 20th, 2011

A journal entry from: S/E ASIA March, 2011

On the morning we left Phongsali the rain had finally stopped, it was partially sunny, and we were able to get some spectacular views on the 7:30 am, 1 1/2 hour, 21 km. mini-bus ride down to the Nam Ou (Ou River) port. We decided to take the 6 hour river boat ride out of this place rather than the 10 hour, bumpy, dangerous bus ride on slippery, muddy mountain roads. Even this mini-bus ride was interrupted by a mud-slide which we all had to walk through and catch another sǎwngthǎew on the other side to get to the river-port village of HatSa. Here we boarded a 20-person long-tail river-boat with bench-seats down river to the small town of Muang Khua, Lao. This was a fun and interesting ride -smooth (compared to the bus) for one thing, and enjoyable watching the lush jungle scenery, the small, remote, riverside villages, and shooting the rapids and cruising with the rain-swollen currents. We arrived in the quaint, district capital village of Muang Khua in good time, got a very comfortable guesthouse, and walked and explored this last town that we would enjoy in Lao. It is quite a busy transportation hub for people and goods travelling up and down river, and on the Oudomxai-VietNam route. We spent an interesting (and much warmer and drier) lay-over day before heading to Viet Nam when we climbed the hill overlooking the town and river, walked across a half-finished suspension-bridge over the Nam Phak river (which flows into the Nam Ou) to a Khamu ethnic village, and bought supplies in the market for the next day's bus trip to Viet Nam. At the end of the day we shared dinner and drinks with friends in a river-view restaurant, watching the full moon rise over the hills, and thankful for these days we've had to spend in gentle, laid-back Lao.

 

From Renee on Mar 21st, 2011

I love your writing and love travelling along with you!!