. The 7 children ran around the house watching us and giggling, or helping their mother with gathering water from the river or food for our meals. They even gave us their bed to sleep in, which was kind of awkward, especially when we tried to go to sleep and the man of the house, "Joe", just sat there staring at us and smoking his water pipe.
A few days and a few leeches later, we headed back to the main village, tired and blistered. In those 4 days, we saw no other tourists on the road, and mostly survived on sticky rice, boiled river water, and the local whiskey called "lao lao".
The next few days were travel days through mountain scenery with long bus rides. Our next destination will be a treehouse ecolodge close to the Thailand border. We hear about it from other travellers, and are looking forward to living 40 meters up in the canopy for a few days. Photos to come!
Roger & Suzanne
We took a 6 hour boat ride from Luang Prabang to a small riverside village called Mung Noi. The small boat literally drove uphill, climbing over shallow rapids and narrowly avoiding huge rocks. We passed some amazing limestone cliffs and caves along the way, and lots of children playing in the river, men out fishing, women bathing and doing laundry. Once we arrived in Mung Noi, a tiny riverside village with no paved roads, no cars or motorbikes, and no electricity except for a few generators in the evenings, we copied a map of the hills and local villages from some other travellers and headed out on a 4 day trek. With no guide to direct us, we had the valley and the surrounding mountains to ourselves for 4 days. We visited 5 villages and spent the night with a Hmong family in their thatched hut with dirt floor. The young mother sacrificed a chicken for us for dinner, slit its throat and caught the blood in a bowl and set it aside. We thought we'd have to drink it, so we were relieved to see the blood go into the boiling pot along with the chicken