|Next stop after Luang Nam Tha was Nong Khiaw and Muing Noi. Nong Khiaw was the hopping on point to get to the great little untouched dusty Village with guesthouses right on the Mekong River, that is Muing Noi. We got a hut right on the river with a hammock and the whole bit. We booked a fishing trip out of there and headed out, the two of us and two guides. The fishing part was a little disapointing as they fish with nets, we caught lots of little ones but really didnt do much at all. We stopped at a riverside and started a fire to eat and have some Lao Moonshine (it was only later that we were told that you 'have' to drink the moonshine with the fish cause the Mekong isnt clean enough to eat from). It was a good time to just hang out and chat and find out more about Laos. Lao men drink too much I've learned. We finished the bottle (the guides drank most of it luckily) and they wanted to take us to a near by Village they knew. We were celebrities for sure - everyone came out to see me and Tyler. It's so odd, I'm sure you can imagine, the kids all just stare at you with so much interest and dont really say anything at all. They brought us into their friends hut where we sat around and drank some beer.. I excused myself so I could go play with the kids on the road (and so I didnt have to try to make them understand that I really didnt need anymore beer). Tyler was close behind and we spent most of the time playing soccer. Me and him against like 30 kids. That was some good clean fun. We lost.
So, there we are and it's getting dark and our driver and guide have been drinking for about 7 hours. One wanted to stay and the other (that couldnt speak English) wanted to go we think.. Anyway, it took about an hour of back and forth talk about to stay or to go and by this time its dark. They've ensured us that they have torches and they know the way back. We leave, it's pitch dark of course cause there's no power anywhere and we're in our little longboat heading down the Mekong river with two drunk Lao guides that accidentally dropped the lighter in the river so we cant even signal to other boats that we're there. I'm not gonna lie to you, that was not an easy 30 minute ride back. It was super scary and Tyler tells me when we get back that he was clenched onto an empty gas container incase we went over. Lesson learned.
We left the next day for Luang Prabang. We're here now and it's a bit more modern and tourist friendly I guess. Looks like a good spot for us to hang out for a bit before we head back into the bush again.
We miss home and talk about it a lot. We're not ready to head home anytime soon but I think we've talked ourselves into making the 2 year trip into a year and a half but that's just our plan this week.
Travel Tips #101:
I would say that if you're planning to travel that you make sure that at least one of your party is directionally inclined. If not for Tyler I probably would have been staying in a different hotel everynight in Bangkok in the everlong search for my original hotel and where I'd left my backpack.
Figure out the bathrooms as quickly as you can. It's been 2 months and I've finally mastered the squat toilets without pee'ing all over my ankles and shoes. Tyler's finally accepted that there probably isn't going to be any TP and he's just going to have to get friendly with the full power spray hoses. It's always good fun to watch him come back from a bathroom.. the look on his face tells some great stories.