This is more like it!

View our location map in Muang Khua

Our welcome back into Laos was awesome.  Kids standing on the side of the road waving at us with huge smiles, everyone saying ‘Sabaidee’ and just general friendliness made us feel right at home.  After a few hours on the bus on the Vietnamese side of the border, we crossed into Lao and from that point on everything got better.  The landscapes, the people, the smiles, everything is just better in Lao.  We had to drive through 4 rivers to get to Muang Khua, and when we did get here we had to cross the biggest river (the Nam Ou river which we travelled from Nong Kiaw to Luang Prabang further south on our first visit to Laos) in a boat and then walk up into the town.

Muang Khua seems like any other typical Lao town that we’ve been in.  Within a few hours of arriving we had managed to exchange currency with a Lao family in their house, and then crossed the suspension bridge into the local village and got invited to have Lao-Lao rice whisky with some guys who had decided that right then was a good time to celebrate the 2011 New Year.  Many Lao-Lao’s later we went back into town with some American guys Sam and John and had a delicious dinner of Lao food which is just 1000 times nicer than Vietnamese food.

We spent the next day chilling out on the river’s edge, walking into the forest and sitting on the balcony of our guesthouse admiring the mountains.  Dre also watched a freshly shot Muntjac deer be prepared for cooking and then cooked over the open fire while Karen decided the mountains and river were more enticing to look at than the Muntjac.  The photos of the Muntjac are in a separate album here (so you don’t have to look if you don’t want to!).  All of our other photos from Muang Khua and our journey there are here.

Then we prepared for another day on the bus – first stop Oudomaxi and then on to Luang Namtha.  Thong excitedly met us at the bus stop in Luang Namtha and informed us his wife had cooked dinner for us, so we had another awesome night with Paet’s cooking and Paet, Thong and their baby daughter Mona’s company.  We’re so glad to be back here in Luang Namtha!