We again decided to spend some time biking around Luang Namtha province. And, even though we had decided we wouldn’t go back to Muang Sing this time, the temptation was too hard to resist! We absolutely love riding around on these deserted roads, usually the only other traffic is animals or other bikes, so it makes a very relaxing adventure. We firstly went to visit Alack again, to help him with his English manual that he is writing for his school, plus explored some more of the old town of Luang Namtha. We were really lucky to stumble across a Black Tai tribal dance rehearsal for an upcoming festival. We managed to get lost on the many backroads too! We were amazed to find people who even 5 minutes out of the old town had not seen tourists before.
We stopped heaps of times again, the views of the National Park are too awesome not to stop and see properly. We lingered for ages at the site we want our house to be and just generally enjoyed the views and serenity of the park and roads. At one point we were surprised to see an elderly Akha woman who was obviously really fit and healthy ‘mowing’ the grass verge on the side of the road with a machete!
After we had lunch at our favourite rice paddy restaurant, we found Elu! It was really exciting because the past few weeks we have heard so much about her and her daughter’s new baby.
It was nice to see the newly planted rice paddies turning green again, and we noticed that there seems to be 3 different methods for planting rice. We aren’t sure if this is because of the kind of rice, or just different ways of doing it. It seems either the field is cleared and the new rice is planted, or the old, golden plants are left in the ground and the new rice is just planted around it, or, they plant one field thickly with rice and then when the plants are about 10cm high they transplant them, spacing them out, in the other nearby fields.
So once again we have really enjoyed exploring the remote areas of Luang Namtha and have again been touched by the kindness of the people. It is hard to ride past anyone without being offered food, or a drink, or frantic waving and huge smiles. We’ve probably said it before; Luang Namtha is a very special place. Our photos are here.