We decided to see Muang Sing the right way this time, and hired a motorbike for a few days for our 5th Wedding Anniversary both to ride there and also to explore the area on. The ride there is just breathtaking, and we were able to appreciate it a lot more from the motorbike than we did from the van on the way there last time. We made lots of stops to see the beautiful forests and when we did arrive in Muang Sing rocked up to our favourite guesthouse and settled in.
The first thing we wanted to do was ride to the Chinese border again, so we set out on the bike only to discover our first flat tyre a few minutes down the road. We got this repaired at the nearest shop in town, and paid the princely sum of 5,000 Kip (about 55 cents) and left on our second attempt to get to the border. 7kms from town and 3kms from the border, we realised once again that our tyre was flat! Oh dear, this meant a 7km walk back to town pushing the bike. Not to worry, we were on the most beautiful road in Asia and the sun was setting so we were very lucky to be there. After perhaps about 3kms, a Lao guy motioned for us to go to the next house on the left, so we did, and it turned out that guy could fix our tyre. After meticulously repairing it very skillfully with a grinder to get rid of the previous patch, blowing on the glue to make sure it was ready and patching it up for us, he graciously said he didn’t want any money, it was his gift for us. We gave him 20,000 (about $2.10) because we were so grateful to have met such a nice, skilled guy who fixed our bike on the side of the road and saved us walking another 4kms back in the dark to town. Fun times!
We ate at our favourite restaurant and then the next day spent the entire day biking around the outskirts of town. We visited a few villages and rode up the mountains for amazing views of the rice fields and villages below. It was such a cool day and we both couldn’t stop grinning the whole day because we were just having such a good time.
After deciding to stay another night and visit the festival the next day at the advice of all the locals, we wanted to go back to the Sechzuan restaurant we ate at last time but found it totally full so settled for the night market and lamented about how the noodle soups here don’t even come close to how awesome our noodle soup lady in Luang Namtha makes them.
We loved visiting the morning market here and got to have the best freshly steamed peanuts ever – something which is quite common here is peanuts steamed still in their shells and they are to die for.
We visited the festival on our way back to Luang Namtha and it was OK – sort of just a massive morning market with heaps more people and much louder music. It wasn’t really our thing so after the 3km walk to the top of the mountain in the mud and the full sun, we had a quick look around and decided it was more fun riding on the bike through the mountains so left to do just that. Our photos are here.