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Luang Prabang to Phonsavan

Winding roads, villages and caves.

overcast 17 °C
View Footloose in Laos 2012 on Grete Howard's travel map.

If cheap cocktails = bad idea, cheap cocktails + windy, bumpy roads = very bad idea.

Leaving Luang Prabang behind this morning, we made our way along a twisty road, unpaved in places, with the most awesome views over the valley – sometimes both sides of the road. Five times we climbed up to around 1500 metres and then back down a few hundred metres before once again ascending.

Kiu Mak Now
The Khmu village of Kiu Mak Now is precariously spread along a ridge, with a steep drop either side. The name means lemon village, although we didn't see any lemon trees. A mother brought her young baby who'd been scalded by boiling water to us, asking for creams or medicines for the baby's burns. All I could offer was some Savlon, which I gladly gave. The men had some very interesting home made catapult-type pears used for fishing.

Girl with burned arm.

Making brooms

Fishing spear

By the time we reached Phou Khoun around lunchtime, I was sincerely regretting last night's cocktail session, feeling decidedly wobbly walking around the local market.


Chicken feet for lunch

Pho Lang Chng
After a lunch of noodle soup and chicken feet, we visited the Hmong village of Pho Lang Chng where the whole village turned out to greet us, taking a break from the construction of a new house for one of the divorced ladies of the village. Everyone joins in, doing what they can of building work, including the little children.


Hidden Buddha Cave
The 140 metre long Tham Pha Cave has 100s of small Buddha statues which were hidden from Chinese Haw invasion several centuries ago.
The cave, now known as the Hidden Buddha Cave, was used as hospital during war, but returned to obscurity until it was rediscovered in 2004 by bat hunting villager.


Nong Tank Lake
Legend tells of a white mole and a dragon causing a sink hole to open up and swallow the entire village. At low water, the roofs of the houses can allegedly still be seen.


This area is littered with remains from the Secret War, including a Russian Tank.


Our hotel for the night is reminiscent of a European ski resort, with wooden chalets perched on a hillside overlooking the town of Phonsavan. This area is decidedly chilly in the evenings, and the staff lit a wonderful open fire in our room.


Posted by Grete Howard 05:00 Archived in Laos

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Walking around that market would make me feel wobbly also. Is that bats or a birds?

The fire looks nice:-)

by Kay

Khamseng described the birds as 'wild chicken'.

The fire was a necessity last night - it was quite chilly.

by Grete

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