Our first stop in land locked Laos.
Wednesday 22 November 2006 - Friday 24 November 2006
Wednesday 22 November - After breakfast went with Ben, Ellie, Sarah, Terry, Serena, Andy and Rachal for an all day bike ride around Luang Namtha. We were accompanied by Arik our guide and another guide / mechanic / water carrier. Our first stop was the funeral forest where bodies are laid out before being cremated. Just around the corner was a silk weaving place run by an NGO funded by the Swiss Government. We had a good tour of the place by the Swiss manager who explained the whole process, from the buying of eggs, raising the silk worms, unwinding the cocoons, dyeing the fibres and finally weaving the cloth. It looked a very well run place and the locals who have participated in the scheme are seeing their incomes rise.
The silk farm.
A silk weaving loom.
The main road is very new and very scenic. Lunch was in a small set of bungalows off the main road with a good view over the surrounding countryside. Very good local food was served.
On yer bike!
Scenery from the lunch stop.
We carried along the flat road for a fair while and then turned off up a dirt road towards a waterfall. The road was bumpy and a bit tough on the knees and the waterfall was quite small. We also visited a house to witness a spirit ceremony, although it was a little bit odd having the TV on in the corner of the room.
The path to the waterfall.
The waterfall again.
Locals at the waterfall.
A local family.
It was then a long haul back to the camp via the town centre. In all it was a good day. Nice weather, lots of exercise, good roads, interesting sites and an informative guide.
Thursday 23 November - A day in town catching up on email, burning photos onto a CD, and journal.
"Help! I've dropped a bit."
The Tha River.
The Tha River next to the hotel.
Friday 24 November - Another lazy day (except for seven km walk into town). Indian for lunch. Lazy afternoon, drinks after dinner.