BootsnAll Travel Network

Looping central Laos

The central Lao loop is designed to give people a feel for the lives of the more rural peoples lives in central Lao. It takes you through what used to be some of the more remote areas to the west. I think maybe five years back it was probably a pretty interesting loop but currently because of the number of hydro-electric plants being built that ruralness has gone the way of paved roads, clear cut areas, and dust. There were a couple of bright spots like climbing the pass to Na Hin where you get some very scenic viewpoints of the limestone karst style mountains jutting up everywhere. It was also interesting in that it gets you away from the package tourist trail for a few days as the roads are still a bit rugged. I sort of teamed up with a French guy who was doing it by public transport but since there are pretty designated stops for the night we always ended up in the same places. My way of transport we determined was way more beneficial. The camera was still working through here so I have intermixed a few photos and some brief points about the places I stayed.

Coming from the flat lands along the Mekong you climb fairly quickly up some raggedy limestone mountains. At the top the Dam company had built a lookout. It was actually an amazing site.

This is the little bamboo shack where I stayed in Na Hin. It was run by this really interesting man who spoke English and French. He had hand built everything from bamboo he cut down from the forest. He invited me for some authentic meals with his family. The best was the fried crickets with baby frogs. His newly married daughter brought them from her husbands village.

Lak xao- Vietnamese town with great accommodation and good food. This was also my first foray into the French cuisine of escargot. At the market, people were sharing big bowls of small black snails. They actually looked pretty good as they were marinated in some sort or liquid. Being small, they were best eaten by sucking the body out of the shell. It took a bit of care as you needed the right amount of suction to get them out in one try. Surprisingly they were quite tasty as it tasted somewhat like clams or oysters. The only strange aspect was the foot which was not edible and came out as a small circular flat disk.

This part of the roads were still pretty rough up until you arrived towards the dam where it turns into perfect tar.

I passed through this flooded out area that contained the blackest water that I have seen. I am not sure if it was polluted or naturally like that. There was nothing living in it that I could see but it allowed for some beautiful reflection shots. I wondered what would have happened if i dropped a match in the stuff.

Thakhek- Sunset views over the river.

Savannahket- My last good photo.

The end of the camera.

Pakxe- Aircon room. Tourist hub and kick-off for the southern swing.

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