Post # 7 Huay Xai Laos

Day 10 Days to go 1070 It’s 7.18pm Saturday 10/12/2011 and I’m in Huay Xai Laos. I’m doing this up in a word doc hopefully as my photos upload in the blog but we’ll see. It was about a 5minute boat crossing the Mekong here Ruby looked great in the front of the boat. The driver was really helpful getting my gear on and off and gave me a big wave off. Once I set up one of the local boys came up and asked in Laos if he could try and entertained the local port folk with his groans. It was of course a steep uphill short walk from the river bank to the immigration booth. I think that 1 Aus dollar is about 7500 local currency. Passport all stamped it was into town to check out options for the long boat to Luang Prabang. I ended up booking for me and Ruby leaving 11.00am tomorrow. The place it leaves is about 3km away. The young lad said to meet him outside the office and he will show me there by moped– sounds like a good plan. His name is Kham. It has cost 300 000 Kip or about $40 for a 2 day trip and stop over in Pak Beng. I’m really looking forward to taking in the river life which is so bustling with boats of all sorts motoring about. Look out Laos here we come. Meanwhile I have found a cheep guesthouse (50 000kip or $6) at Kham’s recommendation. It’s very shabby from the outside but once inside it’s this once grand communal room upstairs and huge room all clean and verandah overlooking the town street. I spread out my tent and washing so it’s worked out perfectly. It rained over night so everything was wet. It’s a real instinct and pleasure to look after my gear that’s looking so beautifully after me yay. I also serviced ruby as she was pretty glugged with her gears slipping today but she’s now tightened and cleaned and sleeping in the guesthouse shed all locked up safe. We’re out now checking out the town. I found the town temple up about 300 steps overlooking town. The monastery at the top is probably the most beautiful I’ve seen full of baby monks through to adults. A great spot to send the GPS spot tracker. The teenage monks were falling over themselves with intrigue and wanting to practice their English on me. They recommended Laos noodle soup and wanted to know why I was a vegetarian. That was an interesting one to try explaining but was really fun. A tip one doesn’t try and touch a monk’s arm when getting a photo taken apparently it’s forbidden oppsy so insult intended. The view from the monastery was beautiful overlooking the river with lights from the town and boats – what a find. Most Laos practice the same type of Buddhism as Thai and many males choose to be ordained as monks from 3 months to 3 years. One boy I spoke to tonight has been at the temple for 4 years. The Lonely Planet book writes that young men aren’t considered ‘ripened’ until they have done their spiritual service. I’ve just checked the photos and they uploading albeit a bit slow but still yay. Great opportunity while I wait to highlight some of the places I have made special comment about over the last week. Over the last week there are 3 places I want to feature in the blog to show my appreciation to the workers/owners. Mohn Mye horn Resort and Spa Chaing Rai was where the owner Munee let me stay overnight and took generous care of me providing use of the resort’s beautiful facilities, a place to pitch my tent, yogurts and breakfast. I was pampered by the staff lead my manager Anake. Check out Munee’s resort to pamper and treat yourself if travelling from Chaing Mai to Chaing Rai through Mae Suay. Munee, Anake and staff would love to see you ( Starbright Hotel Chaing Rai was where I met Dang and other staff working there I owe much gratitude to the staff for their help, generosity, care and fun. “Dang the power gel was great help riding the hills today into Chaing Kong thank you” Tea Cher Oolong Tea Organic farm was where I stayed last night. The lady owner is a primary school teacher and great cook. She is setting up what she hopes will be a wellbeing type organic farm stay. What a great name for the farm. Oolong tea has many health benefits from preventing cancer to slowing down the aging and increasing weight loss. That aside the aroma is beautiful or at least Tea Cher Oolong Tea is. I want to say a special hi to Seng and family, Dave and Anu Pap who were visiting also at the farm. Anu Pap has a salt farm and runs a restaurant “Ratna Makachai” in nearby Phan Thailand. He is big fun and will take good care of you if you seek him out in your Thai travels. Email 5 photos to go – The route through Laos for those interested will be Luang Prabang, Vietiane, Paske and Si Phan Don the border into Cambodia. I’m only 1 day over arriving as planned (9/12/2011) and should cross into Cambodia 2/1/2012. It’s going to be an amazing country to cycle the Mekong and spend Christmas and New Year along the way. I have a cycle book with me and may venture inland along the way visiting some villages but this will depend on how hilly the inland countryside is – we’ll see the cycle legs may be a but more travelled by then. It’s actually a really great feeling leaving Thailand with such great memories but also having seen one country. As Kham said this afternoon only 1070 days to go lol what a sweetie. Here’s a brief intro to the local language for the next 24 days or so: Sabai dji (hello), Sabai dii (goodbye), khawp jai (thank you)

Published by shecyclesolo

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

5 thoughts on “Post # 7 Huay Xai Laos

  1. What a fantastic time your going to have, and an experience chickadee!! I envy you, and am excited at the same time. YOU are living thnings that most people will never do or see in one lifetime. Be strong and soooo proud Maree, love ya heaps….. Cindy xxxx

  2. Go Maree, I love reading your posts; it is a wonderful way to ‘witness’ your adventures. The eternal traveller in me is so happy that you have the time and energy to keep your fans informed and thoroughly entertained. As I have been to some to the places you are cycling through at present, I feel like I am with you; mind you some of it goes back 30 years. anyway stay safe and well and soak up the cultures and scenery; you are indeed living a dream.cheers gaby

  3. Hello my friend – just read through all the blogs and are now up to date. I am thinking I am wishing I was along for the ride! Slowly getting the idea that you are definitley not in Kansas Dorothy. I am so proud of you and to have seen the work done to get you where you are presently I feel very humbled. Look after yourself and will blog you soon.xx

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