After being spoiled in Luang Prabang, we made a tough turn through the north. The roads are less forgiving, the drivers more aggressive, and accommodations more downscale. However the people are really lovely and happy for visitors.
We took a minibus to Muang Ngoy and then a boat transfer to Nong Khiaw. Ok, so both Lill and I didn’t realize it was going to be a boat ride, but that’s a different issue. The ride was nice if a bit cramped - a long trip for just staying two days.
But the surroundings are lush and beautiful. Super high karsts surround us. Up early the next morning for alms (a bit more local!), the infrequent market, and off for a long hike.
We wended our way through rice paddies and small villages, more than 19 miles in total. We were pretty wiped after that, and definitely deserved the evening cocktails!
Next morning up to catch the first boat. Luang Namtha is our destination. Great place to slow down a bit and continue recovery. We did manage a bike ride - very fun and about 30’ elevation rise!
Made the decision to spend a couple days in Chiang Rai, Thailand, before our flight to Sri Lanka. Good choice! Hair cuts, hanging out with cats, beautiful temples, delish food -
...and one of the most delicious concoctions I’ve ever had! Coconut ice cream in a half a coconut, with fresh coconut shavings, purple sticky rice, crispies and more ice cream - topped by a purple flower. Yes, I had two! It was a family affair - dad cutting the shells, mom scoping the interior, son compiling it all. Yummmmmm!
Goodbye to SE Asia - on to seductive Sri Lanka!