Jungle trek in Luang Namtha

We chose Luang Namtha as our last stop in Laos with the intention of taking on a jungle tour. On our night of arrival we found a place which managed to organise us an ideal trip for the next morning which would take the 5 of us out with 2 tour guides for 2 days and 1 night homestay in a village within the jungle.

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Pom (our guide) cooking up a mean broth in a hollowed out stick of bamboo:

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Leaf spoons and bamboo chopsticks were provided for our cutlery:

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View from the greatest height we trekked to:

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Approaching the village for our homestay:

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Photos from around the village:

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Ghetto pool table:

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The village school:

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After our guide ran into this spiders’ web in the jungle, he joked he would save it for later. We set off thinking nothing of it, but later that evening he pulled it from his pocket and kept his word by cooking and eating it:

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The trek turned out to be a sound choice, it was as authentic as we could have hoped for.

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a pleasent and inviting city with a bunch of cool things to do. The nightlife is nothing short of bizzarre – Bars and clubs begin to close their doors fairly early on in the night, but fear not! ..there is something around the corner. You will start to see tuk-tuk loads of people getting driven in the same direction and they’re all heading for one place..the bowling alley! Turning up to a jam-packed bowling alley full of screaming drunk travellers is a pretty entertaining, yet perculiar way to continue the nightout.

Here’s some photos from our stay:

Fixing up a baguette:

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Trying out some local attire:

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Watch repairs on the side street:

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Hammock napping:

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Kuang Si Falls:

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Blue Lagoon, Vang Vieng

The blue lagoon is another of Vang Veings ‘attractions’. It’s a cool place with a bunch of random things to do from rope swinging into the lagoon to slingshotting cans. There’s also a cave in the area which we didn’t end up checking out, but was apparently worth the look:

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The ladder to the highest jump:

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Because he’s worth it:

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The slingshot area:

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Laos – Tubing

Following a smooth entering across the Laos border, our first land entry to date, we stopped over in Vientiane for a night, but quickly made our way to Vang Vieng – home of ‘Tubing’. Tubing is essentially getting drunk whilst floating downstream in a dis-used lorry tyre. Since arriving in Laos, our ‘cultural approach’ to traveling somewhat deteriorated for a period…

Although the craze has been cracked down on now, a few rogue companies still offer the service, even when out of season (which it was for us).

In my opinion, It’s still hilarious and worth doing regardless of the water level:

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Anddd last but not least…Laos have got things covered when it comes to baguettes!

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Hanoi

Vietnamese new year, or ‘Tet’ as it is more commonly known, we celebrated in Hanoi, which proved a great way to see-out this memorable country.

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A basket of oranges ready for decoration:

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The lake where the fireworks display took place (unfortunately haven’t any photos of the display):

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Vietnam is an attractive country brimming with character and charm and will certainly live on to be an unforgettable slice of our travelling trip.

Next stop: Laos.

Halong Bay

Rather than visiting the bay off our own backs, we decided to bite the $105 bullet and take a 3 day tour from our hostel in Hanoi. The running of the tour was poor but thankfully failed to take away from the beauty of our surroundings.

Peering from our boat window at the spectacular rock formations in the sea was quite an experience:

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As part of the tour we also got to go cycling on Cat Ba Island:

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One of the highlights was staying a night on this remote island:

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Paradise Caves

Our friends at Jungle Bar provided us with 2 motorbikes to rent for the day between the 4 of us. We rode through some excellent scenery on our way.

Entrance to the caves cost as little as 80,000 VND, which is astonishing value for money, converting to £2.50.

Thien Duong/ Paradise caves were, in my eyes, the most fantastic and prodigious wonder we had encountered on our trip to date. The following photos do not do it enough justice:

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