Nong Khiaw is only 75 miles north of Luang Prabang, but it takes 3 hours by private car (4 hours by public bus) and the last time we came, we thought surely that was a mistake. The road is paved almost the entire way, but it just does take that long. Not only is it a sinuous road, tight esses the whole way, but you have to drive S-shapes within the road to avoid the enormous potholes. And the road is so bumpy, so if you're prone to motion sickness, as I am, the up-and-down and side-to-side trip is unpleasant. And three very long hours. We had thought about going directly to Nong Khiaw when we landed in Luang Prabang, but decided a 28-hour day deserved a night of real sleep and I'm so glad we did.
Still, since I had taken Dramamine, when we got to the Mandala Ou I crashed hard, that heavily drugged sleep, and slept for at least 3 hours.
|a brief post-nap rest in the hammock, in the yoga studio overlooking the river|
|this is our little porch|
|and this is the view from our room|
We walked back under the night sky full of stars, and quickly crashed.,,,
....only to be immediately awakened by the damn rooster right next to our cabin. Which seemed to think its mission was to let everyone know IT'S DARK! HEY! IT'S DARK! HEY! HEY! HEY! IT'S DARK EVERYONE!
|I saw him this morning -- my sworn enemy. Swine rooster.|
|out of order here -- breakfast at the hotel after we went to the morning market. I love eating in this spot.|
|Marc bought us a couple of little sweet treats -- bits of fried, sugared dough. He basically handed her some|
money and waited to see her response to know if he'd gotten it right. :)
|a panorama of the morning market. It's a tiny one.|
|School kids walking through the market|
|we walk along a path next to the river to get back to our hotel. It's so beautiful.|
After breakfast, we wanted to walk over the bridge that spans the gorgeous Nam Ou. Every morning the mountains are shrouded in mist.
On the other side of the bridge we decided to follow a little road, which turned into a few-mile trek along the river and slightly up the mountain. It was so gorgeous.
|Always shrouded in mist|
|Hmong people live in these mountains. We kept hearing bells, the kind that hang around goats' necks.|
|I liked the bare trees that are scattered on the mountainsides|
|these tiny purple flowers were everywhere.....|
|...but we only saw a couple of these|
|I stopped to pick up a pretty rock to take home and saw this colorful pillbug -- and instantly felt at home.|
|for the littles|
|and the high school kids|