It was time to head south towards the capital Vientiane, but which way? We decided on the more adventurous route via Phongsavan through the mountainous and remote north-east.
Off we went downriver again to Nong Khiaw, there we took a small bus east to Vieng Thong, a truly remote town with the only accommodation along the route. As the only ‘real’ restaurant was closed when we arrived, we got our fair share of noodle soups and market fare. Our few words of Lao got us a long way.
Next stop Phongsavan and the ‘Plain of Jars’. Interesting stuff, but we were more interested in an NGO called MAG (mines advisory group). Laos was bombed just as heavily as Vietnam during the war and the country is still littered with unexploded bombs and land mines. They have caused 1000s of casualties in recent years and make farming a deadly occupation in many parts.
Then it was off to the capital, Vientiane, for some pagodas, night markets and Western food.
Last stop for this post was Vang Vieng, a controversial tourist destination (search the Web) surrounded by a stunning karst scenery.