Luang Prabang to Nong Khai

I arrived early at the Luang Prabang bus station and decided to walk back down the road to eat. I sat opposite some researchers who look at human development measures in the remote villagers. They set the baseline and monitor the impact of the multitude of NGOs who seem to work here. It sounded like really interesting work, but their English and my Laos were not enough to get to the bottom of it. Apparently, the fact that many of the villagers don’t speak Laos (rather their own local dialect) presents the researchers themselves with a similar challenge!

The night bus was packed, and started a bit uncomfortably as I left my blanket and sleeping mat under the bus. Lulled into a false sense of luxury by the Chinese buses, we were now back into rocking, swerving mountain roads with lots of hard edges and awkward angles on the seats. Luckily, we got a flat right near a mysterious, loud village dance party. I got out my sleeping may and blanket to take advantage of our cliffside location and gaze at the starry sky and bright moon shining across the forested valleys while they changed the tyre, then slept much better once inside.

The rest of the trip through Laos went pretty quickly, and I hopped straight from the night bus to a series of local buses and a tuk tuk to get across the border from Vientiene to Nong Khai…

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