phil zphil's Travelblog

Day 434 – Phonsavane

After my parting with Ebru, i left Luang Prabang north towards the village of Nong Khiaw, a wild remote place located in between majestic mountains. Due to its strategic situation it was heavily bombed by the Americans during the secret war in Laos and most of the terrain is still very dangerous to venture in. But the very friendly locals are more then reason enough to visit this place. On the second day we were invited by a local travel agent which invited us to see his ancestral land with paddies and a site where he already plans his future villa. All the labor in the paddies is still made by hand and i cant imagine the effort it takes to initially cut all the weeds before flooding and preparing the soil by ox kart to then plant the rice. Laos people are very strong people ! Even on elderly men you can still see every fiber of their muscles… totally badass !

I left Nong Khiaw towards Phonesavan on a tiny road through the jungle which was marked with “dry season only” in one of the guides. It took me through a remote vally with no tourism and i was lucky enough to witness the authentic village life. Women sitting under their stilt houses and weaving their traditional cloth on a wooden weaving chair. Kids laughing and running behind me as i pass… once a whole group of kids ran out of the classroom as they saw me. The moments of shy smiles when you pass a group of young women bathing on the village fountain, giggling and greeting with a “sabaidee”. This route was one of the most epic ones of my trip and i highly recommend passing there if you’re in Laos by bike.

After a night in my tent beside a little shrine on the top of a valley, i started my day towards Phonesavan. Suddenly and in the middle of the jungle, my bike went out. I quickly diagnosed, that the battery somehow had run down and that she was not charged anymore. Already having had problems with the graphite sticks in my alternator, i checked them first and luckily that was the issue. I fixed the thing with a piece of aluminum foil and continued my trip with (overconfident?) feeling of security regarding my bike fixing skills.

Once in Phonesavan i checked in the nice Kong Keo guesthouse and started to explore the area. The main attraction here is the plain of jars, how a collection of huge stone jars is called. Nobody really knows why or by whom those jars have been build but they are present at 3 different places around Phonesavan.

After the first day, i met Robi, an Italian artist who travels the world since 7 years, selling his art and working in some places he stays. Together we enjoyed our time here with some sightseeing, cooking food on my little cooker and lots of coffee.

After a couple days i left towards the south accompanied by Julius, a German backpacker who rides around south east Asia in his incontinent Honda Wing. Riding through a valley overgrown with dense jungle which is occasionally interrupted by little villages surrounded by rice paddies. I started to love this beautiful but wild place and its inhabitants. Everywhere we stop we are greeted by smiling faces and everybody jokes with me about the enormity of my bike. After a long ride we stop in a little village called Ban Nahin, where somehow a small backpacker scene has established itself. As we enter the guest house, a dozen backpacker greet us sitting on the veranda drinking beer. Quite astonished to meet so many foreigners in the middle of this rural landscape we join the fun and enjoy two days at this wonderful place.

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