Sunday, 17 November 2013
Day 103 - A Cave, A Boat and Touristy Muang Ngoi
Started early again to go and visit Patok cave with two fellow travelers I met in the mini bus yesterday.
The cave is only 2km out of town along the main road so easy to get to and back in the morning and still have time to catch the 14:00 boat to Muang Ngoi.
The Patok cave is more historically important rather than being a interesting cave to explore. It has some remains from the war to see and if you explore a bit further you will get to see the Luang Prabang Bank branch. It is located across the river, through the rice field, past the water buffalo on the right, another right by the provincial government cave, through the jungle and quarter way up the mountain. This must have made for a great journey to pay in a cheque or open a bank account.
I have to do some research if this was actually a bank branch or if someone just put up a sign with this in an unrelated cave.
After having a great lunch in a small family run restaurant by the road on the way back into town it was time to get the boat to Muang Ngoi. This was not quite such an enjoyable journey, despite the fantastic views and landscape, thanks in part to being crammed with 20 people on the small boat. The journey took only 1 hour so it was just about bearable.
Muang Ngoi was supposed to be this quiet, little village in the mountains which until 6 months ago did not have a road or electricity. What it actually is is a tiny littl village full of guesthouses and restaurants catering for tourists. This was a bit disappointing as it seemed to lack character at first sight.
After spending some more time exploring the village and hoping to find the local quarter, I had to give up and admit that it was a very touristy village.
The reason for leaving Nong Khiaw after just one night was to spend some time in the middle of where and relax for a few days. Well, I kind of expected something different and could see the others felt
the same so the general consensus was to keep heading north by boat to Muang Khua and maybe further Phongsali from there in the morning.