Little Warriors

After our stopover at The White Temple, Stu and I made our way to the Thai-Laos border, where you have to cross by boat into Huey Xai.

We were thinking of staying the night in Huey Xai, but we happened to get a good deal on a bus going straight from the border town north to Luang Nam Tha (LNT), so we took it, and after spending the whole day in transit, arrived in LNT at around 8:30pm.

The quiet of the town was a little shocking, even after Pai.  There is basically one main street in the town, and all of the action happens on a strip of road that is probably less than half a kilometer long.  And by “action”, I mean there are trekking companies, guest houses and a few restaurants.  All the guesthouses have signs on the doors saying that they lock up anytime between 10:00 and 11:30pm, and it didn’t take long to figure out why – there’s simply nothing else to do.  (Except Laos karaoke at a guesthouse around the corner, which was more painful than entertaining.)

It quickly became apparent that visitors to this down don’t stay long.  The town is a hub for what they call “eco-tourism tours”.  People come in, do their tours and get out.  Unfortunately, Stu wasn’t feeling well for a couple of days that we were there, and with his upset stomach, our tour, seeing a few local sights, our tour plus a one-day recovery post-trek, we ended up staying there for a week.

On our first foray into the surrounding area, we decided to rent bicycles

and check out some local rice farms

and a nearby waterfall.  After riding through a few roadside villages (think bamboo huts with satellite dishes), we ended up driving right by the turnoff for the waterfall at first.  But the road up ahead all of a sudden went up at about a 70 degree incline.  We didn’t think we’d make it up, so we turned around and right behind us was the entrance to the waterfall.

The Nam De waterfall was quite lovely, with a 20 meter tall water cascade over a steep rock face.

We took a climb to the top, and found a path along the river above the cascade that continued for about half a kilometer to another waterfall.  More modest, but much quieter.

Stu tried the water

And attempted some of the local fare

While I tried to catch butterflies.

As we were hiking back down to the bottom of the main waterfall, we could hear some children below, and we came upon three little boys in the pool at the waterfall base.  They played around for a bit, but it wasn’t long before they got down to the business at hand:  fishing.

Like little 5-year-old warriors, they donned their goggles, grabbed their spears and dove in to look for fish.

And they did catch a few!  I don’t know if they were trying to catch their next meal of a mid-afternoon snack, but they were having a ball.  I may have to get me some goggles and a spear before this trip is through.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by NoWhereMom on March 7, 2011 at 4:05 am

    The pictures of you trying to catch a butterfly are my favourite – kind of sums you up right there! ;o)


  2. Posted by Tanya on March 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Try as I might — I can’t see you spearing a fish. Go figure.


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