88 Photos - Jan 16, 2013
Photo: Riding elephants out of forest in the morningPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Crossing the Mekong and the border from Thailand to LaosPhoto: Looking back across the Mekong into ThailandPhoto: Huay Xai - typical street scenePhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Roadside restaurant kitchen, LaosPhoto: Cycling around Luang NamthaPhoto: Fresh markets -  fish, frogs, meat, forest animals, forest herbs - fascinatingPhoto: Photo: Guest house at Ban NalanPhoto: Photo: Photo: Dinner at Ban Nalan villagePhoto: Lanten villagers selling handicraftsPhoto: Photo: Mature forest is now rare and largely confined to steep gulliesPhoto: Typical trek view near Luang Namtha -  China in the distancePhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Cafe Laos - strong, locally grown coffee with condensed imitation milkPhoto: The village swing is only operational at New Year - but seems to be the most common way for young couples to meetPhoto: Starting our second trekPhoto: Mr Mai, our guide with the foothills stripped and replanted in rubber treesPhoto: Water buffalo wallowingPhoto: Trekking lunch - Sticky rice, buffalo and miked vegPhoto: Mr Mai clearing the trail with his mini machettePhoto: Sop Ee Kop (Village of wonderful tea)Photo: Guests in Sop Ee Kop are expected to bath under the village tap - where all the locals turn up to watchPhoto: The Akhu people still weave their own clothes in Sop Ee KopPhoto: Preparing dinner - the fireplace as in all the local houses is just a sand pit on the floor with no chimneyPhoto: Photo: No handrails - health and safety has another meaning here in Sop Ee KopPhoto: Photo: Slash and burn was happening everywhere - this is at over 1500m and the embers were still warmPhoto: Despite the burning there were some great viewsPhoto: Looking at the Myanmar border from ex US helicopter basePhoto: Spinning TopsPhoto: Photo: Pounding rice to remove husks - An hour's work every morning for each householdPhoto: Mr Mai preparing dinnerPhoto: Photo: Massage in Pawai Kao village - Near the end of the massage the girls quietly demanded “money” - whether for a tip or extra services we wern't quite sure.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: A modern rice husker in a village by the roadPhoto: Noodle factoryPhoto: Noodles dryingPhoto: Frances and Jen bought hats from these ladies - but declined the ganja and opiumPhoto: Pawai Kao village - early morningPhoto: Photo: $NZ2,500 buys a new one of thesePhoto: Hotel in Luang Namtha - luxury for 70,000 kip ($NZ15)  per roomPhoto: Lao Lao (moonshine) with added bite - new meaning to choose your poisonPhoto: Weaving near Luang PrabangPhoto: Tourist slow boats on MekongPhoto: Limestone cliffs near caves at Luang PrabangPhoto: Sunset on MekongPhoto: Luang Prabang night market - clean, cheap, funPhoto: Night market BBQ dinner  $NZ4 - deliciousPhoto: Luang Prabang templePhoto: Luang Prabang - early morning alms collectionPhoto: Riding in a howdah - nothing specialPhoto: View from the headPhoto: Photo: Photo: Swimming pools and waterfalls near Luang PrabangPhoto: Morning mist at elephant campPhoto: Photo: The elephants spend the night on steep hill countryPhoto: Heading for the daily washPhoto: There are 3 elephants in this bit of waterPhoto: back on landPhoto: Breakfast at elephant campPhoto: