Luang Prabang's Wat  at dusk.
Grilled fish stuffed with lemongrass and chili at the night market.
Night market and the Wat standing guard.
Best hotel rules I've seen in awhile: "Awesome recieved or lead the guests to your room before you get allowed from the staff of the hotel, guest house."
Delicious breakfast in Luang Prabang: pork noodle soup.
And the birds' eye view.
Depressing black bear 'sanctuary' near the waterfalls outside Luang Prabang.
And quite lovely waterfalls they were!
Rope swing - excellent afternoon activity.
This group of Asian tourists just sat dumbfounded at all the falang jumping into the water, scantily clad.
Great day for waterfalls.
View from the top.
Luang Prabang's other river, the Nam Ou.
It was a beautiful sunset.
Our pickup van to Nong Kiow.
It was a porter hi-super!
Luang Prabang's Northern bus station.
Beginning of the trip - plenty of room (though the boxes in the centre were full of nails).
Roadside stop for turnip and fermented plums.
Starting to get a little crowded...
View from the songthaew to Nong Kiow.
Stopping to pick up groups of kids along the way - close to a dozen.
Young and old on the crowded truck.
Not pictured: the kid throwing up next to me.
Moments later this kid was on my hip while his parents were picking up their luggage. Adorable.
Luggage on the roof!
One of the few kids not throwing up on the songthaew.
Arrival in Nong Kiow - well worth the wait!
A beautiful afternoon, with toweing limestone cliffs and an incredible sunset.
Bungalows ($4 each) nestled into the mountains.
The 3 of us tourists who were on the songthaew, in shadows.
Banks of the river in Nong Kiow.
Three girls on their way home in the late afternoon.
And the view from the back.
Downtown Nong Kiow in the late afternoon haze.
Rooster on the roof! (Of a toilet, no less).
Boats to Muang Ngoi (tomorrow's trip).
Cat in a sea of hay.
This little girl kicked some serious ass at pitch and catch.
Sunset over Nong Kiow.
Oh Hai 2003 Rough Guide to Laos. Outdated but a good overview of history (was avail 2ndhand at the Luang Prabang bookstore).
Exploring the caves near Nong Kiow.
Loved this flowers.
The soul of a 50 year old in those eyes.
These girls called all their friends to come join us in th caves. Lots of hand holding and giggles.
And peace signs. Obviously.
Adorable, all of them. And we told them we're not paying them for guiding so they could choose to leave, but they stayed. Ended up seeing them later in town that eve.
Climbing down into the caves.
Such incredible scenery.
Pog and Buffallo. BREAKFAST!
Farang on the boat to Muang Ngoi.
My bungalow in tiny Muang Ngoi came with cats. No complaints here.
Sleepy, beautiful Muang Ngoi. No cars or motos, just feet and bicycles - and lots of smiling.
Oh, and a chicken or 2.
Serious amount of duck, too. But no one would sell duck on the menu - "we have no duck today" and we'd say "but they are EVERYWHERE!" Ah well.
The temple at the end of the village.
Monklets sitting inside.
As wats go, this was a beautiful setting.
Chickens! I never tire of chickens.
Remnants of the bombings in N. Laos during the Vietnam war. Lots of landmines, swaths of land still untouchable because of the weapons buried below the surface. This was just sitting out with the flowers, casual as can be. Somber reminder of what things were like not so long ago.
Reading platform at my bungalow in Muang Ngoi
I loved this: it was an English book for Laotian children, and the most important words were on the front pages. Among them, laugh, and carry on a shoulder pole, something we'd never learn at home but that is integral to life here in Laos.
Building a boat in town.
My favourite place to eat in town - the woman who ran it was so lovely and her daughter made a mean nem springroll.
Night time in MN. Electricity only went on from 6pm-11pm so this was a rare "lights on, sky off" moment.
This reminded me of that fish in Finding Nemo.
Breakfast stall for soup, sitting with the locals (instead of eating baguettes, which I can't eat because of the wheat).
Breakfast! Fish soup with rice noodles and fresh cilantro and mint.
These 2 Israelis decided to build a bridge because only 1 side of the gutter was covered and locals had to move the cover from side to side when needed. So they spent the day constructing it and finding old wood and it turned out beautifully. Great to see!
This photo always makes me smile. The older woman (right) is the eldest in town and well respected by everyone; watching her walk through the village was incredible.
Small child, big knife.
Building the community centre in town.
I was invited to share a meal with the locals. Note the wasabi on the right side - they had NO idea what it was and a tourist had left it for them. They were amazed at what it did to their sinuses/noses. Pretty great experience and the food was delicious.
Me reading The Great War for Civilization (Fisk isn't quite light reading but whatever) with my favourite cat in town.
Cat on the fire, trying to keep warm.
This girl was the cutest kid in town, hands down.
Random band of misfits who met in this village: me, Juan from Puerto Rico, Al from Oz, Ian from England, Suria from Spain, Clari from Puerto Rico. Great people.
We spent the day with the kids instead of sightseeing.
Swinging them around.
Showing them photos.
And generally swooning over their adorableness.
Making dried rice cakes.
Making nem (fresh warm spring rolls).
Cat watching enemy.
My bungalows! Highly recommended with lovely owners.
Best sweatshirt ever worn by the guy in front of me on the bus back to Nong Kiow.
Back in Luang Prabang.
Fried Spring Rolls!
Mrs. Sum, who makes a mean noodle soup.
Dinner in Luang Prabang.
Alms at dawn. Pretty strange spectacle to see all the tourists taking photos of the monks and the monks taking photos of the tourists!
Many monks with cameras.
Outlets in trees? Why not!
Lettuce of champions.
Sugar Bananas - amazing.
Rice noodle-y goodness.
Chili, onion, lime - great topping for any dish.
Pork noodle soup for breakfast.
Khao Puun - amazing pork and coconut breakfast soup.
Rice cakes, fully dried.
Nem filled with pork and topped with roast garlic.
This one has an omelette inside.
Bus ride was an interesting one, with the woman next to me telling me her life story. Very moving. I took this photo of her bag to remember her by.
Huge dog on the bus.
Puppy, but a large puppy.
Internet AND visa!
Awesome food court in Vientiene.
Bonus adorable child comes with it ;)
Makphet Resto in Vientiane. Profits go toward alleviating urban poverty.
Eggplant dip with sticky rice - amazingly good (and SPICY!)
Night market in Vientiane.
Meat on a stick! Dinner.
Pate in Vientiane.
Baguettes for sale at the bus stop.
In case you didn't realize: for foreigners ;)
Bye bye Laos!