Saturday, Feb. 27th (Muang Sing Day 1)

  • Set an alarm for 6:30am in an attempt to check out the Muang Sing Morning Market, but ended up sleeping straight through. 
  • After a couple morning coffees we put our bags in storage at Danneau 2 Guesthouse, then set of North on our motorbikes towards the Chinese border. 
  • 9km later we stopped at Adima Guesthouse and had a lunch of fried rice, mixed vegetables, and egg. 
  • We were the only ones sitting on the neat patio with beautiful rice paddies, forest, and misty mountaintops in the distance to keep us company. 
  • Left our motorbikes at Adima and set off on a hike through the surrounding hillsides. 
  • We walked through banana plantations and rubber tree plantations, but by far the highlight was passing through an Akha village on our way to deeper jungle. 
  • Everyone was smiling as we walked through the village and children ran up to us in groups shouting, “sabaidee!” (“hello!”), waving and high-fiving as we passed. 
  • Pigs, cows, water buffalo, chickens, roosters, turkeys, dogs, and cats were wandering the dirt paths between bamboo houses – all completely integrated into the daily life of the village. 
  • At the entrance was a large overhanging wooden gate which we were instructed not to touch as it is sacred to the Akha people. 
  • We spent some time exploring the hillside before returning to our motorbikes and driving 6km East of Muang Sing to check out That Xieng Tung, one of the most important stupas in Laos and said to contain the Buddha’s Adam’s Apple. 
  • We pulled up on our motorbikes and a solitary monk in a blood red shawl came out to greet us speaking excellent English. We spoke of home, Buddhism, and family, all while sharing some green crab apples (for lack of the proper name!) and mandarin oranges. 
  • We explored the temple, monastery, and surrounding hilltop, which has several fantastic monolithic trees to marvel at, before heading down the Old Falang Trail in search of Nam Keo Waterfall. 
  • Unfortunately we never made it to the waterfall, but we came across some incredible views and saw much untamed jungle, all while fitting in some exercise which was the main goal. 
  • We returned to Muang Sing and had a bowl of chicken noodle soup for dinner at the Night Market before checked back in to Danneau 2 Guesthouse. 
  • Spent the rest of the night online and reading before heading to bed.
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