The first trip through Laos started in the northern town of Muang Khua, then took us down the Nam Ou river to Nong Khiaw, through the capital Vientiane and ended with the Thakhek motorbike loop in central Laos. Below is an unedited selection from the Laos photo gallery that we captured during our 27 day trip through this beautiful country.
We started in the north east town of Muang Khua and after much negotiating caught a boat down the Nam Ou river to Nong Khiaw. We stopped along the river bank at a small village and found these curious children playing on the river’s mud bank.
Our trek in northern Laos took us deep into the jungle and occasionally there would be a clearing with rice fields and farming of small settlements.
Although a very popular tourist destination, Luang Prabang was a beautiful town to settle for a few days. We ate great street food, drank Beerlao along the Mekong river bank, took a trip to the local water falls.
The morning we woke up in the jungle village, we watched this man preparing a chicken.
The scenery in Khammouane province was breathtaking. This water buffalo seemed to enjoy himself.
During the Thakhek motorbike loop, we rode along the karst limestone formation near Tham Kong Lo, also known as the Konglor cave.
As we rode along, children would always smile, wave and shout ‘Sabadee’. We would often stop and try to talk to them or play with them. They seemed very excited and curious about us.
After an epic trek up a waterfall, we were all quite exhausted and glad that we had arrived at this jungle farming village, where we would spend our first night.
Emma striding across the bridge in Nong Khiaw.
We had stopped along the road to take some landscape photos and noticed this young Laotian woman, carrying a huge bag of rice.
Shortly before we arrived at Thalang village, we stopped to watch the sunset over this flooded forest. This is a common sight in Laos as a result of the many large hydro-electric dams.
It was humbling to sail down river on our tiny boat among this incredible river jungle scenery. I tried to capture the banks of the Nam Our river.
As we set off on our trek near Nong Khiaw, we soon lacked roads and were surrounded by nature and jungle.
On our first day of the trek, we stopped in this village and ended up buying some hand made cotton cloths. This woman was just in the process of colouring the cotton. They make the colours from natural ingredients by themselves. Our guide explained to us that you can buy these kinds of cotton cloths in the more frequented town in Laos, however they are not produced by the locals. Often they are made in China and sold for profit, which does not increase the local economy.
The rainy morning we commenced our walk back, I remember looking forward to a shower and some western comforts. I couldn’t help thinking about these families we had met, how happy they are with what they have. They have left a lasting impression.
It is hard to stomach that this beautiful country and its wonderful people are still suffering from the worst landmine pollution in the world as the effects of the secret war. The COPE Rehabilitation Centre in Vientiane is a must visit.