Updated June 2007: The road from Huay Xai to Louang Namtha has been changed (improved) to a fast 4 hours by bus on new road, 65000 kips each.
My first impression
Louang Namtha is a wonderful little town that we stopped over for a night before we head to the border of Laos-China. Any tourists who want to get overland border crossing should ended up in this little town. You can see in this photo the grounds we stand were still original earth made. Tribal peoples occasionally can be seen here where they still wearing their tradition colorful costumes. The photo is the local market and I was standing there because we have to wait for our 4 wheel truck to get into China.
That night was a memorable night. Five of us getting hungry, so we search around for restaurants to fill up our noisy stomach. By having the same opinion, all of us decided to take the bright light one located near our guesthouse. Roads in Louang Namtha have no lampposts but a big loud speaker as somekind of media to educate peoples, I supposed. Anyway, we sat down inside the restaurant and then we have to walk deep into the kitchen to make order. The chef we can tell is a Chinese, so we tell him to cook a delicious dinner for 5. After meal, we enjoy the home brand of Beer Lao.
Looking over there from our guesthouse, we can see another wooden made hut with some 4wd trucks parking beside it, must be the bus station. Yes we are right, there was a counter selling tickets to the border and other places.
Next to the bus station, we sat down for breakfast. An easy restaurant selling Lao-French-styled toast serving with sausages-like food with sweet sauces and fresh vegetables, coffee of course, not bad.
The one we stayed is run by a Chinese family. Good condition overall, clean toilet, clean beds and even have a garden.
Pigs, they like foreigners too
If you like cute pigs, you can see all sizes of pigs here but don’t worry as they are not anywhere on the street. Pigs know where they should go, they avoid approaching strangers.
Our truck driver
He is a local Lao man owned a family somewhere here. His main income is to send tourists daily from this point to that point. In within, he can practice his English with us meantime we can practice our Laos with him. In Laos, the driver is sitting at the left (French) and also they can speak French. We told him we are going to visit China but he couldn’t get what we meant by that but last he suddenly realized it and say “oh Chine?”