Where's James

Muang Sing

North of Luang Namtha is the small town of Muang Sing. I went here mostly to see the famed morning market but as I arrived around 2pm I had time to see some of the town before stopping overnight. It was my first experience of Lao roads off the main highway too, a 2.5 hour ride on a very bumpy and beaten-up road. As with all busses in Laos it’s important to arrive at the station an hour before departure or you’ll risk the bus having been filled and left.

Luang Namtha

After crossing into Laos I arrived in Luang Namtha, a fairly large town in the north of Laos and about 60km away from the Chinese border. The following morning I hired a bike with a plan to see the old town, the center of Luang Namtha before the new town was built. Firstly though I cycled to a nearby temple with a good view over the town. Though it looks like a stupa, which is built over Buddhist relics, this is actually a temple and the inside is accessible.

Crossing into Laos

Having spent just over five weeks in Thailand I took one last bus trip 2.5 hours to Chiang Khong, a border town on the Mekong river. For years backpackers have been traveling to Chiang Khong to take the one-minute boat over to Laos. As it happens, a new bridge opened in December 2013 and as a result the boat crossing is now closed to foreigners (but open to locals). This being Asia though, they didn’t think to build the bridge between the two border towns, but 10km South.