When we looked at the map, still in Sa Pa in Vietname, we knew that if we would go straight to Luang Prabang we would miss a big part of northeastern Laos. We didn’t want that to happen. That is why we decided to spend our first night in Laos in Muang Khua, a small village in the Pongsali province.
After many hours in a mini van stuffed with all kinds of merchandise, we finally arrived and found a guesthouse that a fellow spanish traveller that was there for the second time had recommended us. There are about ten guesthouses in Muang Khua, so it’s fairly easy to find an accommodation that will suit you.
Muang Khua is not particularly beautiful, but was a good starting point to explore Laos. We could immediately realise that people are much more relaxed than in Vietnam. There is no people constantly trying to sell you something or pressuring you in their restaurants or guest houses.
The main street has stores on both sides like mini markets, toys and clothes stores and I think must be one of the only paved streets in the whole village.
The life of the locals is focused on the river.
The main places of interest are a market with fruits, vegetables and some more typical foods and another smaller bridge, accessible only by foot. That’s where we stopped for a few minutes to talk to some kids and thrown some paper airplanes to the river.
There is also a small temple that due to the lack of other interesting things to visit is worth to see.
Pretty much every guest house has a restaurant so it’s easy to find a place to eat facing the river. It will be more difficult to wake up the employees to serve you.
This is pretty much a crossing point to other places and that was the purpose for us as well. We were heading to Muang Ngoy and were waiting for a small wooden boat that would take 5 hour to get there. It would leave only the following morning.
It was a good start.