Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Prelude to a trip...

(NOTE: Parts 2 and 3, the pretty picture and national geographic sections of the show, aka the hiking and the villages are now up below. More exciting blog entries to come. About as soon as we stop saying "I am a Mahout" to each other...)

Brian

Our main reason for heading to Luang Nam Tha was to have the opportunity to visit some of the remote hill tribes located in Northern Laos. You see plenty of advertisements promoting visits to various minority hill tribes that populate the mountain ranges of SE Asia. Becca and I were both excited about the opportunity to visit some of these villages but wanted to go with a group that made us feel comfortable about imposing ourselves in someones home. Someone who partnered with the tribes themselves and did their best to minimize the impact the felang (that's us) have on the area. After not really finding anything that fit the bill in Thailand, we decided to try our luck in Laos having heard that they've learned from Thailand's mistakes (mainly exploiting the tribes, turning the areas into a 'disneyland' atmosphere and in one case even moving the village 70km to be closer to town).

Our experience in Luang Nam Tha and the protected area was amazing and one of the best we've had on the trip. It's very difficult to get all of it into one post without getting all "and then this happened..." on everyone and no one, especially us wants that. I mean if you're spending your company's dollar checking us out, we might as well make it worth your while, no?

As a result, we've split the trip into three parts; the hiking, the food and the experiences with the tribes. We're posting the food one now, and the other two should soon follow. Read one of them, read all three, read none of them but we figured it would be a different way to share our adventures from an amazing three days.

And for the kids (and parents who have kids) in the crowd, we'll be back in a few days with a much promised present.

Until then...

Brian

2 comments:

CloakingDevice said...

Hey guys! Seems you're having the time of your life! I'm flying to Shanghai in the middle of July and will be on vacation for a month.. I'm gonna follow up this blog as usual to see if you guys find anything worth checking out in the vicinity ^_^

cheers!

Jenn Bas said...

Loved the photos and the banana leaves as plates reminded me of childhood celebrations with family. adam is jealous; he loves laotian food. we've been panning through all the food photos, drooling.

i've had those small bananas before they looked good; you're generous to share with the elephant!

Cheers!
Jenn