Laos, a country for cyclists – closing words and video
After our train ride through China we were definitely looking forward to cycling in Laos. For that reason we accepted two little detours to visit the small and cosy villages Luang Namtha and Nong Khiaw. All in all we made far more altitude difference in Laos than in any other country before. That’s why and because the weather was mostly hot and humid cycling was pretty exhausting there. However, we still enjoyed it most of the time as the landscape with its hills, mountains and loopy rivers was nice to look at, also there was little traffic and the people – especially on the countryside – were very friendly. Sure, talking to them still wasn’t easier than in the other countries, but at least they understood our pantomiming better than the Chinese did. 😉
We thought it was nice that for the Lao people it seems to be usual to greet everybody in a friendly way. Also it was interesting to see that apparently the Lao women are the makers. Rarely we saw men work – okay, in construction, yes, but these were mostly Chinese -, it was always women who were standing in the shops, restaurants, guesthouses, on the field. The men were only lying in the hammock or playing with the children. Well, at least it seemed so to us.
Especially in the North of Laos nearly every woman is wearing a Sarong (a special, traditional kind of skirt which reaches at least over the knees), often with Western t-shirts and hoodies – a somehow unorthodox combination. Also very popular are mopeds and motor bikes which are used by every Lao between five and 70. Frequently, we had a feeling that traffic rules are not quite well known around here. For example, it is just normal not to look left or right and just get on the road – several times we had to slow down. We surely didn’t wonder about the many chalkdrawings on the roads…
Still we can declare Laos to our favourite country on our trip so far, even though accomodation and food were not exactly brilliant. Cyclists who like a bit of a challenge and prefer not to see soooo many other tourists should definitely go there – we can highly recommend it!
And here is the video from our adventures in Laos: