Crossing the NPA in Luang Namtha (North of Laos)

After 9 hour of bumpy roads from Luang Prabang, we finally arrive in Luang Namtha.

The little town falls asleep early, even during the day there is not much to do. You could easily find a basic accommodation and get some food at the night market: BBQ chicken skewers, noodle soup, lap, green papaya salad, make sure you are asking not spicy or get ready to cry your eyes out.

Oh finding a map would be a bit challenging as the Tourism Information Center was under construction.

Laos_Luang_Namtha_tourism_Office

The next day we rented a scooter and drove in direction of Mengla, the Chinese border.

Laos is famous for butterfly spotting, on the way I started to complain and then… hey dude! may I have my seat back?

Laos_Luang_Namtha_butterfly

 

After few hours we were delighted to find a Beer Lao KTV!! (glad I had some serious training in China)

Laos_Luang_Namtha_Beer_Laos

This is the view from a Beer Lao KTV terrace, imagine massive sound system + drunk guys singing love songs…we had to join the party !

Laos_Luang_Namtha_Beer_rice_field

Laos_Luang_Namtha_Beer_rice_field2

We enter the NPA, the road to Vieng Phoukha was absolutely stunning.

Laos_Luang_Namtha_Vieng_Phoukha

crossing little villages ….

Laos_Luang_Namtha_villages

 

BBQ….

Laos_Luang_Namtha_BBQ

Approaching Mengla, we saw more and more trucks on the road filled with freshly cut trees. The lucrative (and sometimes illegal) wood business  helps to fill the energy needs of Chinese booming economy. As I was driving further into the NPA, villages disappeared, traffic decreased and then what you see will break your heart. From far away, if you pay enough attention  the mixed coloured primary forest is giving way to a much younger forest, uniform and man made.

Laos is selling its precious natural ressources to their neighbours and inflicting irreversible damage to the local eco-system…. I would like to know more about the situation of wood trading, so please leave your comment.

Let’s hit the road back! ouch 30km…

Laos_Luang_Namtha_Mengla_border

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