Forever blue. Nam Ngum, Laos.

Forest outside of Vientiane, Laos

When I look at this photo. It reminds me of who I am. Bound by nothing but an insatiable appetite for adventure and inner discovery. I welcome you on my journey.

Unknown town, Laos.

Our room was a giant box which stood on its own beside the hotel. Giant window panes let in an incredible amount of light and we were really enjoying living in our new home for the next few days. Being so unique, it gained the interest of many guests from the hotel who walked over and pressed their faces against the window peering in with interest. To their surprise they were usually greeted by myself and Thomas waiving back at them frantically with big smiles on our face. They must have thought it was some sort of tourist zoo. The look on their face was priceless. Compared to our old room, it was perfect. The other place was dreary, smelled funny, and could have done with a real good clean, although it did have a rather nice fridge.

The sky looked murky out of our gigantic windows but we braved a stroll into the local market to fill our hungry stomachs. Thomas wasn’t too keen on the look of the food but as usual I tucked in and purchased a few curries and a bag of rice. The rain suddenly came and it was coming down heavy so we made for a retreat to some nearby shelter were a lone woman was selling packets of cooked rice. Everyone was going mad for it. People even coming out in the pouring rain on their motorbikes to buy some, it must have been good! After a short while the rain started to soften giving us a chance to run back home to our warm, cosy room. We quite enjoyed sitting there that evening, watching the rain pour, the thunder boom, and the lightening strike huge bolts across the midnight sky. Many hours passed in a blur.

Nam Ngum, Laos

In the morning, we set out on our quest to Lake Ngum – the main reason we had travelled down from Vang Vieng. We hopped on a songthaew early morning with me hanging off the back as usual, hair blowing in the wind with a content look about myself. About twenty minutes went by until we started up a steep incline. As we reached the top the most incredible sight caught our eyes. “Stop, stop!” shouted Thomas to the driver as he proceeded to run towards the sight with his camera close at hand. I just sat, gazing admirably at one of the most beautiful lakes I had ever seen. It was absolutely stunning from the top of the hill. I could have easily sat there all day just looking, overwhelmed by its beauty.

We sat in the nearby restaurant overlooking the lake and battling over a game of Dama. It was a lovely warm, sunny day outside and it wasn’t long before I’d ordered my first drink of the day, an ice cold bottle of Beer Laos (very original). Thomas stupidly ordered tea which took ages for the young girl serving to understand. When he finally got served, he had to drink really bland Chinese tea from a small cup. On the up side he did win at Dama – which more than likely is the only thing he can remember!

In the heat of the afternoon sun, we walked down to the side of the lake for a swim. Thomas didn’t want to get his hair wet so he chose to spend his time sunbathing on a rock slab. Okay, I guess you could say the water was a tiny bit oily. It wasn’t enough to deter me though and I jumped right in and swam around like I had never seen water before. Hours of fun passed until we decided it was getting late and that it would be wise to head back before dark. We didn’t really think of how we would get back so we just started walking. I was tired from swimming and was really not looking forward to the long trek back. That’s when we heard a pick-up truck rumbling up the hill and I had an ingenious idea to hitch-hike. I guess it was our lucky day as the driver was German and quickly offered us a ride back towards town. We stood up on the back of the truck and held onto the big rail, it was another one of them really cool hitches like I’d experienced in Thailand. He dropped us off just outside of town and we thanked him before amazingly hitching another ride down the last stretch of road to within seconds of our home.

Backpacking Vang Vieng

Beside the hotel the river flowed, swollen by the many days of rain. Low in the sky, the last of the sun sank into the distant forest leaving an aura of pink and purple swirls like a mix of paint in the sky.

One of those perfect days in life which you always long for. I smiled to myself as I reminisced the days events. Lake Ngum, a simple expanse of water which took my breath away with a single glance. My memory of it will always remain, locked away with my greatest of treasures.

Well, that’s about it from me guys. Join me next time as I continue on the last leg of my journey through Northern Laos as I enter the busy capital of Vientiane where life moves much more quickly in contrast to the rest of Northern Laos.

See you there guys!

Peace and love,
Jonathan x

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