We woke up early and had a quick breakfast down the road before being picked up and taken an hours drive outside the city north to our drop off destination for kayaking the Ou River. It was chilly on the ride up there in the back of the truck and we were hoping the day would warm up and the river would be warm.
We stopped in 2 H'mung villages first to see how they lived. We have seen similar villages of the H'mung people in Thailand and Vietnam, and these were no different other than these were the White H'mung people. Other H'mung ethnic groups include the Red, Black, and Green - all in southeast Asia.
It was warm by the time we set off on our kayaking journey down the river. For 90% of the trip, it was a lazy river we paddled the way through, but there were a few decent rapids (no more than class 2) and we even flipped the kayak one time. No one was hurt and it was quite refreshing. While lasting all day, the entire trip down the river didn't last more than 4 hours including a stop for lunch.
When entering the city, the drivers stopped to unload the boats and equipment and we were able to witness cock fighting. In all our travels, we hadn't see this "sport" yet. It was somewhat disturbing, but I guess goes with the territory. It is still forcing 2 animals to fight and Jamie and I aren't one to support it.
After a much needed shower, we went out to town again to this restaurant we had seen on the main road. We ordered and split some local fruit wine (very sweet and cough syrupy) and the stuffed bamboo with pork as well as a fried pineapple in coconut milk for dessert. Decent meal, but a bit overpriced.
Tomorrow, Jamie is taking a cooking class which will take most of the day. I haven't decided what I am doing yet. We do have our schedule for the rest of our trip as follows...
On Jan. 3rd, we'll take a 10 hour bus ride to Vientiane arriving and 4:00 pm or so. We'll hang out in the capital city of Laos for the evening before boarding a short flight to Bangkok on Jan. 4 for our job fair starting on the 5th. Wish us luck!
Again, we are really liking Laos. The people are very friendly, the food is delicious, and the atmosphere if VERY laid back. Great trip for just about anyone.