The sgBikerBoy 2016 Trip – Day 22

12 July 2016, Tuesday. Since I was already quite far up north in Laos, and was only about an hour’s ride from the Yunnan Chinese border, I thought I’d just go check it out. I’ve always been curious about border towns – they typically buzz with human activity – trade, tourism – both cross border and international, shops, and sometimes other dodgy activities.

9km more to the Yunnan border.
9km more to the Yunnan border.

Honestly, the border was a little underwhelming. It’s used more by Laotian and Chinese trucks carrying construction sand and granite than passenger vehicles. After experiencing the expensive border crossing from Thailand to Laos yesterday, I wasn’t in the mood to explore another one. Also, my research has suggested that I cannot simply ride into China – to get approval, I’d need to apply for some permits and also hire a local guide. Too much hassle, no thanks.

I stopped and turned around at the Laotian customs border.
I stopped and turned around at the Laotian customs border.

The hotel didn’t come with breakfast, and it was approximately 8am. So I headed back to the nearest town on Laos’ side in search of breakfast before making my way to the next nearest city, Luang Prabang.

Passed by this motorcycle repair shop. Very, very basic bike repair shops are commonplace in Laos.
Passed by this motorcycle repair shop. Very, very basic bike repair shops are commonplace in Laos.
No surprise that many eateries here cater to the Chinese.
No surprise that many eateries here cater to the Chinese.
Enjoying a bowl of noodle soup. The eatery owner was very surprised when she found out that I wasn't a Chinese national as I could converse with her in Mandarin.
Enjoying a bowl of noodle soup. The eatery owner was very surprised when she found out that I wasn’t a Chinese national as I could converse with her in Mandarin.
Awesome views as I head towards Luang Prabang.
Awesome views as I head towards Luang Prabang.
Couldn't resist a selfie moment - yes, i was there. Here's proof! Hmph!!
Couldn’t resist a selfie moment – yes, i was there. Here’s proof! Hmph!!
After all the mountain snake passes, I was actually feeling exhausted. When I passed a town, I was so glad. Stopped at a local bubble tea shop for a quick break.
After all the mountain snake passes, I was actually feeling exhausted. When I passed a town, I was so glad. Stopped at a local bubble tea shop for a quick break.
Beware of falling rocks. Also, beware of the fallen rocks.
Beware of falling rocks. Also, beware of the fallen rocks.
I hope the villagers from here don't have to go to court. They'd get thrown out. But thankfully, they weren't named "gone case village" instead.
I hope the villagers from here don’t have to go to court. They’d get thrown out. But thankfully, they weren’t named “gone case village” instead.

The ENTIRE ROUTE from Luang Namtha to Luang Prabang was a mountain snake pass. Yes, there were a couple of bigger towns along the way (which made excellent break points), but otherwise it’s all rural country side.

…and then SUDDENLY, a kid bolted out from nowhere and stood in the middle of the road, DIRECTLY in my path of travel. Head turned towards me, eyes wide opened, and frozen in his tracks. I hit my brakes, slowed down just in time and managed to avoid an accident. Phew!

Yeah - I was referring to this little guy here... Bad kid, bad kid! Didn't your mother teach you how to cross the road! Okay, I'd admit. It wasn't THAT close to an accident.
Yeah – I was referring to this little guy here… Bad kid, bad kid! Didn’t your mother teach you how to cross the road! Okay, I’d admit. It wasn’t THAT close to an accident.
Slow traffic.
Slow traffic.
Checked into a hotel here in Luang Prabang and noticed the owner (used to) ride a Pulsar too! According to him, there are several dealership in Vientiane. None in Luang Prabang.
Checked into a hotel here in Luang Prabang and noticed the owner (used to) ride a Pulsar too! According to him, there are several dealership in Vientiane. None in Luang Prabang.
The highlight of my day is always food. Here's dinner - the most expensive I had in this trip. 95,000kips - about SGD16 or USD12.
The highlight of my day is always food. Here’s dinner – the most expensive I had in this trip. 95,000kips – about SGD16 or USD12.
Sunset along the Mekong river.
Sunset along the Mekong river.

Luang Prabang It is a city in north central Laos, consisting of 58 adjacent villages, of which 33 comprise the UNESCO Town Of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site. It was listed in 1995 for unique and “remarkably” well preserved architectural, religious and cultural heritage, a blend of the rural and urban developments over several centuries, including the French colonial influences during the 19th and 20th centuries. -Source: Wikipedia

The UNESCO monument in Luang Prabang.
The UNESCO monument in Luang Prabang.
The Luang Prabang night market against the temple Haw Pha Bang in the backdrop.
The Luang Prabang night market against the temple Haw Pha Bang in the backdrop.
Night market vendors displaying their wares. I noticed that the Laotian are extremely neat and organised. Practically every store took pride in displaying their stuff for sale in a very, very neat fashion, it's almost clinical!
Night market vendors displaying their wares. I noticed that the Laotian are extremely neat and organised. Practically every store took pride in displaying their stuff for sale in a very, very neat fashion, it’s almost clinical!
Even the food vendors caught on this clinically neat trend.
Even the food vendors caught on this clinically neat trend.

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