Laos is green, bicycle touring Laos is very green. Outside of the towns and cities it feels like a jungle with plants, trees, birds and bugs. Many mosquitoes fly around. You don’t have to go far to find villages, pigs scuttling around and chickens waking you up in the morning with their call. The first impression of Lao people is very welcoming. Children are very active and run towards us while we cycle past and shout Sabaidee and wave frantically. When connecting with adults they usually greet. It is great when coming across children that are heading to school on their bicycles with parasols. They often greet very politely and sometimes just by laughing really hard.
Finding rest and relaxation is one of Lao strongest points with their local saying: ‘Please Don’t Rush’. We found this in a hammock in Nong Khiaw and the village of Nola guesthouse. Buffalo’s wander the streets. Markets line the streets with veggies and fruits although often they would be empty when we were passing through. Temples are active and monks are a frequent part of the streetscape. On the road it is not easy to find food in the smallest villages, they often only have a shop with sweets and maybe Vitamilk. This became a trustworthy snack for us because it contained the most energy of what was available. Sticky rice is a constant in Laos and tasty. Roadside fuel was quite consistent because of the number of motor bikes. In villages the houses are made from wood and bamboo. IN some villages they have started to use concrete. Often we would see smoke coming out of the wooden houses on stilts. The Lao people cook on open fires in their wooden houses without exhaust. there are initiatives to improve this (we have seen some improved stoves at markets) but it is a slow process.