Traveling on Road Houay Xai to Boten 2009-2010

Discussion in 'Global Trip Reports' started by Abg Acid, May 8, 2010.

  1. This is a part of the road adventures we made from Malaysia. We traveled into Thailand and north Laos. A total of 7 bikers on 150cc bikes, made a road distance of more then 6000 km during the period of 18 days into early January 2010. A perfect time to travel these regions, dry and cool. Our budget were quite small , each person averaging 20,000 bahts throughout.

    Laos, a bit of history first,.. it was once under the colony of France. Thus we saw quite a few of the documents that we filled at the immigration/custom dept has French tittle. Later, when Laos gets its independence 1947 after world war II , but during this period it stood on civil wars all the time. In 1975 it moved to become a communist country, and hence the doors were closed for years. Slowly the socialist system dematerialised and in 1997 laos became PDR, People's Democractic Republic and became an ASEAN country. Doors were opened one by one.

    For some reason, during the communist era, there is hardly any developemnt especially at northern Laos, and this region we toured was awkwardly left behind,.. I would say 40 years behind time. Its a mountain country and Kids are still running around without sandals and dont go to school at all. Houses are mere ataps roofings and bamboo walls, Cant imagine how cold it could be for them at nights. Even with our riding jackets on, we could still feel the biting cold as the wind hit us.

    We have heard of a new highway built by the Chinese?? across the northern section to link Boten to Huoay Xai for transportation of chinese goods caravan into thailand. It was a win win situation for China and Laos.That was just 3 years ago. Sadly now this road is deteriorating fast, hardly any maintenance from the Lao side. I presume another 2 years this highway will dissappear to become a mere track of dirt if no action ever taken. And the unfortunate hill tribes and remote villages will be left unprospered just as they were before the road came into their life.

    Quarters amongst the hills, this we could see as it is near the road we traveled. But what about the ones we couldnt see, the ones which are more remote? The conditions could be more heartbreaking.
  2. 2a-1.
    These are luckier kids in the city of Houay Xai, going off to school. You can almost wear anything to school I suppose

    Those unlucky children who are left in the hills. They will become like their forefathers, gathering woods on their backs like we saw countless of time. And each time we stop, swarms of them gather around to look and touch our stuffs and bikes.
  3. 1a1.
    Their faces tells the story. We dont need to tell more. These are what we saw in the land of Laos.
  4. 2h-1.
    A lone elderly woman walking along the highway, smoking a sort of a longpipe. At least I think she is happy with her life

    whilst these 2 women has to work. Carrying used empty sacks to be refill with produce from the hills. They will return to the city when the sacks are fill tomorrow to sell I presume
  5. 2i.
    2 teenage girls, we saw along the highway. Soon they will be married, get pregnant and have family in the hills. Do they know the late Michel Jackson or Bill Gates? I doubt they do. Notice the little girl on far right? piggyback her lil sister, how sweet.

    Their living quarters. Chicken, dogs and pigs are everywhere. The hygene standards are low. We saw at one time, men taking bath at the roadside drain. But God is mercifull, they live and survived, have families and food.
  6. 2f-1.
    Even in the city of Luang Namtha, we could still see restaurant with firewoods as a source of fuel to cook. This one has the kitchen located on the front section of the restaurant

    And yet, certain hotels still proudly hang the communist flag. I cant reason out whats the need to hang it out for everyone to see.

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