• Muang Sing, the northern mountain region

    This is not much more than a couple of streets in the middle of a plain and surrounded by some small mountains and forests, but Muang Sing has been a well known place since long ago. First as one of the biggest opium markets in Laos and nowadays as the starting point for many eco-minded treks in the mountains. Even having asked in many guest houses, in the tourist office and to some locals too, we could not get much information about trekking independently in the surrounding area. It was thanks to an american guy who gave us a copy of a hand made map that we could start to think it was possible to hike by ourselfs, with no guides, group or whatever.

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    On our second day in town we couldn’t do much because of the heavy rain (the wet season is just starting and, from our point of view, it’s doing quite well: raining everyday sometimes 24 hours non stop!!). But we used that day to familiarize with some Akha hill tribe women who were in town to sell their souvenirs to tourists. They were very friendly and we had good fun together, although they constantly tried to sell us things that we had refused just minutes ago.

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    The next day we rented a mountain bike and made our way through extremely muddy paths up and down the mountains towards the Chinesse border (just 12 km away from Muang Sing). We visited many tribe villages and played with many kids, but the best thing that day was the good time we had riding the bikes through these narrow, muddy paths between rice fields and forests.

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    After aproximately 8 hours biking, we came back to town completely knakered and with pain all over our bodies (specially in our bums), so we just relaxed and got ready to go back to Huay Xai the next morning.

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