on Christmas eve there was no boat from Muang Khua going south to Nong Khiaw, so detoured by bus via Pak Nam Noi & Oudomxai. ended up stuck in Pak Mong for that night as no more onward transport to Nong Khiaw....but made new friends along e way, who helped e cat to find a place to koon. so reached Nong Khiaw a day late =|
power supply + phone lines to Nong Khiaw were cut off e next day, so Christmas dinner (& cooking & laundry & bathing) was by candlelight + torchlight. Nong Khiaw is amazingly beautiful, a pity (or a blessing?) that most tourists simply zip through.
then e cat was off to Luang Prabang, where it is right now. net access & phone networks didn't work (earthquake in Taiwan?), only thing was able to send out were postcards ;) wonderful world heritage city, though tourism is turning it into a zoo....
an hour after arriving e cat was stopped by Wat Ho Xieng monks wanting to practise their English, & a few hours later it found itself teaching half of an English night class at e invitation of a 20-y/o monk. & today it taught another English night class to university students at e invitation of a guesthouse staff who turned out to be a part-time English teacher. really fun interacting with e locals of e city =) apparently quite successful at passing off as one of them too, which they say makes e cat less intimidating to approach for English conversation practice (as compared to Caucasian tourists). great for avoiding hawkers & tuktuk drivers too ;)
on 30th will leave by slow boat for Huay Xai, a 2-day journey with a night in Pak Beng.