Ban Pak Nguey – Village Homestay

I’m now in Laos and it’s beautiful. To get to Ban Pak Nguey we took a 7h journey on a private boat along the Mekong River. The views were amazing. At first we had Laos on our left and then Thailand on the right, but it wasn’t long until the river snaked through just Laos.

On arrival we went to be greeted by our hosts in the lower village before taking a look at the Buddhist village temple and then the school. The kids invited us into the classrooms to join then for the last few minutes of their day.

After school the children came and found us and asked us to play with them. We invented action songs, taught them the Hokey Cokey and played general games of tag. A couple of us tried to explore the village but were joined by all the kids, the girls were showing us around and even demonstrated a local song/dance which they tried to teach us.

The hosts of the house we stayed in made us an amazing evening meal before inviting us to participate in a Baci ceremony. This involved us being blessed by the villagers who in turn said a prayer and tied a white bracelet to our wrists. The ceremony is designed to call back all the souls you leave behind when you travel and the white bracelets are to be left on for 3 days to help your spirits find and return to you. This was an absolutely amazing experience.

After the ceremony we spent a few hours on the beach next to the Mekong River drinking local spirits round a campfire. I won’t be forgetting this day anytime soon. 

Muay Thai Boxing – Chiang Mai

I really enjoyed myself at the Muay Thai boxing. I got to see 7 matches, some male some female, each 5 rounds, with only the last 2 rounds of each match scored. There was also a show match with swords and a comedy match. The bets were double or nothing and I won on the few bets I did make. I just really wish I’d seen the boxing sooner as I would have loved to have spent a day doing some Muay Thai training.