I am a little behind with finishing my travel diary. Some time ago I told about my Italian travel last summer (on blogspot). In September / October I spent two weeks in Laos with a Norwegian organisation called Norwegian Church Aid. We travelled around in different part in Laos. Our goal was to meet people and be able to tell about the situation in the country when we came back to Norway. Norwegian Church Aid has a lental campaign every Lent, and this year the campaign focused Laos and the country's problem concerning traficking and opium.
The second photo is showing women from the same tribe. These people live deep into the huge forests of Laos, and have almost no contact with the rest of the world. So they found us light skinned Norwegians very strange :-)
Travelling in Laos was a challenge. We used speed boats on the Mekong river to come to the Bokeo province and while there we used three of the five cars (!) in the whole province. Travelling further south and into the country, to Loang Prabang, we went by river boat, a fantastic 10 hours travel. And of cours in Loang Prabang we had to try "tchuck tchuck" on our way from temple to temple.
Loang Prabang was a city I never will forget. We came there in the evening, after the dark had come, and after checking in it at the most charming hotel, with a garden filled with orchids, and eating dinner, we walked around in the town, visiting the outdoor night markets. On the markets women were sitting doing their crafts. The next day we visited quite a few of the more than 30 old temples. Loang Prabang is on UNESCO'S heritage list because of all these temples.
I will probably be writing more from Laos later, but will tonight share with you one of my favorite pictures from the trip; me watching a local woman south in Savannaket doing some housework - she is weaving bamboo to mend her roof. This woman was sitting outside her house when we were on the way to some paddy rice fields. We stopped and talked with her, and she invited us into her house. I will never forget her friendliness.