We have both learned that we don't care much for big cities and instead prefer the village life. As such, we made a route for Nongkhew, a small fishing village set on the Mekong River. The place is surrounded by majestic jungle covered karst peaks with numerous caves, waterfalls, and treks. The road to our destination was twisting and turning and our driver almost took out a few poor chickens that somehow always move away just in time to avoid squashed. We checked into a simple room with mosquito netting and went walking around the one main street with some vendors selling goods, chickens and dogs running around, and the laughter of children. Clouds often descend on the town, which give the mountains an even more mysterious look with the mint green river flowing down swiftly.
The place may be small but the food options are international, so ate Indian food every night with generous portions and got little bamboo baskets stuff full of sticky rice for breakfast and Bamboo soup.
The next day asking around the hotel about some caves to visit on foot, started off down the quiet road, while coming across other villages where the children would come running yelling greetings and asking for pens. We passed farmers working in the field and hopped a fence to what we thought was a waterfall but instead found a pretty riverside bank with mountains all around and lilies growing on ponds. We spotted four girls washing their days catch in the river and exchanged greeting and lots of smiles. As they left to go up the hilly dirt path, they continued to look back smile and wave at us.
The cave that we ended up at was used as a shelter during the American bombing campaign and was massive with a few chambers. We tried walking to another cave but the path was too steep, muddy, and slippery so took a leisurely stroll back to town. Not having any banks around, we just barely have enough money to take the bus to Luang Namtha in the far northwest of Laos, so bid goodbye to out pleasant time here.