Some days when you’re off on the road, exploring a new country you don’t know what the day ahead of you brings. One of those perfect days start with a beautiful day in the sleepy island of Dong Khong. Having arrived there overland from Cambodia, it was my first experience in Laos.
We head off and rent some motorbikes to explore the island. Partially paved roads and hidden gas stations make it a little bit of a challenge. The scenery and the sense of exploration parallel the beautiful day. It’s May in South East Asia, the breeze on the bike is the perfect reprieve from the hot hot humid day.
The moment gets better when we spot a little roadside stand. We decide to stop for a break, it’s full of locals but no one speaks English. This is the place where we discover that Dong Khong is the place where lao-lao (which can only be described as fiery moonshine whiskey shots) is made, and this is the place where locals do it right. Beer Lao, the national drink proves to be our drink of choice and we’re not there long before someone whips off to get us all more. The locals seem to be just as happy to see us as we them.
Travellers live for these moments; finding out of the way roadside stops, meeting locals, and exploring a new country. Not on a bus with 40 other people, but making our own path, and seeing the real Laos.