Country Village, Luang Prabang Province, Laos.
On the way back from the Tad Se Waterfalls I had our driver stop at this little village I had seen on the way out of town. We were with a few new friends who had no idea what I was doing or why I would want to stop in such a place (there was no tourist restaurant or 7-Eleven, after all!) But Megan knew what I was up to. She has seen this sort of thing before, bless her heart. I only agreed to go to the waterfalls in the first place so I could scope out some of these rural destinations.
We explored the village on foot for about an hour and met many local folk, like this kind lady who invited us in to take a photo of her in her new cinder block home. People invited us in for snacks and tea and chats - the same sort of thing that always happens if you make an effort to get five feet off the Banana Pancake Trail. Our new friends were amazed that we could have such a good time somewhere that wasn't listed in any guide book anywhere. And thus, so many points I have tried to make about independent travel over the last few years were made.
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