My first trekking in Phou Xieng Thong NPA
Northwest from Pakse is the Phou Xieng Thong National Protected Area (NPA). It was in this NPA that we (me and a German woman and her daughter) would do a 3d/2n tour. We were also introduced to our local guide Miek, 30 years old with a decent knowledge of English.Our first stop was Ban Mai Singsaphan Village where we met our first homestay family. It’s a village with about 380 families..no idea though how many heads 1 family counts.. After lunch, prepared by the family – actually all meals were prepared by the homestay families – we, accompagnied by a guide from the village, explored the village and its nearby forest. And enjoyed a beautiful sunset at another part of the Mekong River.
I’m ready for the hike! We got a 63 years old guide ‘assigned’ to guide us throught the jungle. I expected climbing onto mountains and peddling through rough water! At the end I was happy it wasn’t that heavy. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t tired after 6 hours of hiking in the bare sun! Piece of cake for our 63 years old guide though.On of the highlights was a visit to the hermit nuns. These ladies live in a cave underneath a cliff and have forsaken speaking and many food for several years, all in the name of world peace! The nun we ‘spoke’ to said they will have 1 meal a day with vegetables and noodles and 2 glasses of soy milk!
Tonight’s homestay place was Miek’s own house on the island of Don Kho! We met her husband and mom and her very cute 2,5 yrs old daughter and helped out with dinner.
Before we went back to Pakse the next day we went around the island with his only 400 inhabitants and visited some of the weavery families.
I would definitely recommend doing a trekking with a homestay because you get to live with and amongst the locals. And taste authentic local food! And the smaller the group the more you will interact with the local family!