After spending 3 days in Muang Ngoi, Giraud and I decided to go do some homestay at Huay Bo – another remote village about 1.5 – 2 hours walk from Muang Ngoi. About 1.5 hours if you take the short cut across the rice fields and two hours if you don’t get lost. Just follow the dirt road that leads to Bana (another small village) and Huay Bo is the next village after that (just ask around).
There are not a lot of signs on the way to Huay Bo but people know where it is so keep asking and make sure that you are on the right direction. That is, if you meet people while walking towards the village.
Huay Bo is a tiny village inhabited by about 43 families. There is no permanent electricity or internet. There’s literally just one road, no stores to buy anything, not even a bunch of bananas. You have to go to the next village for that or you go to the forest and look for some. We were craving for snacks during our stay there but there were no stores to buy snacks and we were too lazy to walk to another village, so for a week we didn’t have any snacks in between our meals!
Some families use generators that use gasoline or use the flow of the many rivers nearby so that they can have a couple of hours of electricity (usually from 6 pm till 8 pm). The electricity the generators generate is enough to power a couple of light bulbs, charge their cellphones or battery powered radios and sometimes, watch a couple of hours of TV. No, there is no internet access, not even 3G.
We tried to help out with the family in their everyday tasks. We went hunting a couple of times. We worked in the rice fields but it is not the rice season so we just did some work on the land.
Most of our days are spent, literally doing nothing much than relaxing on the hammock, reading a book or talking to our homestay family. Actually, we were not the only ones doing nothing. We saw that many people in the village are doing the same, hanging out infront of their houses, chilling, watching the activities in the village, talking to other villagers. Life here is easy and simple!
There are two places to choose for accommodation. Remember, this is a really small village and accommodation is very basic. We stayed at Somsanouk Homestay and Restaurant (10, 000 kip per room/day). They made sure that we get to know a lot about their village life and sharing that experience to us as well.
There are animals everywhere – chicken, ducks, pigs, dogs, etc. Their noise wake us up in the morning and at night, the sounds of the crickets, frogs, lizards can be heard everywhere in the village.
If you ever had a chance, please visit the simple yet beautiful village of Huay Bo. The people there will be happy to welcome you.
Thanks to the friendly people of Huay Bo for sharing your village with us. Till we meet again next time! Khop chai!
Accomodation: Somsanouk Homestay and Restaurant for basic rooms at 10, 000 kip/per day. There is also another guesthouse right infront of Somsanouk.
Food: Starts at 10, 000 kip for a meal. There are no stores to buy snacks or anything else so if you like munching on chips and peanuts, buy it in Muang Ngoi or in Bana. Somsanouk will have soda, Beer Lao, Lao Lao and water for sale.