25 March 2008

Nam Ha Valley

There are many treks you can do in Luang Namtha and I decided to do a two day walk through a valley in the national park. I think paths were the access routes to the main roads for the people living in the national park. We set off from a village where some Lanten people lived. These people still dress in traditional clothing, making their own cloth and dying them with indigo. The women wear a long tunic with long strands of cotton falling from the collar. They wear knee length pants and white strips of cloth on their lower legs. They originated from southern China 900 years ago and their written language is old Chinese script. It was a good walk through the forest, though quite muddy and slippery in some areas. Plenty of plants and pretty fungi to see. We say a huge millipede about 20cm long.

We stayed overnight with a Khamu Village. Like a pretty regular village, it had lots of chickens and pigs wandering around and a few water buffalo too. This village was on a river which we used for bathing. water and drinking water. It’s not often I drink boiled river water! They cooked us a delicious dinner of water buffalo larp, cabbage and tomato chunky sauce. The village was in the process of moving so that a school could be accommodated in the area for two villages to share. This ethnic group has their own language in the group of Mon- Khmer languages as these people originated from Cambodia. The people killed us a chicken for lunch and cooked it with ginger for us- delicious! These people collect food from the forest such as banana flowers, rattan and bamboo to eat and sell or barter at the market. I managed to sample all of these foods.

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