/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/00_Sawngthaew.jpg I took a Sawngthaew further southish from Luang Nam Tha to Vieng Puka. Sawngthaew literally means "two bench" in the back of a pickup truck. It was a really beautiful ride through the jungle! At this point, all the men had to get out and walk up the hill because the truck wasn't powerful enough to take us all. It was fun though. 52 KB  
/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/02_Maak_Lot.jpg So many mysterious fruits here in Laos! Not sure what the name is in English, but according to this website, the closest thing seems to be "Lengaro" or "Elaeagnus longari". The tase like a sour / bitter plum at first, but grow on you. 31 KB  
/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/03_Pharamacy.jpg This kind of dusty old "pharmacy" was not so uncommon in Laos. 40 KB  
/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/07_Cute_Kids.jpg Alright if I haven't mentioned it yet -- the kids in Laos are the cutest kids on earth! I am usually not the kind of person to go gaga over kids, but these ones were just skipping and playing cute little games all day! 29 KB  
/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/08_Cute_Kids.jpg In the background you can see a man chopping wood at the Vieng Puka "bus station". 34 KB  
/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/10_Cute_Kids.jpg Once they saw I was taking pictures they all came over to hang out at my table. 29 KB  
/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/11_Sunset.jpg Kids were playing football in this little community center in the middle of town at sunset. 15 KB  
/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/15_Karate_Kids.jpg These kids were having a crazy, dusty kung fu fight in front of their house. It was exciting, there was one in a tree, one on the roof, they had various weapons and were battling to the death. 32 KB  
/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/16_Toys.jpg Not much top be had in the way of toys here, but these kids were so happy just painting the dirt road with a pint roller dipped in mud. One kid had an old tide that he pushed along with a stick (to make it more challenging). 42 KB  
/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/19_Kids_Flock.jpg I just wandered amongst the dirt roads and then these kids saw me. The all started running at me at once and screaming! I thought I was going to get eaten alive or something. "Falang! Falang!" they cried and even the parents turned to smile. 37 KB  
/pics/2005/2005-03-12_Laos/2005-03-05_Vieng_Puka/21_School.jpg Out of the back window of my hut I saw all these students going to school as the sun rose. 31 KB