Laos – Muang Ngoi fishing

11/06/16

I had a delicious buffet breakfast at the restaurant at the top of the boat pier, there were savoury options like sandwiches and egg and some awesome sweet like banana fritter and fruits. I joined the rest of the travellers who had booked the tour, and we set out at 10am.

We got into a small long boat which had no cover, I was happy I’d brought my poncho! We then set off up stream and it was just really beautiful taking in the view at such a slow pace, you could hear all the bugs and see so many trees. We stopped in the middle of the river and were told to just jump out and watch the guide fish, at first I was like no way but then thought why not, it’s what we had signed up to. The Nam Ou river is really brown and murky due to it being wet season, and I wasn’t sure it would be good to wade through, but I thought as long as I don’t drink it I should be fine! We didn’t stay out long and we quickly moved to a next stop which was near the reeds.

The fishing style we were doing was with a net, which is a traditional way of fishing, it’s quick and less intrusive to the environment. When we stopped the second time, we were able to stand on land and watch him fish, and then he let us have a go. Everyone seemed to be struggling, so when it came to my turn I was apprehensive, but ended up nailing it and catching a small fish! I was so pleased with myself! You basically have the rope around your wrist, and he hangs some of the net on your arm and then you hold some of the net in your hands, and then with a spinning motion you throw all the net into the water completely letting go. The net should then open up and fall into the water, you then pull the rope to see if any fish got caught.

The guys and the guide decided to wade out quite far in the water, and all us girls didn’t want to get wet so we all sat in the boat like good little women waiting for the men to bring in the fish haha. They actually managed to catch some quite large ones, and also a little puffer fish (who should have been thrown back into the water…), and then it was lunch time.

We drove to a little cave on the water which had some bamboo seating arranged there already, and our guide started up the fire and prepared the fish. Here there were so many crickets and butterflies which were just everywhere, it was funny that the crickets just seemed to fall out of the sky onto everyone. The fish was fried and we had some sticky rice to go with it, there was also some chilli salt and some spicy bamboo to dip the rice in. It was a really delicious lunch! Much better than I had expected, the fish was really tasty but that might have been because it was fried ha, the smaller ones you could just eat whole rather than spit out the bones.

After eating we headed back to the village, the engine cut out a couple times but luckily we were heading downstream. It was a really relaxing and fun way to spend the day, and nice to see how the local people fish. That evening I chilled again and luckily the electricity which had cut out, came on in time for the dark, and I ate at an all you can eat buffet.

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