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December was a travel month. We first headed north into the mountainous provinces bordering Myanmar, China and Vietnam.

With its narrow, twisting mountainous roads, in varying stages of either construction or disrepair, bus rides in Laos are an adventure unto themselves - but always worth the effort - from Phonsavanh to Luang Prabang to Nong Kiaew to Luang Namtha.

Thick fog greets you in the morning but usually burns off by 10 or 11 o'clock, revealing a stunning, verdant landscape.

Nam Ou