Plans have changed and I am now booked on a flight into Vientiane. I will land there tomorrow evening. I plan to fly north to either LP or LNT to start my 2 to 3 weeks in Laos.
Is it best to start in Namtha and travel South?
I will be flying from LP or VTE to Hanoi at the end of my stay in Laos.
From Hanoi I go to Khoalak Thailand for a diving trip. I need to arrive there by Nov 10.
Should I allow for time in Sapa after flying to Hanoi or can I get my fill of village life in Laos?
I hope not to see too many tourist, or at least not the lazy slobish toursist I am currently surrounded by on Bali's west coast.
Lao Airlines flies M,W,F,Su VTE-LXG (Luang Namtha) and I would recommend going that far north if you have 2-3 weeks (longer=better of course).
Check out Zuela Guesthouse on the main street in Luang Namtha, or the Manichan Guesthouse out front. Also the new Thoulasith Guesthouse looks great.
Namtha is a pretty laidback town a far cry from Kuta/Lovina/Ubud tourism, and right now is the quietest time of year in this neck of the woods. Rent a bicycle, get the free local map and go visit some of the sleepy villages and temples. Rent a motorbike and go to Muang Sing too. Good sealed road nice scenery and culture-junkie hilltribe village spotting on the way.