Two years ago we visited Muang Sing in january and had a great time. Although there are a bunch of Chinese imported motorbikes for sale, no one rents them out, so you have to cycle.
We went there again, now in december 2013 and were absolutely disappointed. The Chinese have invaded the town and run shops with all kind of inferior stuff on every corner. There are, as before, two restaurants that are open ( there are a lot of signs ' Restaurant' but ghey ere all closed down)
We ate at both two years ago and the food was good ( and cheap)
Now we did the same and the food was absolutely bad and also expensive.
For instance, on the corner of the main street and the one where Phu Iu II guesthouse is situated was and is a Chinese restaurant. It has been taken over by a young Chinese couple. They serve completely inedible chicken ( bones, mainly) they call Huang Chicken and ask 50,000 kip for the ****.
Their noodlesoup is completely tasteless, which is not necessary, on every streetcorner you can have a very tasty Lao noodlesoup.
The Sing Duang Dao Bungalows behind the weighbridge charged 70.000 kip for a complete empty room, but for the bed and a tv.
As all the (dirt) roads around town were wet and could only be driven by cars, to enlarge the potholes even more, we decided to take the minivan back to Luang Nam Tha. We tried to get a meal at a Chinese restaurant on mainroad in LNT, but the Chinese laughed at us and refused to serve, as there were only the two of us, and not a group for their large Kanton circular plateau tables.
( one table with a Chinese group was served, not us)
In short, N Laos is changing rapidly, probably because Road nr. 13 is now ready from the border with China, which makes it more comfortable for them to cross the border at Boten.
Last time for us to be here( it was our third visit in 5 years)
#1 Pjotra has been a member since 17/7/2009. Posts: 39
The road from Boten to LNT and MS has been sealed and good quality for more than five years with plenty of Chinese tourists coming down. There is a makeshift Chinese "city" on the Laos side near the border with pastel-colored hotels and tacky souvenier shops so they can nip over the border, stay a night and buy some crap then return home having "been" to Laos. The dramatic surge of Chinese tourism the past two years seems to be more a matter of travel becoming fashionable and the huge emergence of upper-middle class with disposable income. Good for business and their women are some of the best dressed tourists I've ever seen.