I didn't think I'd like Muong Ngoi. It sounded overly tourist like. An ideal haven for people wanting to get away from it. No motorbikes and no electricity except for 3 hours at night when the generators ran. Just an hour north by boat of Nong Khiaw, one of the most popular tourist places to go to from Luang Prabang. So I had low expectations and planned to stay a night. Well 1 night turned to 3 very easily. It was an amazing place with a lack of annoying backpacker types (save for maybe me). I had this epiphany when floating down the river to get here about "the beach" and I wrote to my good college friend Dan who turned me onto the book (still owe you the reply dan, i know). The beach deals with backpackers searching for the ideal backpacker place. a place away from the phonies and of finding a utopia of sorts there. Well when I got to Muong Ngoi I felt in some ways as if i had found it. The natural still hardly touched surroundings. the lack of electrify and over abundance of hammocks (I spent many hours sitting in one and reading). The local villages known for their opium, hours and hours where you just smoke and smoke and rest and rest (for the record I passed on this, probably a cultural opportunity lost but brain cells kept). Muong Ngoi was so peaceful and perfect for me that I didn't want to leave. And once I did, getting back to society was challenging in many ways. I plan to go back for a few days before I eventually leave Laos.