Muong Ngoi is a small town on the banks of the Nam Ou, a tributary of the Mekong . It sits in the middle of splendid karst scenery - giant limestone sugarloaf mountains. Although the place has been invaded by backpacker tourists, the villagers are friendly and relaxed. Accommodation is simple - usually a bamboo hut with a shared bathroom, but cheap as well. Here we spent a few days enjoying the scenery and walking in the surrounding area. Near our guesthouse was a baby monkey that would play with Anne. It and its more aggressive mother also liked to play with a puppy. Again, it was too hot to do anything strenuous, like climbing the nearby limestone peaks, no matter how enticing they looked.