One of the main draws of going to Laos, for me, was the ability to explore the countryside a bit and continue the nature experience I had left in the Chinese rain-forest of Xishuangbanna. Of anywhere I found in Laos, Luang Nam Tha was the area most equipped to deal with this.
My first full day in Laos I got up early, before the fog had burned off, in order to bike through the villages around the city. While landmine concerns throughout the country make it a bad idea to wander off marked paths, I still managed to tramp through fields, pastures, and numerous villages. After a few longs days of traveling through Southern China to get to Laos, the relaxed feeling of pedaling through the middle of nowhere was quite soothing.