Little to do but ride or sit, and enjoy the tranquility of the village, and its gentle scrubland and largest stalks of lallang i’ve ever seen, we were lucky to have chosen Savannah guesthouse as our landing pad.
Because, as night falls and the cold creeps in (to bones), it was helpful having the best (and only local) restaurant in town just across the bridge over the river, and the most bustling convenience store just 5 steps across the street- local karaoke included.
Location aside, the room we had was beyond 5-stars for us backpackers. Clean, still new, and with stained wood-framed windows. The guesthouse owner was a magnanimous, polite gentleman. He saw us put off unsteadily on the motorbike (manual gear) and probably thought we drove ourselves off the plateau or a dung ditch- we arrived shivering in the last remaining slivers of light triumphantly, and he laughed both at us and in relief (both guest and bike okay!).
When the one-(girl)woman show at Atsavinh restaurant refused to accept our Thai baht or US dollars, (because 1)we were terribly hungry 2)our first dinner there was so good 3) the other restaurant by the guesthouse paled far in comparison), we shuddered our way back to the guesthouse in the cold to ask the owner if he would change currencies with us. He very nicely did, and even asked us for the conversion rate. My heart just warmed with his obliging trust in us fussy guests.
We spent both nights at the restaurant. It had heavy wooden tables and chairs, the gorgeous kinds that go for 4-figures abroad. The extensive menu made us, already delirious with cold, giggle uncontrollably with the funny grammar. It also had the easy chatter of lao, lubricated by beer.
Everything else was so quiet, one could really properly appreciate the communal places in the village- the football field, the few restaurants and the sleepy market.