Blogs from West, Laos, Asia

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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang February 19th 2014

Last time we left you with a few stories untold. So.. here we go. Lisa and I decided to go to a Thai boxing match. It was held in a small stadium and when we got in we were directed, by pretty much everyone in the crowd to one specific empty section. Our empty section was almost an entire wall of the stadium while all the other sections were close to full. It turns out this was the foreigners section. We were the only ones in it. When other Thai people came to sit in it they were told to stay out by the other Thai people in attendance. It was very odd and Lisa felt a bit uncomfortable. I felt special. About five minutes before the first fight was due to start, by some prearranged ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane February 16th 2014

Hello from Laos, Sorry for the delay in updating the blog but the internet hasn't been the best in Laos! After crossing the border into Laos and paying the $35 visa fee each then an additional $1 each "overtime" fee to 3 guys sat at a table to be allowed into the Country we then had to wait for the taxi to fill up before we could leave to head into Huay Xai. Eventually we arrived in the town of Huay Xai which sits on the banks of the Mekong river on the Laos side facing Chiang Khong on the Thai side of the border. We were only here for one night and quickly found a hotel/guesthouse/room with a bed and found some food. Now one thing we've noticed about eating out in Laos is that ... read more
Sunset on the Mekong
Vang Vieng
Victory monument

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang February 4th 2014

Wed 29thJanuary 2014 - Today I left Pai and headed for Chiang Rai. I had opted for a MINI BUS ride back to Chiang Mai to connect with a coach to Chiang Rai. It seemed the ride from Pai to Chiang Mai wasn’t quite as bad as the way there, maybe a better driver, who knows… When I got back to CM I only had to wait 45 mins for the connecting bus however, the bus arrived 20 minutes late. Got on the coach but first we all had to pre-select our seats at the point of ticket purchase. I thought I would choose the seat right behind the driver so I could get some good views. Anyway, it appears that the bus driver was keen to make up lost time and by this I mean, ... read more
Top of the world
Obviously me
Temple at the bottom of the mountain

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 4th 2014

I said bye to Daniel and Martin this morning. They left at 7am to get a bus to Vang Vieng. Afterwards they are travelling down to Ko Chang (the island I wanted to visit but Susan felt it was a bit isolated.) Afterwards they are flying back to Austria at the end of this month. I'm so excited to hear about their journeys, I really can't wait to hear about Ko Chang. As chang means elephant the only thing I can imagine about this island is that there are hundreds of elephants. This is one of the great things about travelling - everybody has another adventure planned and you log into each others blogs and share experiences. If you don't have the energy to go to a place, another traveller will go and will inform you ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 3rd 2014

Today the three of us worked through my to-do list. Martin and Daniel were keen to follow the list. It worked well I came to Lung Probing armed with my itinerary, Daniel made things happen with his Austrian no-messing approach and Martin was more than happy to go along with everything so between the three of us we get through most things on the list apart from missing the monk procession at 4pm, not visiting a Lao hospital and the Mekong yoga. In brief, we changed our dollars to kip so we could buy transport out of Laos, they booked their 5 hour bus trip to Vang vieng and I looked for the cheapest boat ticket back to Chiang Kong.All of us went for a Lao massage (supposed to be softer than a Thai massage but ... read more

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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 2nd 2014

Daniel met me at my hostel this morning and we bargained with a yuk tuk to take us to the UXO Visitor Centre (UXO= unexploded ordinance.) It was really informative and explained the impact of UXO on the Laos people and what the country is doing to improve the situation. It told us about the facts. 300 people die a year of UXO bombs which were dropped in three wars. Laos was hit badly in the French Indochina war, then in the second Indochina war involving Vietnam and also in WW2 during the invasion of the Japanese. They were mostly dropped in this province and on the Hochi Mimin trail. It talked about the different types of UXO and it displayed the devices. The most problematic are bombies which were dropped in a catacomb. At least ... read more
uxo visitor centre and Tad Sae waterfall
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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 1st 2014

Well I can safely say I missed the 11.30pm government curfew by 8 hours but the rules don't count on New Years Eve! I had to be up at 8am to start my 7 hour village tour. It was amazing both physical and mentally stimulating!It started with meeting my tour guide Song. It turned out that I was the only one on this tour so I had my own personal guide. EXTRA We began with a dusty Son Tau ride up to a remote village and then we got a speedboat to a part of the jungle. We had to wait for the speedboat to be fixed, speedboats are very basic here even compared to Thailand standards. We walked for a long time before we came to the first village and in all that time Song ... read more
new years day 2014
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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang December 31st 2013

Lao is one of the world's most remote and poorest countries in the world. There are very few old people and earning an extra few cents to pay for health could be the difference between life and death. There is a government curfew for businesses which result in a heavy fine if not obeyed. Businesses must close by 11.30pm and everybody must be off the streets and registered in the place they are legally staying in by midnight. Lao people wake up at 6am to give alms to the monks. This happens amongst Buddhists in Thailand too. Monks must not have possessions and they are fed by the local people, so the monks go and collect the food left out for them from people's houses at 6am. Most Buddhists leave food for them. 'Bo' means 'no' ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang December 31st 2013

The cruise left me with a sense of bliss and tranquillity, I’ve found my hostel and I’m very happy with it. It’s a good start to my trip in Luang Prabang. It’s my first day here and I’ve found its pleasant and a very easy place to walk or cycle around. It’s a refreshing place and it has a French or swiss village feel to it with mountains surrounding it. It’s cool weather which is what you need in Asia when you are travelling. Asia’s not like Europe where you can see two museums on one day, get an in depth view od thousand of years of history by just following the museum explanations written in perfect English. Here there are more temples, and things to see rather than history to explore. Oh and the time ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang December 30th 2013

Our first stop today was in a small village and it was today that we learned a lot about the indigenous tribes and people of Laos. According to the tour guide on the boat there are different indigenous groups and two different religions - spirit worshippers and Buddhists (similar to Buddhism in Thailand, they worship daily at shrines in their own houses and temples, in Laos too.) Spirit worshippers on the other hand make offerings every ten days (such as pigs) and sacrifices to the spirit Gods. If they get ill they believe it is because they have angered a spirit and therefore make sacrifices to make up for their crime. Illness is caused by evil spirits. They marry at the age of 15 or 16 and usually don't get an education as they live in ... read more
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