slowboat to Pekbeng
I'm behind on my travelblogs so I will just do a quite blurb to get up to date.
Trekking in Chiang Mai was fantastic. I have never sweat so much--it is so humid in the jungle. Riding the elephants was fantastic-- ours had a baby and it could hardly get up the hills. The mother kept having to push it up the hill- it was so cute. We also saw an elephant show, and it was really amazing to see the things that they were able to train the elephants to do-- like play the harmonica and paint pictures! It was really great. The white water rafting was also a blast! Our guide was not exceptional at giving us direction and we kept ending up on the rocks, but he was crazy and really fun. The bamboo rafting was relaxing, but we sort of sank most of the way.
I spend the night at the Karen village-- these are people who stretch their necks by adding a new ring each year, or they stretch their ears. It was cool to see.
While checking out the Sunday market in Chiang Mai, I met an Israeli guy named Shaked and he
Coke, Beerlao, chips!
Professional saleschildren preparing to board the boat to sell us some junk to pass the time on the slow boat to Luang Prabang
decided to join me to Laos. So the next day we got a bus to Chang Kong which is on the border with Thailand and Laos. We then took the 2 day journey boat down the Mekong River to Luang Prabang (stopping for the night in Pakbeng). The views were amazing. The seats were 20cm wide wooden benchs which aren't very good for 7 hours but the beer was cold, the breeze was blowing, and the views were nice, so I wasn't complaining. I actually really loved it.
Luang Prabang is a quaint village-like city/town. It is really relaxed in Laos and I absolutely love it!
Shaked and I joined a group of people that we met and went to some beautiful waterfalls about an hour tuk-tuk drive away. They were amazing, and I jumped off a big waterfall. I will post the pictures later. At night we went to a bar, but they stopped serving at 11pm, so we headed to the bowling alley! That's right! It is the place to be in Luang Prabang. I sucked, but it was a lot of fun. Im going again tonight---its good fun!
Now for the recent events..
waterfall makes a cool effect...absolute paradise!
rode in the back of a truck to Nong Khiaw, where we rented some bikes and went 5km to a waterfall. I had a granny bike and it was up and down hill the whole way--which was a challenge. I had a hard time keeping up to Shaked in his mountain bike until his petal broke which evened things up quite nicely.
The next day we got a boat to Muag Ngoi. This is is a very small remote village, where the only way in is by boat. We met another Israeli guy named Yoni and we signed up for a mountain trek to an even more remote village. I asked the girl who we signed what type of footwear was required as I only have flipflops since mine shoes were stolen---what a liar! It was so muddy and difficult- nothing like the Thailand trek! When we arrived at the tour hut, the woman was frantically running around the village trying to find someone to guide us--real professional! Apparently our guide had drank too much lao-lao (Laos rice whiskey) and couldn't go. Finally after about an hour of standing around, he decided to go. We walked about 20 minutes
outside of the village and our guide made some excuse about forgetting something and went back to the village. He said just wait... (he was supposed to speak good English, but didn't seem to at all). So it was the 2 Israeli guys, a Spanish couple and me, sitting in the middle of a trail, so we decided to sit down and have a game of cards while we waited...about 40 minutes later, a different guy named Cai came and said that he would be our new guide. The first hour of hiking was good, the views were nice, and the trail was good, but things quickly got bad. The trail was completely mud. We were hiking through about 20-30cms of mud, and shoes weren't possible, let alone flipflops. Picture this: hiking up hill through mud, it is so slippery that you have to use a stick and hold on to trees and even then falls are still inevitable, while picking millions of leeches off your feet in the rain, until 8pm!!! We arrived at the village at dusk, and our guides inform us that they have forgotten our dinner in the village!!! I told them that they need to
some of us more prepared than others.
stir something up at this village or we are going to hunt some chickens-- they were everywhere, and we were starved and not in the best of moods! The next day was definately worse...while everyone else had put their hiking boots back on and decided to just get wet, I was still left to go barefoot with my cut and scratched and leech-eaten feet. It was hell! Im not going to lie. Downhill was ridiculous---rather insane really. If we were to slip and break a bone we would be screwed, no cell reception. Anyway, the theme of the trek was: "How much longer?" When we finally made it to the village where we were to catch a boat, I was thrilled! A village never looked so good. We then got a boat down the river, and just like our luck---the motor broke! So we drifted for hours while the guy tried to fix it, luckily we were going down stream and we eventurally made it back. The best bucket shower of my life! All in all it was good fun, and the view was definitely worth the pain.
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