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Published: September 20th 2006
Who needs an umbrella!!
I Resume editing
am writing this blog entry on my sixth month point on this trip. Some places time goes so fast and others so slow.
I've been in Laos for 19 days and it seems like a maybe week. So far this is my ultimate favorite country in SE Asia. The people are a kind of their own, very soft spoken, well-dressed, easy going and shy. It surprises me with the history of the country that the people are so kind and welcoming to foreigners, especially Americans. So.... in the 70's the US dropped over a billion bombs or something crazy in this country when they were at war with Vietnam. A lot of the bombs(I've been told) were dropped solely because the jets needed to drop them in order to have enough fuel for there safe return. They built airstrips in a few places, like Luang Prabang, and now they're just massive strips of nothing in the middle of towns. There are still people dying or loosing limbs everyday from land mines the States placed all over the country sides. It seems so crazy to me, and I guess this was a war that "never happened",
In transit to Luang Prabang
Just a little of the incredible scenery on the bus trip!!
nevertheless the people have just suffered through it and live in the today.
Enough of that negativity, this country is full of natural beauties and culture. I started in the Capital Vientiane which is the size of a large village(small). It's a funky little town with a lot of good places to eat and the only ATM's in all of Laos. I ate Crocodile and cruised around on a bicycle for a day slippin into the back roads and enjoying all the smiling faces I met along the way😊
Okay......Now it's Sept 20th...I just can't get in the mood to write this blog, Ill try.
In Vientiane I met Claire and Doug, who I traveled the rest of Laos with, and we went to Vang Vieng together where I also met up with Amelia. Great views in Vang Vieng, huge rock cliffs, rivers and caves. We got really nice bungalows by the river! The first day Doug and I rented some scooters and ventured out, it was a really fun day besides the fact that we were stuck in the rain for a few hours, but it's warm so it's not so bad. After Bangkok and the
4 months old, tied up at our guesthouse, I fell in love.
staleness of the people it was so refreshing to see all the kids and people waving and smiling at the sight of a couple "falangs"(whiteys-no it really means tourists). We checked out some caves and ate yummy organic food. Amelia came that night and we caught up, the only thing there is to do is watch movies and eat in the town, so we hit up some Simpsons, ummmmm Simpsons.
Next Luang Prabang, FANTASTIC, I really fell in love with this place. There's a nice mix of tourists and locals and the night market was incredible. I shopped and I don't even really like to shop, especially when I have to carry it around for the next 2 months, this didn't seem to matter. We ate 50cent veggie buffet every night and checked out some caves, a lil massage and herbal steam too😊 A horrid 6 hour bus ride(should have been 3) put us in Nong Khiaw next. You see people do there repairs while they go in Laos, so on the way we stopped about 10+ times so the driver could bang on the engine a few times and try to go again. By the 5th time or
so they were pulling off the fuel filter and putting it back on(same one) until we finally hit a little shop where the fixed the problem, temproarily I'm sure. Nong Khiaw is really nice, super quiet and not a lot of tourists, we even had a 10pm curfew! Amelia and I walked out to some caves where the people hid out while the US was bombing the shit out of them. It was pretty crazy actually, you could see bomb craters everywhere, I couldn't imagine experiencing that kind of chaos. After the cave we walked further up the road in search of a waterfall and a little boy led us to one of the kids' local swimming holes. I couldn't help myself I jumped in with all my clothes(can't show too much skin) and had a little swim😊 The kids were adorable and a little crazy too.
An hour boat ride up the river brought us to the scenic Muang Ngoi Neua, bungalow on the river with an amazing view of the mountains $1 !!! I think we were here 4 nights Claire and Doug too. Waterfall trip one day and then Amelia and I did a
See that pool of water there?Thats a crater from a bomb the states dropped on Laos where there was "no war"" going on.
2 day 1 night fishing trip. It was actually a bit of a disappointment, we only actually fished for like 3 hours each. It was more like a drinking trip for our guide and he tried to get more and more money out of us after we'd already paid, boo on him, we didn't go for it. The fish we caught were like 4 inches long and stuff and they keep these little guys, it's no wonder you don't catch big ones, there aren't any because they never get the chance to grow. I guess they don't understand the concept and when you gotta eat... It wasn't a total disappointment though the village were staying in was really nice and we had a lot of fun with the kids. There was actually a school form BC, Canada that built them a school and a cement walkway from there boat launch.
In order to get to the next point, Plain of Jars, we had to back track all the way to Luang Prabang (okay with me😊 and then get a bus from there to Phonsavan. It was a long and expensive trip but I'd say it was worth it. There
Swimmin hole Amelia and I wondered upon, I jumped in in my clothes and swam around with them(so fun)!!
are all these really big jars all over the area, there were 3 sites we visited and we tried really hard to get the guide to tell us some of the local beliefs about the jars but he didn't listen, just talked, but not about what we wanted to know. Oh well, they are really cool! They have found human remains in some and household items so some think burial but it is really unknown what exactly they were for, I guess it doesn't help that the US bombed the shit out of this area too and so a lot was destroyed. There's some pics anyways!
Okay sooo backtrack again and up to Vientiane and way south to Pakse and into the Bolaven Plateau to a little village called Tadlo. Cool place too, again Bungalow on the river but this time with a view of a waterfall. Lots of waterfalls in this are, I love waterfalls!!! Pretty much a lot of hanging around, relaxing, walks and that. This was the splitting point for the 4 of us, Amelia headed towards Vietnam, D&C to Bangkok(with me not far behind) and I stayed an extra night alone, wow it was quiet,
Muang Ngoi Neua
My lil Fishin Buddies (man I got a soft spot for kids)
I needed it!
Back to Bangkok, where I am now, AND THERES ALL THIS CRAZY POLITICAL STUFF GOING ON!!
Not only that but it's happening like 400m from where I stay. It's not scary or anything, pretty quite, no guns fired.
In my last blog I wasn't much liking Thailand, this time around has been much better, I've met a lot of great people and and not staying on Ko San Road ( I think that's it)!!
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