Blogs from Ban Houayxay, West, Laos, Asia - page 6


Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay January 30th 2007

Sabaidee!!! Hello everyone!! I hope you are well and enjoying this blog (if you are like me, this site will have you hooked to enjoying people's travels from all over the world and their amazing photos). I have just arrived in Laos after crossing the Mekong river this morning. I am in a small border town (rather poor) called HouayXai. It is the transition point from where I take my trek from tomorrow morning. I have this whole day to kill and as luck would have it, there is absolutely NOTHING to do here. Funny. I usually run out of time to do the things I want to fit into the day. This is the only internet cafe in town and the connections are quite slow (it is also expensive) so I probably will only get ... read more
Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay January 27th 2007

We left thailand on a little boat to cross a tiny river to laos we could wave over it was that close but, yet worlds apart Huay xai was a strange place gone was the land of smiles we felt we had entered the land of frowns how wrong we were we are a week here now and we love laos the people are that bit shy bit they are an amazing people considering the hardship they have suffered with all the bombs in the 1960s that were dropped on the way back to the usa from vietnam our first epic trip was trying to travel on a road that has yet to be built it was a building site at one stage we had to push the mini van. we should have gone in a ... read more
monks praying
the road less traveled

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay January 27th 2007

We spent our first night in Laos in Huay Xai, which consisted of one street with a Wat at the top of about 100 steps leading from the main street up the hill. Immediately Laos seemed a poorer country. One thing which was good, the beer was cheaper! We checked into our room then tried to pay. She wanted 200 baht (they still dealt in baht here as well because it's on the border with Thailand) and I gave her a 1000 baht note. She couldn't give me any change so she told us to pay later. Well she actually couldn't speak any English but this is what we took her to mean. She was the first person we had dealt with that didn't speak English in South East Asia. Maybe this was a sign of ... read more
The slowboats
Filled to capacity
Another slow boat

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay December 8th 2006

We needed to make our minds up on how we were going to travel to Laos, so after several trips to the travel agents we decided to book a deluxe one day river cruise down the Mekong. We were under the impression that we would have to do a two day cruise and stop over on the way at a place called Pak Ben. But this company that we booked with was offering a one day cruise with no stops. We were pleased with this because the accommodation offered in the guide book sounded very basic and we could not book anything in advance, also we thought we would need a bed for the night with no mosquitoes or bugs after a long day traveling on a boat. The trip started from Chiang Mai and you ... read more
Streets of Chiang Sean
Relaxing In Chaing Sean
Temple at Chaing Sean

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay December 7th 2006

Our Thai visa on the verge of expiration, we were forced to make a run for the border. After ironically getting sick from the motion sickness medicine, we missed the third-class bus out of Chiang Mai and had to spring for first-class seats - a mere $3 and well worth the bump. Able to stretch out our legs in air-conditioned comfort, the six-hour ride to Chiang Khong on the Thailand/Laos border was a breeze. The bus dropped us off on the far south side of town, and the ferry to Laos is on the far north side. There might be a bus-tuk tuk conspiracy surrounding that one. Once at the river crossing, we got our exit stamp on the Thai side, hopped in a long and narrow, rickety wooden “ferry” boat, and two minutes later, we ... read more
Girl Selling Snacks
Woman Resting

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay November 30th 2006

The Gibbon Experience was amazing!! For anyone who is planning on comming this way, it's someting you don't want to miss. It's even worth comming all the way to Asia just to do. On the first day we got picked up in a truck at about 8:00 am and took the truck, which had 9 people in it. It chugged up the mountain for about 3 hours where we got to the village at the base. After that it was 1.5 hour hike, mostly uphill and through rivers to the base kitchen. There we were greeted by a couple of playful monkeys who were jumping on our heads and getting into a lot of trouble. One of them "jack" was playing with the little kitten, although I'm not sure the kitten was having as much fun ... read more
Jack the Monkay
View from the Top
Sunset from the treehouse

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay November 20th 2006

So i leave Chiang Mai, Thailand after a week staying there. I decide to take the 2 day slow boat to Luang Prabang. We travel for 6 hours on a bus to the Thai-Laos border and spend the night waiting for the boat the next morning. We stay in probably the smallest, quietest town i have seen on my travels. We somehow find a place to get a few drinks and we are the only Farang/Westerners in the place. They had a live rock band that was dressed all punk with spiked hair, makeup, the works. But they played really cheesey Thai-pop songs. Terrible. It was like watching Green Day sing NSYNC songs. Awful stuff. But really entertaining and fun. The next morning we go to the Immigration office to get our Laos visas. Then cross ... read more
Crossing the Mekong
Mekong River

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay November 18th 2006

There is a saying in travel that says, "It is not the destination that matters but the journey" and nowhere on our trip so far has this been more true than on the 2-day boat trip down the Mekong in Laos. We had left Thailand on a fish-tailed ferry boat for the short crossing over to Hauy Xai, lugging our packs up the boat ramp with a last, fond look back at Thailand before going through customs procedures and entering Laos. I had wanted to do the Mekong boat trip ever since reading Dervla Murphy's account of a similar journey undertaken in the nineteen nineties. Admitedly, things had changed since then - it had become a lot more popular and commercialised for one thing but the same old rice barges were still being used today and ... read more
Into Laos
Full Speed Ahead!
Bargaining For A Beer

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay November 13th 2006

Well, where to begin.... Instead of booking the 26+ hour bus journey from Hanoi in Vietnam to Vientiane the capital of Laos, we opted to make our own random journey. This involved taking yet another night train to Da Hong (again we booked it rather last minute and so only managed to get a hard sleeper carriage again, which meant sharing with 4 others... who were lovely locals who tried to feed us constantly with the weirdest looking fruit and sweets!). So 13 hours later we eventually arrived in Da Hong and caught a minibus and then a motorbike taxi to the Lao Bao boarder, however we thought we might not make it to Laos as the minibus we were in was smuggling cigarettes! Right in front of our eyes the driver pulled over and his ... read more
Sam tubing in Vang Vien
Claire Flying
Claire enjoying the tubing experience

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay August 26th 2006

After finding out that we weren’t booked onto the Gibbon experience, we basically had to sit tight and hope that we could capitalise on somebody else’s misfortune. We were told to come back and check on the evening of the 26th. The night before was spent stewing over the whole situation and by lunchtime on the 26th we had all pretty much come to terms with the fact that we couldn’t do it. I decided to kill some time by having a wander round Huay Xai to see if there was anything that took my interest. I stumbled across a temple called Wat Jom Khao Manilat. This temple is set at the top of a large hill overlooking the town. It is accessible via a large ‘naga’ flanked staircase. The temple itself is very nice and ... read more
View across river to Thailand
Huay Xai 2
Pissed off

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