Blogs from Ban Houayxay, West, Laos, Asia - page 8


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

Well after 18 days I have finally made it over the Border into Laos, considering I was going to go straight to Laos first but that’s the best bit about no plans and no time limits. Cross 300mt of water and you really are in a different place to Thailand. The most important thing for me to remember is Laos has very few ATM facilities so I needed to cash up, and the the first stop was of course was Huay Xai, another little border crossing, very small and if your looking for night bizarre then forget it this place shuts down very early. But as I said before was invited to a party which was held out of town at a Very nice house, the best I’ve seen yet.. The guys who held the party ... read more
Sunday Picnic
Gibbon Transport
home sweet home

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay March 15th 2006

Standing on the platform with my safety line attached and my zip line thingey ready to go, I had thoghts in my mind. Maybe my dad was right, maybe you only get so many close calls in life. Maybe my nine lives are running out. Ahh what the hell just jump!!! Flying effortlessly over the forest for over 400 meteres I felt the cloest to free that I had in a really long time. I couldn't get a flight out of Chang Mai so I decided take a little detour and head to Huay Xai, Laos, to have "the gibbon experience." This is a project in Laos set up by a frenchman with a dream. Basically "Jeff" (who I never met) has set up a course of tree houses that are only reachable via ZIP ... read more
So cool!
In Das Jungle
Holding me up

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay March 10th 2006

Our first 2 days in Laos were spent traveling down the Mekong River from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. We had heard great reviews of the "slow Boat" river trip and were looking forward to it. In the end though it was a bit of a letdown. The boat was seriously overcrowded and was more like a 18-30's holiday than a relaxing way to see the river. Huay Xai itself was a nice enough place to enter the country. It was pretty similar to other border towns and not a lot to do but had some great views over the river to Thailand. ... read more
Sunset over Thailand

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay March 1st 2006

Today after arriving in Laos the night before, we set off for Luang Prabang. According to everyone we've met and to all the guidebooks LP is Asia's most charming city and we certainly hope so - we had a not so charming introduction to the Lao people in the form of the crazy hostel lady we met just this side of the border. Thankfully we'd already met a few of the Lao people, Boonlarn and Amy who were old workmates of mine & Tash's and Kevin - our buddy from Pai who attested to the country's reputation of producing lovely, laidback people. Here's hoping.... We decided to catch the fast boat down. That is not a lie as it was FAST! Rather than a "speedboat" it was more of a long tailed fishing boat, packed with ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay February 24th 2006

Chiang Mai, oh Chiang Mai. The cultural capital of Thailand and probably the best place we have been to so far. It was the base for the trekking as well as being a party filled city. In all I saw the sights, experienced the relaxing cafes, bought books from the local famous book shops, got drunk once or twice and saw Thai kickboxing (incluindg 2 knock outs). Overall a wicked city, with a brilliant atmosphere- there just arent enough superlatives to grace this wondrous location in the heart of South East Asia!!! Inevitably we had to move on though. Next destination: Laos! The past 3 days have been all about travelling. Our first port of call was the Laos border town of Huay Xia, where we had to get 2 buses, 2 taxis and a ferry ... read more
1st meal in Laos

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay February 19th 2006

Why take the slow boat when you can take a speed boat? With one day on my visa to go and being the impatient person that I am, I weighed my options. I could either sit rather uncomrtably for 2 days and take a slow boat down the mekong to the Thai border, watching my life drift by OR I could put my life on the line strap on a helmet and sit rather uncomfortably for 6 hours while my life flashes by my eyes as I'm rocketed down the Mekong at unsafe speeds. The decision was rather easy. I convinced this English guy Matt and his Sweedish girlfriend to take the speed boat option. I had heard that it was uncomfortabe, little did I know. The seats have one cushion for your rear, but it ... read more
Takin a break
Flying down the river
Packed like Sardines

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay February 16th 2006

After spending a really nice last night in Thailand in our wooden riverside guesthouse, we get up early to go through border control to get to our new country, Laos. This entailed a boat crossing over the Mekong into our new town, Huay Xai, where we quickly went through the town on a tuk tuk to board our river boat, which will be our method of transport for the next 2 days. after reading other comments from people saying that we would have to sit on wooden seats or on the floor for 2 days, i was pleasantly surprised to see that the boat was newly kited out with what appeared to be car seats. these were really comfy and we had a 60ft longboat just for our group which was nice. plenty of room to ... read more
sunset over the Mekong river at Pak Beng

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay November 22nd 2005

Upon crossing the border from Chiang Kong in Thailand to Huay Xai in Laos, you immediately feel that you are in a different country. A simple long tail boat ferries you across a section of the Mekong River you could easily swim yourself, but the difference is palpable. One of the first differences becomes apparent when you change money- the Laos Kip is virtually useless. 10,000 kip = $1. Change $50 and you come away with a stack of kip looking like you just hit the slots in Vegas. The next thing you notice is the French influence- baguettes everywhere! We hadn't had any good bread since we left San Francisco, so this was a welcome sight. However, our first adventure in Laos would not be centered around food. We were off to the Bokeo Nature ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay September 1st 2005

Wow...where do I start!..I have to say seeing Laos has really opened my eyes to what I would call a most beautiful, untouched country... Through our experiences here we were quite often the only 'falang' in a town...on a bus...I have truely had a great cast of culturing... Laos, known in antiquity as the land of a million an amazing place, still, you might say recovering from the endless wars - 400 years to date. The major one seeing the removal of the Soviet - installed hammer and sickle from the national seal to what is now know as the Peoples Democratic Republic... After staying the night in a 'border crossing' town - Chiang Khong, my new visa for Laos was organised in a matter of hours. Crossing the Mekhong River in a long ... read more
Crossing the Mekhong
Mekhong River
The official Laos..

Asia » Laos » West » Ban Houayxay August 18th 2005

"Call me Fhan and we'll have a FUN time," that's what our Lao tour guide told us when he met us at the immigration checkpoint in Huay Xai. It was also him who taught us what's "Hello" in Lao. It's Sabaydee (and it's said with a smile). We completed visa formalities, changed baht to kips and took a tuk-tuk which took us to a port where a slow "tourist" boat (a house boat owned by a Lao family) awaits us, for a two day cruise in Mekong River. We're heading to Luang Prabang, but not just yet... **** I never enjoyed travelling by boat as I often get dizzy. Not to mention that I don't like travelling at such a slow pace. Why travel by boat, if you can get to your destination by plane ... read more
I want money,lots and lots of money!
Slowly Through The Mekong River
Hello from NZ!

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