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Published: October 16th 2008
Sorry it took so long to get this entry up.
I left you guys in the north of thailand. From there I took a bus ride to the border of thailand and laos, jumped on a boat, crossed the Mekong and arrived in Laos.
I spent 3 days in the jungle trekking and living in tree-houses accessed via zip-line. It seemed like every childs dream...minus the leetches, spiders, mosquitos and french canadian couple I was paired with.
From there I took a 2 day slowboat down the Mekong to Luang Prabang. This was a beautiful way to travel, albeit long. As it got dark I felt like I was in Full Metal Jacket...mountains on both sides with little villages, fog covered the water in the distance, I was just waiting for Charlie to pop out.
Note: a wild imagination + scenarios like the one above + malaria pills that cause vivid dreams makes for interesting night sleeps.
I met some canadians from Victoria as well as a dutch fellow that I have been travelling with the last couple weeks. We arrived in the city of luang prabang on one of the largest festivals of the year,
the end of the rainy season. We jumped off the boat to fireworks, parades and dancing, I will try and put some photos up it was really a special way to see the city.
The city itself is clean, has sidewalks, very few homeless and overall a treat to be in after most of thailand. the one downfall is the 11:30 curfew across the city...we were venturing around our first night, all of a sudden the city became deserted and we were locked out of our guesthouse...lots of knocking and apologizing later we managed to weasel our way back in.
Me and my dutch pal Fredrick Hendrick Beltman (not jewish) jumped on a bus the next day to drive to veng vieng, a small city dominated by young backpackers. The windy roads, and sound of vomiting passengers made for a very difficult ride, but we arrived in one piece.
We spent a day biking (thats right pops, no training wheels either!) and exploring massive caves. as we approached a cave a loas fellow followed us in...we knew within minutes we would have to give him some cash but the cave looked confusing and was pitch black so we
with small flash-lights we venture deep into the cave, within 5 minutes he asks us to take off our shoes...5 minutes later he asks to remove our backpacks...water and mud became quite the obstacle. 10 minutes later the small elderly laos man removes his pants...my homophobic dutch pal immediately thinks we are about to join some Laos, tribal orgy. only in underwear and a head lamp we venture another 1 km into the cave, climbing rocks, swimming, hiking with mud up to our knees. and reach the most goregous fresh water pool...it was really an adventure...and no there was no pantless party at the end of the cave.
The other amazing thing to do in vieng is the tubing..where you take a big tube jump in the river and float down. sounds simple right? wrong. all the way down laos men are tossing ropes or long bamboo sticks at you to pull you into there riverside bars. where they allow you to launch of massive trapeze and zip lines and promote consumption of alcoholic beverages...this would not be sanctioned by the LCBO.
I witnessed a broken finger, broken ankle, broken leg and my pal (a
branch manager at TD) dislocated his shoulder. dont worry mom im fine.
after my last bus ride i was not looking forward to another one to the capital...as a result i opted to kayak most of the way to Vientiene the capital with an american brother and sister. it was a great way to travel...so here I am in vientiene, still havent shaved since being here, still in good health and heading to vietnam in 2 days.
I am meeting more canadians and english speaking folk, so the travelling has become alot more entertaining. I will fire another update in a couple weeks.
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