The oldest backpackers in town

Two Vines

The oldest backpackers in town

Laotian loop

Asia » Thailand February 7th 2019

We are taking the night train back to Bangkok this evening so we have a lazy morning planned and then we will visit an art gallery after check out. It’s typical that a free late checkout has been offered today but we want to allow enough time for our gallery visit so we will leave at noon as planned. We meander down for breakfast at 8am. It’s a Spartan affair but they are very obliging and cook us fresh eggs when they see us turning our nose up at the cold ones on offer. We take a rain check on the sausages - who knows how long they have been does appear that we are the only occupants of this hotel! Now we return to pack up and have a morning of lounging whilst we ... read more
3D Art
Hair cut
3D Art

Asia » Thailand » Eastern Thailand » Ubon Ratchathani February 6th 2019

We have woken early ready for breakfast before our bus trip across the border. We have exactly the right amount of cash for fried eggs, bread and a drink at the cafe. The rest of our cash has been spent at the supermarket stocking up on drinks and munchies since kip will be useless once we exit Laos. All packed, we check out, only to find our breakfast restaurant, along with just about every other restaurant in the street, is firmly closed! Ah, it’s new year and most of these places are Chinese owned. It looks like we are either going without, eating munchies, or risking the Indian breakfast then? An Indian restaurant owner beckons us in. He can do fried eggs and bread, plus lassi for me and tea for Ian. We do a mental ... read more
Tip box?
Funky furniture in hotel lobby

Asia » Laos » South » Pakse February 4th 2019

A lay in for us this morning. We just have to get up, take a leisurely breakfast, zip up our bag and wander down to the ferry. Our bus is due to leave the mainland at 11.30am and the boat is due to leave Don Det island at 11am. We were instructed to arrive for the boat 10 minutes before departure so, like true British Citizens, we stupidly turn up at 10.30am. We are not the only ones I might add. We observe the local courier service arriving by ferry - three motorbikes packed with goods which are driven off a wooden punt and up the beach over a boardwalk. We had a bit of a mishap with our ticket when we came to check out loading procedures yesterday...’someone’ let go of it when it was ... read more
Goods arriving by motorbike courier
Vehicle ferry
Spirit House .

Asia » Laos February 4th 2019

We are up early today, just gone six, as we want to go to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins. The best time to spot them is sunrise or sunset and it’s a 6km bike ride to the boat jetty from here. We hire our bikes and set off out of town. OK, we have just missed actual sunrise but it’s still early and there are very few people about. There are a few locals but no sign of any tourists. The metalled road very soon becomes a dusty, bumpy track. There are two routes we can take...the slightly shorter tuk tuk track and a narrower, bike track cum footpath which follows the side of the Mekong. We find ourselves pedalling beside rice paddy fields and a temple, with a tuk tuk overtaking so yes, you’ve guessed ... read more
Crossing the French Railway bridge
Sunrise at Laos/Cambodia border
Dolphin ahead

Asia » Laos » South February 3rd 2019

We are up early to get breakfast before our bus trip to Si Phan Don - otherwise known as the 4000 islands. Our bus arrives at 8.10am so really not bad as pick ups start at 8am and the bus is half full already. It’s a big bus with reasonable legroom and efficient air con. The last time we did this route we were squeezed on the back of a lorry - things have definitely improved in 16 years. :-) An hour in and we are now passing Champasak. We are not stopping here this trip. Billed as the Laotian ‘Ankor Wat’, all that we can say is that it isn’t! We were here before in a tin roofed shack with a concrete bath which we declined to use. It took us all of half a ... read more
Rescued by a punt

Asia » Laos » South » Bolaven Plateau February 2nd 2019

This morning we are off on a tour of the Boleven Plateau so we are up early for breakfast and an 8am pickup. The minibus is a pleasant surprise...decent seats and seat belts...which work! We are not the first pick up so our seats are near the back. We decide to move one seat forward sitting separately. We are fed up of bouncy back seats! This turns out to be a smart move as the lady sitting beside me disembarks after 30 minutes, leaving a double seat for us. It appears that she was just being delivered to the bus terminal. Now we are just 11 in a 14 seater bus and we are on our way. We have reached our first stop - Tad Fan. This dual waterfall comes tumbling out of the forest, dropping ... read more
Coffee making
Tad Yuang
Fooling around at Tad Yuang

Asia » Laos » South » Pakse February 1st 2019

We have arrived in Pakse. The bus station is fairly close to our guesthouse so it’s just a short tuk tuk ride and we are there. We check in and leave our bags in the lobby. The room won’t be ready yet but we have a few chores to carry out - first a bag of laundry to be booked in, second bus options for onward travel to investigate, and then to grab some breakfast at the cafe next door. Breakfast demolished, we book various bus, ferry and tour tickets for the next week and then we are all set for a sightseeing trip in Pakse. To be frank, there’s not a lot to do here, so we decide to hire a tuk tuk to take us to Wat Phou Salao with its huge golden Buddha ... read more
Big Buddha
Buddha and views
Dragon staircase

Asia » Laos » West January 31st 2019

Today we decide to completely relax. For a start off, the bed in our hotel room is complete bliss. Lovely soft mattress, fluffy pillows, crisp white sheets. Seriously I don’t think we have had such a comfortable night since the day we dismantled our own bed! It’s very hard to leave. :-) We go through the hotel cafe for a good breakfast. Chocolate cereal flakes with cold milk, followed by scrambled egg on toast with sliced ham. Then there is fresh fruit - dragon fruit and water melon with a pot of home made yoghurt. The toast is the horrible sweet pre-sliced variety but other than that, everything is excellent. We decamp to our room to play cards, drink coffee and generally chill out until checkout time. It’s noon so we need to vacate our room. ... read more
Ian relaxes on sleeping bus
Waking up on sleeping bus
Views from sleeping bus

Asia » Laos » West January 30th 2019

We have arrived in Vientiane. It’s 7.30am so right on schedule. The tuk tuk drivers are there to meet us and the usual haggling match ensues. He starts off at 60,000 - a ridiculously inflated price and we finish up at 40,000. Still inflated but pretty much the best we can hope for as foreigners. It’s very telling that there is always one tuk tuk for foreigners and the rest are for the Lao. They do not want us to know what the Lao pay so always keep us separate but we know anyway. Our hotel is on the way to the centre of town, but our driver insists on going to the centre first, bypassing our hotel. In fairness, that’s where most other passengers are headed but it’s a ploy to make us think our ... read more
Ouch it’s cold in this pool!
Sunset view from our room!

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 29th 2019

We have slightly overslept this morning as we need to pack, check out, have breakfast and walk to the opposite end of town to attend another Big Brother Mouse volunteering session. We arrive at BBM about 15 minutes late and the session is in full swing but there are young people waiting to join in so it’s not a problem. We grab a couple of chairs and within no time I have a group of four whilst Ian has a much larger group clustered around him. Trying to describe my job has thus far been difficult but today I came prepared! I have two of my travel books which were destined as a gift for friends in New Zealand, but now we feel compelled to leave them behind in the BBM library! Ian’s group is of ... read more
Birds for sale
Temple murals
Bamboo bridge

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