I'm going to have to write this quickly or at least try to because I don't have too much time. The last time I wrote it was the night before we left Siem Reap on an epic 26 hour bus journey to Vientiane in Laos. The bus journey wasn't actually as bad as I thought but that probably has something to do with the Valium we bought. I spent most of the day reading Dexter so I was happy but was sad we didn't have time to stop in 4000 islands which is meant to be beautiful... damn our time constraints!! We arrived in Vientiane early on the morning of October 30th and after an extremely quick breakfast we boarded another bus to Vang Vieng.
If you've ever been to SE Asia you will probably know
about Vang Vieng, it is a small town in the middle of nowhere with not a
whole lot to do except the infamous tubing. For those that don't know
tubing is when you sit in a yellow rubber ring and float down a crappy
river. On the way down the river you are pulled into many bars where
there are buckets full of booze, free shots with insects in plus rope
swings and slides to injure yourself upon. By the late afternoon
everyone is pretty intoxicated and having the time of their lives. Out
aim was to do this on Halloween and of course we did not let ourselves
down. We did it 2 days in a row despite the fact I almost fatally
injured myself on a rope swing. After a day of tubing everyone heads to
the Bucket Bar for more free booze!!! We stayed in the most fantastic
hostel called Spicy Laos. You sleep in wooden huts and hang out around a
massive fire talking about your day on the river. On our second day
tubing a bunch of us from the hostel went together and we all spray
painted our right foot green, random I know but that's tubing for you!!!
Despite Daire nearly drowning both days (he can't swim) we had a blast
To be honest we didn't really do much else in Vang Vieng
except chill out and eat pancakes. On our third day we left for Luang
Prabang on the most terrifying bus ride ever!! LP is a UNESCO world
heritage site due to the massive amount of temples used as places of
worship by the orange robed monks and because of this there is an 11.30
curfew. Whilst here we shopped in the amazing night market, wandered
about and went to see a magnificent waterfall. It was a pretty chilled
out couple of days to make up for the madness of Vang Vieng.
left Luang Prabang for Thailand on a epic 3 day trip. The first third on
the trip consisted of a full day boat trip up the Mekong to Pakbeng. We
had to stay the night in the tiny little town where only 1 bar existed.
On the second day we caught another boat to Huay Xai on the
Laos-Thailand border. We arrived too late so had to stay the night but
this time the town was a decent size and we spent the evening drinking
and playing Israeli card games with our fellow travellers. On the third
morning we had a 3 minute boat journey across the river (border
crossing) to Chaing Kong, Thailand where we caught a 7 hour bus to
Chaing Mai where we reached our first proper Thailand destination. That
evening we checked out the might Sunday market and ate some delicious
food.... mmmm I LOVE Thai food.
In Chaing Mai I did an 'elephant
experience' for a day where we got to learn Mahot training techniques,
feed the elephants, ride the elephants bare back and wash them in the
river. It was fantastic but I don't think I'd ride an elephant again
since I was terrified of falling off most of the time. That evening
Daire had a bit of an experience with the crazy red bull they sell over
here (which is banned at home) but all was all right. The following day
Claudia, Lena (our new German friend) and myself did a Thai cooking
class for the day. I made a Thai green curry, friend prawns in curry
sauce, hot and sour soup, spring rolls and sticky coconut rice with
mango for desert. We got to eat everything we made and could barely move
after. It was fantastic!!!! That evening was a bit of a chill since we
were all too full to move.
On the 10th it was Claudia's birthday
so we spent the day wandering around the city. By this stage I had
finished my 4 Dexter novels and The Alchemist so I went to a book shop,
sold The Alchemist and bought The Beach and Veronica Decided to Die. I
am currently reading The Beach and it is completely addictive, I love
it!! After our trip to the book shop we went to buy some cake followed
by a long jaunt at the Night Bazar. I decided (somewhat stupidly) to but
a beautiful handmade bed throw and matching cushion cases. Don't get my
wrong, the bed throw is stunning and cheaper than the one I almost
bought in Laos but I takes up a fair bit of room in my rucksack which is
now overflowing!!!! Nevertheless it was something I really wanted to
buy. Because it was Claudia's birthday she wanted to get one of those
fish feet massage things so of course we all had to oblige. It was
pretty weird and we all spent the first 10 minutes screaming but it did
leave our feet nice and smooth. We went out for some yummy food and hung
out with the hotel neighbours who were lighting lanterns and let u join
On the next day Claudia and Daire headed off to
Bangkok on the night bus to meet Martin (Claudia's boyfriend) on the
12th. Lena and I decided to go to Pai for a few days instead, which is
where I am currently writing this. Pai is a little like Vang Vieng but
bigger. There is a fairly big hippie scene here and loads of Reggae
bars. It's nice and relaxing so I'm glad I ditched Bangkok for 2 days.
We have been to hot springs which were too hot to get into and a
waterfall that was too cold to swim in. We checked out the markets and
local shops and generally chilled out. We keep bumping into people Lena
met in Nepal and these 2 Israeli guys keep driving us about on their
mopeds which is fab... free travel and all that!!! In the evening we
have checked out the locals bars and eaten more delicious Thai food.
has been a much needed escape but this afternoon we head back to Chaing
Mai where we will fly to Bangkok this evening. It's only an hour flight
instead of a 12 hour bus journey so woop!!!
I think that is
everything but every time I write in this blog I always realise I left
something out. I'm not looking forward to Bangkok too much since I
haven't been in a buys city for ages so it'll come as quite a shock.
Daire has gone home now which is a shame and I've only got a month left
which is no time at all.
Laos was an amazing country and I would
really love to go back and see more. The country side was beautiful and
the people were so friendly, it really is the perfect retreat. Thailand
has been fab so far and I can't wait to get to the islands in the South
but I'm really worried I wont get to see everything I plan to. I'm kind
of regretting having a booked flight home but what can I do?
We only have a couple of hours left in Pai to chill out so I best dash xxxxx