Archive for 'LAOS'

September 20

Can you believe I took these photos from a moving bus, on the way to Vientiane, Laos?!??! I have taken a million before, but none has justified the actual beauty of the countryside. These two somehow came out perfectly clear, and I am so happy about the timing. I randomly snapped a couple pictures, and when I went back to look at them, it was perfectly cropped and got the little boys playing in the pond!

September 16

I never knew about Vang Vieng until we came to Asia. It’s one of those places that no one knows about unless you are a backpacker. As soon as we landed in Vietnam, everyone we met told us about tubing and this place, so we decided to come to Laos instead of Burma. The locals basically give you a tube, and tuk tuk you down the river about 10 km away, and then let you into the water. Along the way, you paddle yourself over to the riverside bars that have swing ropes, cheap mojitos, and unlimited Beerlao.

I took a shot of this tequila with fermented bees. It was the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted. The ladies were walking around with a communal cup, and I couldn’t resist the challenge. Thank god it was just a tiny shot! And then they sent us off in our tubes down this slide!!! We stopped at every bar down the river!!

Helen is our temporary roomie in Laos. She’s from Britain and super fun. We met up with a bunch of other backpackers from Holland, Britain, Scotland, and Belgium for the day. We tubed down together, got separated, and then met up later at another bar.

Tien braved the swing rope!!! She was the only girl to swing back and drop.
All the other girls belly flopped like crazy!

I was being lazy on a hammock, enjoying the majestic mountains surrounding me

overflowing with tubes

The river locals are the sweetest people. They are incredibly quick in lassoing the tubers coming down the river. The British and Aussies have gotten quite good at lassoing themselves after watching the locals do it.

Some of the little boys will wait for you at the end of the river, and will hold your tube hostage until you pay them something. A little boy no more than 10 years old asked me for money after he literally hauled me against the current, but I was satisfied with giving him 1000 kip for the effort.

The last 2 km stretch, we just floated down the river. It started to rain but I was brave enough to pull my camera out of the waterproof bag to snap a couple pics before the rain set in.

Dinner at a restaurant next to our hotel. It overlook the river, and is stunning.
You can see the mountains in the background.

September 13
Laos is beautiful. The drive in was just full of lush greenery and the people have been so nice. The countryside is absolutely stunning with the high mountains and low clouds. The people are polite and they don’t pressure you into anything. Bargaining with them is much different than dealing with the Viets, Cambodians, and Thais.

Luang Prabang is very serene. It rained cats and dogs all day today but we walked around anyway. There was not a single honk of a tuk tuk nor car horn although we walked through the main street. We found a cheap hotel ($3 US) a night, right across the street from $100 a night accommodation for the rich whom probably refuse to eat anything but the nice French restaurants.

This is dead center on the river…and we got another visa on the other side! Thailand to Laos!

There is a lot of French influence, Scandinavian influence, and then Laotian mixed into Lao food. We found the night market and the night food market. It’s similar to the street food in Vietnam, filled with all kinds of AMAZING food. Grilled fish on a stick, fresh from the river, beef noodle soup, and all other kinds of lao food. We tried everything and had the best meal, only costing us $3 total!!

grilled fish on a stick

I’m very fond of Lao food and love the street vendors. I can’t resist the crepes!!!!! They make them exactly like in Paris, and it makes me so happy to hold a hot, perfectly made crepe with nutella and bananas inside, or lemon sugar, or condensed milk with bananas!!!! They call them pancakes here…for 10,000 kip, I can have about 5 of them a day.

We are off to Vang Vieng next for the tubing. I’ve never heard of tubing before, but during our travels through Siem Reap and Thailand, other backpackers rave about Laos and Vang Vieng’s tubing scene. Tomorrow, we will head out to the river to test this out!!