Jesse's southeast asia trip 2012 travel blog

I don't even know how to begin this email. There is so much to describe

about our travels in Laos. My last email was just before we jumped on the

bus to take the 2 day slow boat to Luang Probang. We literally made a last

minute split decision got off the bus and decided that taking a bus

directly to Luang Probang would save time and we would be here in Vang

Vieng a day earlier. We found out about this from some other travellers.

We had no idea it was possible to drive and thought that everyone had to

take the slow boat. Turned out to be a great decision as it did save us a

day, but it was the most windy roads through the hills for 6 hours going

45 km/hr. It was was so bumpy and our driver spoke no english. 10 of us

were crammed in a van. There was no sleeping on this ride. I was so happy

to reach luang probang. We went to a club with some guys from argentina

and it was all laos people. Once it closed at midnight the thing to do is

hit up the bowling alley! We took a tuk tuk to the bowling alley and it

was packed with tourists. It was such a fun night they sell beer, whiskey,

and noodle soup. It was the greatest noodle soup. Graham and I just

devoured it. Then we woke up and had to take another van crammed with

people for 6 hrs to Vang Vieng which was the same windy roads but this

time the van had no air conditioning. We finally made it to this place of

paradise that was so worth the drive. We have been settled in at Vang

Vieng - Laos for 3 days now and it is everything that we anticipated.

Smaller town with minimal traffic. Amazing scenery as you can see just a

fraction of what it is like here by the picture I took from our room. It

is so cheap here as well. We are paying 30,000 kip a night ( $3.50

canadian) each person for a nice air conditioned room. We feel like ballas

here because we each pulled out 1 million kip from the ATM to last us a

week here. The river is so much fun with zip lines and one massive water

slide that launches you into the river like a ski jump. The river is just

one huge party with bars along the side where everyone plays beer games

and drink buckets. Today Graham and I rented pedal bikes and rode to some

really cool caves. It was an adventure getting there as we won't be

renting pedal bikes again. The chains kept coming off and Graham's bike

was jammed so bad we needed tools to fix it. Just happened to be close to

a handy man fixing a wheel barrow in front of his hut. He adjusted both of

our chains for us so we gave him a good amount of money for his kind

gesture as he had a family and clearly was very poor. Then we continue

our trek and it is now dumping rain hard! Feels so good though because it

is so hot out, but this made the dirt roads turn to mud making our off

road adventure one to remember. Getting stuck, loosing flip flops in the

mud, sliding around. At one point we gave up and just walked the bikes

because it was to tough to ride. Finally arriving to the caves a boy

guided us with tiny flash lights into a dark cave. Climbing down ladders

squeezing through tiny crevasses in complete darkness to pool of water in

the cave where you can swim through a tiny opening that opens into another

giant pool. There are a ton of different caves here in Vang Vieng and a

blue lagoon that I want to find. Next time we are renting motorbikes not a

1 speed pedal bike haha. My ankles are all healed up from what ever bug

or food that caused it. I haven't got sick yet which is great. Seems like

graham is getting the worst of it. He was out of commission for 3 days in

Chang Mai and felt sick this morning. Everyone else is doing really well.

We picked up an English mate who has been tagging along with us since

Chang Mai. The arrival date on our visas for Vietnam start on the 27th so

we still have 6 days here to venture Vang Vieng. I am thinking flying out

of Vientiane to Vietnam is the best way but who knows we might end up on a

crazy bus ride again. I cannot really describe what this trip is really

like in words. It is so different here when your living it. Chickens just

roam the streets, geckos crawl around in your room as well as ants find

there way in. Showers are right above the toilets so when you shower the

whole room, toilet, sink gets wet. It's so hot out that your always

sweating it is like a giant steam room. Every little restaurant plays the

show friends on the tv which is where people just lounge out. This is

truly an amazing experience. It feels like I've been traveling for 4

months already but it's only just over 2 weeks and we have done so much

already. How is Calgary? What's new and how was the may long weekend?

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