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Kirky’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 01 Jun 2005

Location: Luang Prabang, Laos

MapHere I am in Laos.

Since Bangkok I headed up to Chiang Mia on the overnight train, very nice indeed, I even fitted into the bed which meant I actually got some sleep.

Chiang Mai didnt agree with me. Many people I've met have loved the place so maybe I should give it a second chance? First impression count a lot. I was told it was nothing like Bangkok, for me, that not true at all. The moment you step off the train you're inundated by touts and the tuk tuk drivers are just as bad.

The choices in terms of trekking were just too many to comprehend and looking for some friendly fellow traveller advice I decided to head for Pai, 4 hours on the 'all you can cram on-board' 65Baht local bus (not bad for 87p) - although the local falling asleep on my shoulder with his arm around me (he needed somewhere to rest, he was sitting on the post in the aisle) was a little disturbing. I seemed to develop a nervous twitch not unlike the dance move in the dole queue in The Full Monty.

Pai was excellent. A week flew by and I was sad to leave. In low season this place is great, you'll have to drag me screaming and kicking if I'm to go in the high season. Looking for friendly advice, I bumped into Gemma and Shannon whilst organising my Vietnam visa, and so my decision was made. They needed numbers for a trek and were also looking to cook, and the next four days were taken care off. I did have a little chuckle when the night before the trek, I found myself in the Shisha bar having a few beers, only to meet the guides and a fellow trekker. I'm just glad I felt better than the guide the next day (a night on the Whiskey didnt sit too well on the first day of the trek and he fed many of the local chickens - sorry). The three days were great, with fantastic food, including fresh catfish and on our return a feast of Squirrel and Iguana.

So I left Pai and headed on a journey across to the Thai/Laos border crossing at Chiang Khong/Houay Xai. I'm glad I only had to stop one night in Houay Xia and then jumped straight on the 2-day slow boat to here. Not much going on in either.

Coming Next...
Tomorrow will decide Rob's route North or South. He's currently trying to head North for some tubing at Nong Khiaw and then back West to the Bokeo Nature Reserve for The Gibbon Experience - 2 days experiencing tree top living and getting everywhere by death slide/flying fox/zip line (delete as appropriate). If this doesnt work its South to Vang Vieng for tubing then Vientienne for a flight to Hanoi...this is all dependant on him getting his backside into gear and changing his ticket. Otherwise he'll be running to Bangkok to catch a flight...

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BEER LAO IS THE BEST BEER IN THE WORLD, no probably about it.