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Brian Thom’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 10 Jun 2007

Location: Vang Vieng, Laos

MapJust a quick note to say that the shift key here isn't working so well, so capitalized letters drive a hard bargain and i'm far too lazy to keep backspacing and fixing everything.

North of Vientiane is Vang Vieng which is a small town where the tourists come to float on a small river on the west bank. the town is completely surrounded by large hills / mountains and all of them are lush with a crapload of trees and jungle. you can almost hear the monkeys calling out to us... no just kidding but that would be sweet.

So yesterday we left Vientiane and came to another river that slid between two small cliffs. large rocks on both sides were topped off with jungle trees and vines, and if you have watched jurassic park, you can get a good idea of what type of nature surrounds us. We met another Canadian from Missassauga who currently lives in Nunavit... now there's a unique place. she was pretty nice and we went kayaking with her and another guy. the kayaking was mostly stable and peaceful except for one rapid part, but luckily andrew and i managed to stay upright. we had lunch on a huge rock shaded by some trees and about 1,000 bugs decided to join us. we even scaled the rocks a ways until we reached a perch that was 7m above the water, and then we jumped off these cliffs. the art of cliff jumping, depending on height, is best created when one imitates a pencil look because that way there is reduced skin slapping. Im sure you all know what Im talking about. after kayaking down this amazing river, we got on mountain bikes and rode through some village regions. everytime you passed a house a little kid would burst onto the road and scream frantically HELLO! and wave. If you said hello and waved back they would erupt in laughter and jump around. They were pretty funny kids and we weren't sure what the big joke was but it didn't matter. If Sherry saw these kids she would have rounded them up and began the Canadian immigration procedure Im sure.

Mountain biking was fun and the bikes were of good quality. We ended up riding up a "very long hill" and if you weren't training for the iron man you wouldn't be able to do it. actually you could probably make it up the first hill if you were in good shape, and i almost made it... i was about 10 meters short. andrew made it and our guides, so I guess I was sad. Just kidding it was fun and a really good workout. Eventually we all piled into a truck which drove us here, to Vang Vieng.

Vang vieng hotels don't seem to have any televisions, but oddly enough all of the cafes, bars, and restaurants do. Connection? Most likely, because all the tourists when they're laying low come out and enjoy a drink at one of these places while they play a movie. Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is playing tonight... and now you think, hey... wait didn't that just come out? A pirated movie (no pun intended) is no big deal around here.

Tomorrow Andrew and i begin the 20 hour journey back into Thailand. i am just so looking forward to that, as i'm sure you all can imagine.