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Adventures in Lao

To describe the temperament of the people of Lao, I was told by a monk I met, hanging out his robe to dry... "The Vietnamese people plant the rice, the Cambodian people watch the rice grow, the Lao people listen for the rice to grow."

Drying Rice Cakes

Cafe on the Mekong

One of the many Wats in Luang Prabang

Remnants of the French Occupation

Luang Prabang turned out to be one of my favorite places.
The people, the food, the waterfalls and caves, the life along the river were all fantastic.
I will definately be back!

French/Lao post office. Everywhere the Lao flag hung, so did the hammer and sickle.

The Barber Shop Where I Got My 20,000 Kip ($2) Haircut

Elephant Dung Paper Menus

Out Of Work River Boats
Due to the low water levels.

Another Incredible Wat

Friendly Local Kids
These little girls followed me around for an hour. Every time I'd turn around to talk to them they would just stop and giggle.

My Usual Lunch Stop....Spring Rolls and Beerlao!

Something You Don't See Everyday

The Smoke Made Everything Surreal

Very Low Water Levels in the Mekhong

Taking Advantage of the Water Levels

Across the Bridge to the Village

This Bridge!

Ok, so I got Lost in Lao for a week! Ted drops me off at Chiang Khong on the Lao border, absolutely beutifull! The one problem was I'm the only idiot that didn't know you could get a visa ahead of time in Thailand. We wait at the border for 40 minutes in stiffling heat for my Lao visa, and all the locals are askin' why we're just sittin' here and the bus driver keeps pointin' at me! Not comfortable in more ways than one. So none of the river boats are runnin', we get on the bus and fifteen hours later I'm in Luang Prabang. I have to say one of the most magical places I've ever been. Imagine A quaint French Colonial village with a beautiful waterfront, nestled along the Mae Khong river with some of the most beautfull scenery stuck in the middle of one of the most remote places on this planet. Oh, and the monks and temples are everywhere! The only problem was every day the smoke from the burning of the fields got worse and worse and by the 6th day it wasn't even worth jumpin' on the mountain bike and toolin' around as you couldn't even see across the river. Went to the caves and waterfalls, but not so spectacular as the water is way down. So I jumped on a small turbo prop Lao Airlines plane (those things jump around ALOT!)and highhtailed it back here to Chiang Mai, which is smokey as well, which is why tomorrow I jump on another plane for Koh Samui in the south, an island in the Gulf of Thailand with excellent diving and fishing. The rest of the Tour of the North will have to wait for another time. The nice thing is you can get plane tix for anywhere within 500km for around 85 bucks. Gonna take a boat ride down the Ping river today, go to the Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium, and then probably catch the local rock band doing the unitelligible version of Smoke on the Water....which seems to be a big hit!


ps. Martin, the XXL was the biggest they had, and it barely fit me.

Posted by ikombazana 20:04

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I figured as much. My size would be listed as "tent".

by martin

Wow, what adventure!!!

I got nuttin. You been where I been, and more.

I was a child then, yer an adult now.


by Larue

I think the word would be 'Village' martin!

Yeah, but I bet there weren't as many tourists when you lived here Larue.

by ikombazana

Nope, not likely, Dave. We lived in a small compound about a mile or so away from the American Embassy in Vientianne. I was the ONLY white kid in the local school taught by mostly Catholic Nuns. I THINK I flew once with my dad up to Luang Prabang, but I'd have to research stuff my sister has up in WA to be sure. I DO recall specifically flying up to Xieng Khoung in the mountains. Real outback back then, generator only and only part time of day or night, outhouse, bamboo huts corragated aluminum roofs for the rain! I recall a twin engine Beachcraft being the ride, and sitting in the copilot's seat! Big thrills for a little kid . . . . sounds like you had a ball, start to finish!!!! Can't wait for pictures!

by Larue

Not finished yet, another week to go before I have to be back in Bangkok. Gonna try and see as many of the islands as possible, but ya know, ya get on the beach, and movin' too fast just doesn't seem as important as gettin' to know my towell and margrinrita! IYKWIMAITYD!

by ikombazana

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