well hello everyone! it seems like a VERY long time since we last updated but only because we have travelled trough 3 countries and covered about 1000 miles!! I think we left you after our first day in Luang Pra-bang in Laos so here are the updates...
After we saw the monks and went back to bed we got our lazy selves out of bed to meet Jackie and Awie (our american/malaysian couple friends we met up by the border in Laos) and headed out to the waterfall this was the final of 7 tiers!! it was pretty spectacular! the water was a great blue colour and VERY cold haha...we did plenty of swimming though (jo and jackie braving the cold) and there was an over tempting tree overhanging the pool which had to be jumped off!!
We left Luang Pra-bang the next day and headed on a 200km journey to Vang Vieng further south. the 200km though took 6hrs in a mini van on one of the WORST journeys i have ever experienced! Laos' roads are not in good condition to begin with but when you shoot past a whole section, 1 mile high up a mountain, where half of the road has fallen away in a landslide it starts to make you think! it was just up and down the mountains all the way on semi paved roads...the scenery though was up to a very high Laos standard!
Vang Vieng is a backpackers town!! this is all down to one thing...TUBING!! you get your inner tube from a tractor wheel at the shop and take a packed tuk tuk up the river and jump in! along the river are 7 or 8 different bars packed with other backpackers! where the drinks are SO cheap...the drink of choice for most is the "bucket" consisting of half a bottle of Laos vodka/rice whiskey (about 50% haha) and then a ridiculously small amount of mixer...this costs about 2pounds!!! (jo, jackie and awie) each of the different bars had swings and slides and mud wrestling etc haha GREAT FUN!! needless to say everyone was a little worse for where!
The day after we took another mini bus (3hrs on unpaved roads) further south again to the capital of Laos, Vientiane! and wow...easily the Worst place we have been! expensive, no atmosphere, nothing to see...we had heard bad things but thought we should see for ourselves! we decided we needed out asap...so we went to the travel agents to see about getting to cambodia! well it turned out it would be a 30hr bus of more of the same that we had had in Laos or a 1hr flight to the capital of cambodia, Pnom penh. well for those who dont know Jo HATES flying with a passion...so i booked the flight :D haha. Vietnam airlines was then looked up by jo on the net and 3 pictures of crashes came up 1st - brilliant! it actually turned out to be a decent flight and we arrived in pnom penh at 10am with a full day planned!
we got ourselves a guest house by the lake (shortly to be filled in by the koreans that cambodia have sold it to) and headed straight to the S21 school house that Pol Pot turned into a prison/torture/murder base for the genocide carried out by the khmer rouge in Cambodia in the 70's it was very heavy! what they did to the people there was a full on disgrace most of the time for little more than wearing glasses, they were referred to as parasites! i didnt take many pictures...i couldnt work out the morals of it but i did take a few that showed enough, there was so much blood spilt in the cells that after years of scrubbing the tiles are still blood stained . there are rooms and rooms filled with thousands of Polaroid pictures taken by the khmer rouge (they photographed EVERYTHING they did!) of each of the people held prisoner in the school, they range from month old babies to the very old. the worst thing about those photos is the knowledge that not one person held there survived! we left the museum and headed out to the "killing fields" where most of the people were taken to be massacred. there are mass graves everywhere and bones and clothes still stick out of the ground. Most of them have been fully excavated though and a monument has been erected containing the skulls of all the bodies found there you need to read more about it to fully understand what they did to these people...click this link when you finish reading the blog. after a heavy day we headed back to the lake for a well earned beer and a sunset view of the lake!
We left Pnom Penh the day after since there really isn't anything else to do and we were dying to see Angkor Wat...(Read up) it took us 6hrs to reach Siem Reap and we collapsed in to a much nicer place than in Pnom penh! We arranged with a tuk tuk man to take us to angkor wat for Sunrise the next morning- meaning a 4am wake up call! well i thought it was pretty amazing jo wasnt impressed and asked why we got out of bed haha! the whole complex is HUGE over 100 temples angkor wat is just 1! we went round quite a few
Jo was finally impressed with the temple tomb raider was filmed in! after about 6 hours of temples and ruins we were all templed out and headed back to the hostel!
We decided not to hang around too long and arranged a bus back to bangkok the next day! once again the journey was terrible, they even over booked the bus and instead of arranging another one some unlucky people were sat on plastic seats in the aisle!!! along with all the baggage! when we arrived in Bangkok we though why hang around (with the imminent protests) and literally got straight on another bus to take us south to the islands for some paradise beaches!!! after ANOTHER 12hrs we got to the port and it was raining...not a good start! then came the sea!! 10m waves! it was horrible we were probably the only ones who didnt throw up! no exaggeration! we arrived white knuckled after 2hrs on Ko pha-ngan to a full monsoon, and nothing changed. we checked the weather and it was forcast to stay the same for the next 10 days! in hindsight.....hahaha ah well! we decided to bail out and head over to Krabi on the west coast instead to see if the weather was better over here! so here we are and no the weather is not much better...not as much rain though! instead of the beach then we went for a river cruise to some caves and then to a fish farm! oh and yes i did get a terrible hair cut before we went!! haha got to learn more Thai!!!!
Anyway jo is so hungry im about to be stabbed so enough writing!
Hope everyone is well
Love Rob and Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx