A Travellerspoint blog

Laos

Been a while!

overcast 20 °C

Hello everyone! Sorry its been so long!! We’ve been too busy having fun and hopping borders to get enough time on the internet to upload all the photos and write all this haha sorry to rub it in…
So we made it to chiang mai from Bangkok on the 2nd class sleeper overnight which was way more comfortable than the Chinese version! You have two big seats facing each other and when you decide you want to go to sleep the guy comes round and musters up a bottom and top bunk from nowhere…we got a good guesthouse with a nice pool so just chilled out there for the day after exploring the local area for restaurants and bars. The day after we booked on to a Thai food cooking course for the afternoon/evening! It was awesome!! The guy picked us up from the guest house and took us straight to the market to teach us about all the different Thai ingredients and he bought up what we needed for the cooking…it has to be said me and jo are amazing cooks ha-ha the food we made was SO good! We got a recipe book as well so I’m sure we can give it a good shot when we get home!
After a good nights sleep on a very full stomach we got up early to go off to the most famous temple in north Thailand, Doi Suthet100_1474.jpg100_1488.jpg which was pretty impressive and gave a view of all of chiang mai!100_1483.jpg after we headed down to chiang mai zoo which was a good afternoon!100_1519.jpg
the big day was the following one!...a days trek/all sorts of other things in the jungle south west of chiang mai. First of all we stopped off at a Thai orchid and butterfly farm…for you butterfly lovers there are hundreds of huge/amazing ones in Thailand! From there we headed in to the foothills of the mountains to visit some of the hill tribes, most notable were the long neck tribe!100_1537.jpg The women of the tribe get bronze rings round their necks each year from the age of 5 until 45!!100_1554.jpg The more rings means the more beautiful the woman…Jo had a go with a half ring thingy and the weight of even that was madness!100_1552.jpg After looking round the villages we headed in to the forest on an ox cart100_1564.jpg for a trek to a big waterfall2100_1537.jpg and close by was the elephant camp! Elephants are brilliant! We both loved the trek on the elephants100_1622.jpg…Jo sat in the saddle while I was the mahout for the day!! So I was sat just behind the elephants head with my legs behind its ears100_1618.jpg, luckily I didn’t have to do much driving as she followed the herd pretty well, not that I could have stopped her from doing anything, even for the smaller Asian species they are MASSIVE!! After the elephants we jumped in to the “bus” (bus meaning Toyota pickup with benches in the back) and headed for the river for an hour of white water rafting!! After 30seconds of instructions we were off with some crazy looking thai guy steering the boat through some pretty decent size rapids! They gradually got smaller and the white water turned in to a more comfortable ride than the “bus” to the start!!
So we got back that night and decided it was time to get a move on so I went off on the back of some kids motorbike to the bus station and booked us two tickets to chiang kong (the thai border town with Laos) the journey was horrible from the start when the bus broke down and turned our 7 hour bus into 9! The ride was the worst bit about it, it was so bumpy we were almost thrown from our seats every 5mins…naturally Jo slept for pretty much the WHOLE journey! We got there just in time to hop the border before it closed for the night and after I envisaged huge queues we were in Laos and watching the sun set over Thailand across the river from the rooftop bar of our 1.50 per night hostel!100_1637.jpg That night we booked our luxury *cough* two day cruise down the Mekong river to Luang Prabang (Laos’ second city)100_1644.jpg we could have taken a speed boat and done it in 6hours but the fatality record spoke for itself on that one!! So the first day we did 7hrs on the river and stayed the night in Pak Beng- a little village of 200 people that gets as many tourists in every night…strange place! The whole thing was totally organized to Laos standards = Ridiculous!! I spent almost an hour searching for my bag off the boat and it turned out some local guy had snuck past me with it and took it to the top of the gangway…then wanted money for taking it for me! Obviously being a tight arsed Yorkshire man I flat refused and wrestled my bag from the bloke! So then after another 7hours on the river yesterday, which has to be said, although it’s a long time the scenery is AMAZING for 100% of the time100_1700.jpg, we arrived in france with palm trees! Its very strange…baguettes, la vache qui rit cheese (cow cheese), coffee shops and French signage after traveling two days through nothing but mountains and jungle!100_1712.jpg But it’s a really nice place, a lot of up market stuff for you guys with some spare cash. They do however have a bowling alley!! So after tea on sunday with a few from the group of 20 we met on the boat we headed down to see if we matched up to the locals!100_1707.jpg Yesterday we just walked around the town and the peninsula and today we’re planning on heading to a 7 tier waterfall just south of the town…we can hire a tuk tuk to take us and wait then bring us back for $2.50 each…brilliant! tomorrow we have our bus tickets booked to take us south to a little backpacker town called Vang Vieng to do some tubing on the river (a river lined with bars!!! Haha)
Anyway hope that filled a gap in whats been happening! But its time for breakfast after getting up at half 5 to see the monks walking around to collect their donations of food...300 of them!100_1739.jpg
Hope you’re all going good back home
Lots of love Rob and Jojo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 20:10 Archived in Laos Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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