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Why Did I Stay so Long in Don Det?

Posted by on October 25th, 2011 in Asia, Laos, Photos | 9 comments

When I finally left Don Det, I realized I had stayed on the island for over a week; and when I look back, I can’t really explain why I stayed for so long. However this is not to say, that it isn’t worth staying a week on Don Det. It most certainly is. Off to the sunset The reason why I can’t explain it is that there is not really that much to do on the island. I had no luxuries, only a cold shower and shared bathroom; everything on the island closes at 11pm; and the only wifi on the island is probably running on smoke signals. But it still was one of my favorite places in Laos. Don Det is a small island on an area called Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands) on the Mekong river...

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Stupid or Lucky, Making It Through the Bolaven Plateau on a Motorbike

Posted by on October 20th, 2011 in Asia, Laos, Photos | 20 comments

I was despairing, the road was just a mud field with rocks, it was raining and the last 5km had taken me almost two hours. And now I had reached an uphill that my motorbike just couldn’t handle. It was like ice with the mud and the rain, my rear wheel just kept spinning and the bike kept sliding backwards. I hadn’t seen another vehicle for ages; I was out of water and food. And at this rate I wouldn’t make it to the next town before sunset. I couldn’t get any grip on the bike from the road, so I was forced to push it up the hill while revving the engine constantly. It was exhausting and by the time I got to the top I was completely soaked with sweat under my rain coat. I really should...

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Bowling in Luang Prabang

Posted by on October 10th, 2011 in Asia, Laos, Photos | 9 comments

We finally arrived to Luang Prabang, the UNESCO world heritage city, 24 hours late because of the landslide at the mountains. The first order of business after our ordeal was a hot shower, fresh clothes, a dinner in a nice restaurant and a good night sleep in a luxurious bed. Finally in Luang Prabang The next day after we had sufficiently recovered from our experience and were feeling like human beings again, it was time to get a little more organized, so we moved to a much cheaper guesthouse from the luxurious one; and set off to explore the town. And of course almost immediately we again ran into the two German girls from Vang Vieng. Here is a top tip, if you want to find someone in Luang Prabang, just keep walking on the main street, you will...

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A Cautionary Tale: How 6h Bus Ride Can Take 30h in Laos

Posted by on October 3rd, 2011 in Asia, Laos, Photos | 14 comments

12:00 – hour 1 We managed to catch the noon bus from Vang Vieng, which means we should be in Luang Prabang just after sunset. The bus ride shouldn’t take more than six hours or maybe seven. We had planned on catching an earlier one, but last night went a bit late, so the noon bus it is. The only annoying thing is that the electricity was out in Vang Vieng, so we couldn’t get any local cash and we are pretty much broke, we only have a few dollars’ worth of Kips, but we can always get more in Luang Prabang. The bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang goes thru some nice views 15:00 – Hour 3 There was something wrong with the bus. We stopped for an hour and a half to fix it. Of course...

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Top 7 Tips for Tubing in Vang Vieng

Posted by on September 27th, 2011 in Asia, Laos, Photos | 13 comments

Disclaimer: drinking and tubing in Vang Vieng is a dangerous combination which can result in injury and/or death, and shouldn’t be attempted by anybody – it is awesome fun though! Waiting for a boat, which was stuck(!), to get us to the first bar. Eventually we gave up and tubed to the second one Tubing, in case you didn’t know yet, is the act of going down a river on the inner tube of a tractor. Now, I am considered to be something of a pro in the tubing circles, as I have now tubed on two continents. Coming to Vang Vieng after doing tubing in Guatemala (multiple times), I knew what to expect. And I was so wrong. Tubing in Lanquin was a simple thing, you got a tube, you got beers in a sack, you got a...

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Arriving to Vientiane, First Impressions of Laos

Posted by on September 21st, 2011 in Asia, Laos, Photos | 10 comments

Patuxai To call our bus ride from Hue to Vientiane comfortable would be ridiculous, at midnight we had to change to a local bus which was packed with stuff. There were fish food and bird food sacks everywhere, including the corridor, there were rubber tubes and even old televisions on the seats. The seats didn’t work and I wouldn’t say that there was much air-con either. Thankfully the bus was nowhere near full, so you could get your own few seats to make yourself comfortable. Small market street in Vientiane. Very peaceful compared to Vietnam So once we got to Vientiane after more than 20 hours on a bus, we were happy to get out of the bus and got ourselves a tuk-tuk from the bus station to the town with some Brits that had been on the bus,...

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