Guest Blog – Stacy & Jeff do SE Asia (15 of 40)

bike ride

bike ride

mountain bikes…
“we decided in the morning to rent some mountain bikes and go for a ride to to numerous caves and blue lagoons that lie within the limestone mountains.

we spent the day swimming in the blue lagoon and lounging in the shade. we then completed the ride it was around 30km and took us  into different villages and across many rivers.  i must say the next day we were sore and i think that was our first bit of exercise in months.

everyone comes to this town for one thing:  tubing.  you rent a tube take a tuk tuk up the river where you are dropped off at the first bar. spring break here we come!  ’i remember back in 1989…’ oh sorry that’s another story.

blue lagoon

blue lagoon

lots of loud music ,drinking and a giant rope swing - its a great place to get lubed up and watch the daring tourists swinging out of a tree to drop 30 ft into the river. lots of good laughs watching everyone. one thing they do is write on themselves with a permanent marker [see the blog pictures for more] everyone is just having fun in the sun.

by the way we didn’t rent a tube we just swam the whole way. the tube rental is about $10 us dollars with a $5 deposit and we thought the money was better spent on alcohol. next you swim to the other bar where they greet you with shots of whiskey and a chance to ride their rope swing. so by now im feeling pretty good so i try it out. we spent the next hour jumping off the platform and riding the cable swing into the water.

next across the river to another bar and rope swing.  now both stacy and i  are ready for the rope swings. we had lots of fun and good laughs as we swung across the river into the water. i don’t have to tell you that we had a good buzz by now. so off to the next and here we have a giant concrete slide that launches you into the air and down into the river.  this is a blast but very dangerous. i think i cracked a rib or something – the next few days will tell. stacy launched herself into the river and came up with a huge smile…always good to see.

cool tree

cool tree

everyone at this point is feeling great and the party still going strong. we stuck it out till the sun was going down and grabbed a tuk tuk back to town. its funny to watch as the people come back you see some really drunk people. some don’t even know where they are or how they got here!

we ended the evening after a nap with a cool couple we met up in luang prabang.  she was from ecuador and her husband from switzerland where they now lived.  had a great time comparing countries, travel experiences, and the everyday life.  hopefully we’ll see them again down the road.

we may leave tomorrow down to vien tiane and then work our way to vietnam, we’ll see.  first another swim in the river with the local kids before the sun goes down.  if we don’t get out of town now we’ll coaxed into doing the tubing again with one of our new friends, celebrating his 30th b-day tomorrow. it’d probably be in our best interest (and safety) to get out while we can.

thanks for keeping up with us, we love reading your comments and emails!

peace and love and tubing!”

jeff & spanish friends

jeff & spanish friends

giant limestone rock

giant limestone rock

lots of cows!

lots of cows!

kids splashing

kids splashing

swimming

swimming

river crossing with our bikes

river crossing with our bikes

locals crossing

locals crossing

zipline
jeff jumpin

jeff jumpin

jeff smiling

jeff smiling

sunset

sunset

Guest Blog – Jeff & Stacy do SE Asia (13 of 40)

monks playing football

monks playing football

back on the tuk tuk …
“to the public bus stop.

well we made it to our furthest northern town of chaing sien. this little town sits on the mekong river near the famous golden triangle.

we found a great little guest house that sits just outside the old city walls. thinking that we could walk there we turned down the tuk tuk driver (fare was a doller) and made our way down the street strolling along the mekong river. temperature was in the 90′s, our packs weigh a good amount, yet we were determined to walk, because as a backpacker that’s what you do to save a dollar.

after we settled in we walked back to town for a meal at the local street vender. i had chinese chicken rice which was prepared over a bed of japanese mesquite fire, then was flashed in a dry red curry powder and sprinkled with fresh corriander. stacy had the red pork on baby greens. her dish was prepared from 2 month aged pork that had been smoked with candy apples, figs and a hint of honey. amazing!

luang prabang tuk tuk

luang prabang tuk tuk

the next day we rented a motorbike and head to the golden triangle where you can see burma, laos, and thailand all meet on the mekong. they burn all the under brush in this part of the world so its hard to see much of anything in the distance, but we were able to appreciate the beauty.

after that, we set out to see the wats (or temples) that sit on the hillsides of chaing sien. very impressive with buhhda and all his monks chillin in their orange robes.  we then tried to catch the sunset at a nearby lake that captures  the beauty of the lotus flowers and the orchestra of the numerous wild birds. we ended our day with a great meal on the river. street venders throw down bamboo mats and tables and serve you a great meal with beers and local wiskey.

the next day we were on our way to laos on a 2 day slow boat down the mekong river. the border on the laos side was a little unorganized. after we filled out the forms we stood in a line (or what looks like a line) to wait and wait to give our passport and 35 american dollars to the officials.
grand palace now museum

grand palace now museum

after that, the boat company gets all the travelers together for a speech on the laos boat trip. first they tell us that on the first day we will be on the boat for 12 hours and that our lives are at risk.

we spend the night at a river town and again the boat guy tells us that we might have our luggage stolen off the boat by villagers, that there is also no electricity, very few rooms available and, to top it all off, we could DIE.

at that point i had to leave to get a beer because everywhere we went there is a scam and we have heard it many times. this whole speech is being given so they can talk people into taking the bus for an additional 300 baht.

overall, the boat trip was a great time with travelers from all over the world. they had a bar with food, the seats were wood benches that suck after about 30 min, but lucky for us the first day was only 7 hours long.

peace

peace

we arrived to a great little village with friendly locals and plenty of places to stay. a bit more expensive but nice. we ate at a great indian/laos resturant to fuel up for our second day.

second day was great with lots of time to take in the beauty of the river and chat with the other travelers – this trip took about 10hrs. now we are in luang prabang checkin it out. seems to be more french influence here with fresh baguettes and wine stores along the narrow streets.

we’re leaving in a day to vang vieng to see more and keep the adventure exciting and new….”