Sorry for not having updated in so long but weve not had a lot of chance! Have got some brilliant photos as well but no computers ever have the software to let me upload them, grrrr!!!!
Well since i last wrote we managed to finally leave Kanchanaburi and headed up north to Chang Mai. We have been on a three day trek from Chang Mai up into the surrounding mountains, riding elephants, visiting a local hill tribe village (although more like a tourist village now!) and even went white-water rafting which was amazing and now cant wait to get to New Zealand to do a more extreme version!! We met up with an English couple mike and annette that we have been travelling with for a while now as well, so iv finally got some female company! The trekking although a litle too touristy was really good fun and we had a really good group that made it that much better when the local moonshine came out and the singing round the campfire started! We all met up back in Chang Mai for a messy night out when we got back as well! From Chang Mai we then got on a slow boat to Laos, after listening to the a local man tell us how the journeys would be 8 hours not the 6 we were told, the rooms half way would be soooo expensive, our bags would get stolen, etc etc but he had a bus that could take us all the way for an extra few hundred baht!! Suffice to say we stayed with the boat and although cramped we had a brilliant time, (well i did anyway, ad prob wouldnt say the same after having spent the second day of the journey cramped in the engine room!) and none of what the guy said came true, you meet some brilliant people on the boat as well that we keep meeting everywhere along the way now.
We finally made it to Luang Prabang, which was a beautiful little city and world heritage sight, and spent a couple of days sight-seeing the local markets and temples, trekking all the way up nearly 400 steps to watch the sunset thinking what a good idea it would be only to find pretty much everyother tourist in Luang Prabang had the same idea! We also spent an amusing evening at the local bowling alley in the middle of nowhere as all of the bars close at 11.30 and for some strange reason one of the only places with a late license is teh bowling alley, so come 12am tuk-tuks full of tourists descend upon the bowling alley to drink more and go bowling, surreal but very funny!! After Luang-Prabang we got a bus down to the infamous Vang-Vieng - well known for its tubing adventures down the river - where we spent the first day exploring one of the local caves, really good fun but mad health and saftey is not something that happens over here. We followed some signs towoards the cave to find a little old lady collecting money in what seemed like her back garden and giving out flashlights and after finding the entrance found a little boy that was waiting to be our guide. It was just us, our flashlights and this little boy all wandering through the darkness in t-shirt, shorts and flipflops, and at certain points we were swimming through the cave! It was brilliant fun although we all came out with a few bumps and bruises from slipping on the rocks, no such things as handrails over here!! The next day was the infamous tubing, which i have to say lived up to the hype!! The drinking started at 12 pm on the river and prob finished at about 12pm back at the local bars! Basically you hire an inner tube and float down the river where bar owners throw a few ropes out to you and pull you into their bar, numerous zip wires and swings along the way, as well as a hilarious game of mud volleyball and a good day was had by all!! Although dave prob wouldnt say that now after a bad landing from a slide into to the river has left him with a burst eardrum and he's now deaf in one ear!! We were also introduced to the famous 'buckets' along the way, which are pretty much what they say they are, a little bucket and spade bucket filled with a combination of spirits and soft drinks and a lot of ice, sufficed to say the next day in Vang Vieng was mainly spent recovering!!
After Vang Vieng we caught the bus down the Vientiane teh capital city of Laos, which I have to say is a beautiful city as all the buildings are inspired by the french style and they even have their own Arc-de Triumphe replica! Have spent a day here seeing the sights although there isnt all that much, most of our time has been spent eating and relaxing in the french bakeries that are everywhere! We are now off on a nice 11 hour night bus journey to the south of laos where were going to visit the famous coffee growing region (Laos coffee is amazing!) and relax on the islands in the Mekong before crossing into Cambodia. Phew that is everything I think, again sorry for lack of photos but will try to upload them when I can find a computer that lets me!!
Lots of love to everyone, miss you all lots and hope you are all well x x x x x x