I am currently at the Laos/Thailand border about to head back in to Thailand. Laos has been really good, we have just been unlucky with the weather. It is a lovely country though with such nice people, definitely another place on my list to come back to.
We crossed into Laos on a 12 hour bus journey from Vinh, Vietnam. The scenery was stunning though so made the drive better. Beautiful mountains. Really different landscape to both Vietnam and Cambodia. We eventually arrived in the Capital of Vientiane. We only had a day here so spent this day looking at temples and wandering around. It's a nice city but not much to it. It only has a population of 6000, tiny considering it is the capital.
We then moved on from here to Vang Vieng, the backpacker capital of Laos and the home of tubing........sitting in a rubber ring floating from bar to bar down the river!! Perfect. However, the weather was not on our side and we arrived to rain :-( It is the worst rain Vang Vieng has had in 8 years and the river was so high and fast. Buildings were flooded and most bridges were down. I walked across a bridge on day 1 only to go back there 2 days later to find it collapsed. There are beautiful limestones mountains here so we hired bikes and cycled around, but because of collapsed bridges we were limited in where we could go. Luckily there are copious amounts of bars with beds that show back to back episodes of Friends, so this kept our time occupied. Tubing got cancelled in the end, we were gutted. But, looking at the river, was probably a good thing. We were also told a German tourist had died 2 days before doing it so probably better we couldn't. It's definitely a reason to come back though.
From Vang Vieng we moved onto Luang Prabang, the old Capital of Laos before they moved it to Vientiane. Here we cycled around and visited some waterfalls. We also visited a bear rescue centre, the bears were so cute!! Because of the rain the waterfalls were so powerful, got soaked just walking around! You can climb the mountain in the city centre for views over the city and river, beautiful at sunset. We were also lucky enough to have a rainbow at the top aswel so that alone was worth the climb! They also have a fantastic night market here, bought a lot! Was cheap though so didn't break the budget, just breaking my back carrying it all now! Backpack is pretty much full!!!! Here you can also see the monks heading out at 5am to collect food from the locals. We got up to see this, was worth it. Was good to see.
We then boarded a slow boat to take us along the Mekong River from Luang Prabang to the Thai Border, which is where I am now. The boat was ok, really nice scenery and a chance to catch up on sleep :-) 10 hours travelling both days, loooong days!
Tomorrow I cross the border back into Thailand and head to Chiang Mai where I will spend a few days and go on a 3 day trek, should be really good. So hope it isn't raining though!!!