OK....so to sum up Laos: its fabulous. So much scenery, jungle, water and sun. Laos feels the hottest of the countries that we have visited so far, but that could possibly have something to do with the fact that the country is basically landlocked...but anyway the sun is nice, if not a little unbearable.
The country is very undeveloped. And is famous for tradgically being one of the most bombed nations on earth! Therefore, it is abundently apparent as soon as u venture "off the beaten track' to stay in the less-tourist places.
We spent two night in a lovely little village called Nong Khiaw, which was very beautiful, apart from the fact we werent able to see much of it because it is 'slash and burn' season at the mo here, therefore. they are burning down mass parts of the jungle!! and the smoke in the air is making the air very misty. But all the same it was certainly an experience. Everynight the power goes out (apparently black-outs are very common here) and didnt come back on again til at least 24hrs after. Which wasnt a problem in the daytime, but was at night wen i was dying for the loo, and had no option but to use my s***ty little maglight!
Powercuts aside, tho, I really enjoyed the place, although it was so remote, for instance, me and Phil were having to wash/shower in the Nam Seuang river, which was cool. Especially to see all the little Laos children playing and splashing about in the river. Its a refreshing insight to see how children 'used' to be in Western Society: nowadays the only way western children entertain themselves is being stuck inside at home in front of the playstation!! However, here all the children do is find their own entertainment (like swimming in the river/playing football etc.) without the need for electricity etc, and to be honest they are having the time of their lives.
Anyway...at the mo, I am currently in Vang Vieng . It is extremely touristy, (which isnt so gud). We basically came here to partake in some famous 'tubing'. Which entails floating down the Nam Seung on a huge tube and u stop off along the way at loadsa bars whcih are just on the riverside. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! we were swing into the water off zip-lines and swins etc. and it was so refreshing to be in the cold water in the mid-day heat. Me and Phil got completely wasted and are really feeling the effects today.
So we took it very easy today (well I say easy...) we went to some caves today, which were very deep. so we had to hire 2 guides to take us in their, as there has been many reports in the past of travellers getting lost in the caves!!! It took us about 1hr to get all the way into the cave and 1 hr back, so it was pretty hard-going, especially as u had to be so careful to watch ur head and in case u slipped on the wet rocks! I slipped over on the way back on some wet mud! which i wasnt impressed about, but I was fine.
Not feeling too gud at the mo though. Got stomach ache etc...but will keep u informed soon.