New blog!!! Adventures in Laos
So after the night at the border we made our way down to immigration - which was possibly the longest and most complicated process to date! We then had to wait around for ages at some road side cafe waiting for James and Danny who had somewhat dawdled! We all ended up being split up onto various boats but I was lucky enough to stay with Lou, Loz and Juliette. We spent many hours talking before arriving out our overnight stop in Pak Beng. The room was a bit of a hole but at least it had mosquito nets already installed! The curfew was 1130 and we lost track of time talking to Seb and Freya and the guy wasn't too happy letting us in - although to be fair we were only about 15 minutes late! We met some nice people in hive bar (the only bar here)!
Slow boat day 2 - this started as an eventful day as they decided to try put us on all onto 2 boats and not 3 like the day before - queue protest! Annoyingly in Laos they take your money and then pack more people than there is meant to be onto these boats - so we ended up on the wooden floor for 9 hours. A canadian couple Danny and Denise that me and James had met in Bangkok at the floating market who were travelling on the slow boat to Luang Prabang with us gave us extra cushions so it wasn't too bad! The group was split again but us 4 remained together!
Luang Prabang - we finally arrived and then were on the hunt for accomdation. Juliette had thought in advance and booked a room at spicy but there was no space for anyone else! Lou, Loz and myself managed to get a double guestroom and squeezed in. It was a really nice room and it even had a tv and a fridge! LP has an 11'o clock curfew and most bars follow this as it is really strict. There are 2 places to go after Utopia shuts - the disco and the bowling alley. On the first night we got in a tuk tuk with an irish couple Fiona and Kieron and made our way to the disco. It was in the middle of no where and it was full of Lao locals dancing away! It was a bit surreal but the music was mainly western so we could dance. This shuts at 12...so then we made our way to the bowling alley. This is a very strange place. It is literally a bowling alley with a bar. It is open till 2 and it sells a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of coke for 50,000 kip - about 3 pounds 50. Between 5 people its a winner! We got back to our guesthouse about 3 and got told off as we all got the giggles!
27th - Lou, Loz, Juliette and I bumped into Freya and Seb and decided to all get a tuk tuk to the waterfall we had heard so much about (Kuang Si Waterfall) - it was really worthwhile as it was a very nice place to swim and we met finn and steph and a few others from the waterfall here so it was a nice few hours. We then took the tuk tuk back and headed to the main temple for sunset. Seb, Lou, Juliette and I climbed the 450 steps to the stop to admire the sunset from this height. We then all went for dinner in this outdoor resturant called Lao Lao Gardens - where we all got a free shot of whiskey with dead snake in! I tried it but i wasnt a fan! Seb had 2! We had moved to Spicy at this point with Juliette as it was cheaper and a bit more social. After dinner we headed to Utopia again and then to the bowling alley. We met a few more people from the boat here (2 lovely irish girls) and a scottish pair of lads called Callum and Stuart.
28th - We left Luang for Vang Viang. The mini bus journey was awful - very bumpy and the roads were very windy. On a few occasions i think we were all a bit scared and very welcome to finally arrive! We found a guesthouse for 5 of us (Freya and Seb had joined us! :) ) It wasnt the best but we planned to move - we had dinner and got an early night.
The next day we moved guesthouses and found a much cheaper one with a better location. 30,000 kip each - 2 pound odd! We then went tubing! The whole idea is sitting in a rubber ring and floating down the river and stopping at every bar you pass for a bucket or a shot. Every bar gives you free shots and by the end of it your covered in paint and pen and basically just a mess. Amazing fun though. We met a nice guy called scott in our tuk tuk on the way to the first bar and he became part of our group for a few days. Callum and Stuart the scots also joined us! Freya and I went back a bit earlier than the others and went for dinner as the others trickled in. After dinner we headed to Q bar, Bucket Bar and then onto Smile bar where thanks to scott I have a free t shirt! It was amazing here because I bumped into James (who had been travelling with Brandon and the americans) and we bumped into Thai and Andrea! So we swapped email addresses and I arranged to meet them the next day!
The next day we were all feeling rough so had a mighty big breakfast and then Freya and I wanted to go caving and the others decided to give it a go aswel. I asked the travel agent lady which one was best and she advised us of one where you tube into a cave. Great we thought. After a long tuk tuk ride we got there and couldn't help but being a bit disappointed by hidden costs. The tubing itself was quite fun - going into dark caves with head lamps on but it was as amazing as the lady made out! Least I gave it a go! We had a nice dinner in an American guys resturant overlooking the river. I got a banana pancake with nutella with Freya and it was good!
31.1 We had to say good bye to Seb, Freya, Callum and Stuart. It was really sad as the last couple of days had been fun. Loz, Lou and myself got a bus to Vientiane. Here we got a bus over the Laos border into Thailand and got an overnight sleeper train from Nong Khai. The sleeper train was 1000 times better than the one before as we got beds! I met some nice californian boys from LA and i slept quite well although it was a bit chilly!
We got back to Bangkok at 9am and I dropped my bag off at Nappark and booked my bus and boat to Koh Tao for that evening. We did a bit of shopping and had a wander. The girls were going to get a flight to Phuket at 4 so we said our goodbyes (for now) and I headed back to Nappark to hang out until my bus. I ended up chatting to 2 girls from England - Hannah from Watford and Jess from Manchester. Hannahs boyfriend went to loughborough and we had 2 friends in common. Small world. I got some free food and manage to win a game of elephant racing (like snakes and ladders) but couldnt claim my prize as I wasn't actually staying there! I went with Hannah, Jess and another girl called Zoe to Max's magician resturant and they enjoyed it and the food was good! It was a shame they weren't going to Koh Tao. (Jess did a few days after and i managed a night out with her!) I got the bus to Koh Tao at 9pm - the ferry left at 7am! I met a girl called Maya while waiting and she was going to Koh Tao so I sat with her.
Will continue Koh Tao in a blog with the rest of the islands!!! :):)