Right ladies and gents - get a cup of tea and maybe a biscuit. this one's a real beauty...
forst the six hour boat over to luang prang (or however its spelt) in loas. we expected a short bus journey followed by a not too bumpy rid down a river, but ooooh now - how foolish! the bus was a mini-bus and me n pheebs were in the front - four hours throught the night and no sleep due to uncomfy seats, then at 1am we arrive at a large wooden hut to then sleep in horrid smelly beds until sun-rise. sunrise was actually amazing as we sat eating more eggs (seriously everyday its egg egg egg) for breakfast the misty river slowly cleared and our freezing toes soon thawed out. it was like 15 degrees, which for me nowadays is baltic! then we had the border crossing into loas from thailand...what a joke! a little wooden long-boat over the small river after some random passport stamping... to more random kiosks for more random passport stamps and payments of cash to 'non-speaking' loas people. THEN as our eyes were only just beginning to open we had some waiting til we got on 'the boat' - pheebs quickly nipped to the toilet before our departure and i heard a little scream.... she was nipped herself, by a little stupid ginger-afro-poodle... yes a dog. great! inset the serious paranoa of 'oh my god does pheebs have rabies'. some man from ireland calmed pheebs down a bit before we had to get onto our 'boat'. The boat was like the smallest thing ever - a proper speed boat that kind of bounced along the river top rather than glided... oach. i still have scars. we had to sit crumpled up in little balls for 3 hours then a lunch stop at this random floating shack then 3 more painful hours until our arrival. however the whole thing was made better by the sun-down at the end. then views were incredible as we flew by fishermen bringing in their super and the mist coming in for the night.
we then had a coach ride to van vieng and arrived at 1am. we asked a couple of boys on the coach who were blind drunk, where to go - lucky for us they had been here before and they escorted us across an airfield, which was dodge enough - to a hostel - checked in-bags down-sleep! next morn after a few jobs we set off to do the infamous TUBING. we arrived with big inflated tyres at the side of a gently flowing river that had wooden platform on either side posing as bars. we hoped in and hoped straight back out for outr first bucket of vodka and juice...i jumped off some rope swings then the rest is a bit of a blurrrrrrrrrrr. then the next morn we left to head to vientiane where we flew straight out and landed in han oi, vietnem. no worries through the border - thank god - and into the absolute madness that was the capital of vietnam. 6 million live there. 3 million of which have motorbikes. seriously its like, well indescribable... they have 11,000 deaths a year on these roads - no traffic lights, no crossings, no roundabouts - just utter CHAOS! me no likey, but we foud a little water puppet theatre and then then next day we had trip to hrlong bay where we got to visit some amazing caves and see more of rural vietnam with all the workers and thier funny hats working in the rice fields. then the next day we arrived here. hoi an. much nicer - no mad city action.... still beeping motorbikes, but thats ok - we had nice dinner out last night then headed to local taylors where they make you anything - i mean anything you want from scratch, using photos you choose from magazines and your choice of material - measure you up then off they go - as you can image it was like being a kid in a candy shop... woo. we hired bikes, as this is the main way people travel around here. so we spent day at beach today and now we are off to pick up are taylor made clothes...oh yeah! (on our bikes) tomorrow we move on to HCMC for just one day to hopefully see the fisherman villages.....