BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for August, 2007

« Home

Vieng Xai: Hidden Disco

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

After a quiet night in Sam Neua, where we relished having a proper toilet, a proper shower, with hot water, and a proper bed that didn’t have leeches in it, we caught an early morning tuk-tuk an hour further towards the Vietnamese border to the town of Vieng Xai.

Vieng Xai is tucked away in an almost hidden valley, where it is surrounded by limestone karst mountains. And it was amongst the hundreds of caves that diappear into the depths of these limestone mountains that Laos’ communist party, the Pathet Laos, hid during the nine years of constant American bombing in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Laos, that most beautiful and serene of countries, has the unenviable distinction of being the most bombed country on the planet. During America’s war against communism in the region, fought mostly in Vietnam but also spilling over into Laos and Cambodia, America’s government records show that they dropped on the Laos countryside the equivalent of a plane load of bombs, every eight minutes, twenty-four hours a day, for nine years.

Holy crap balls!

[read on]

Muang Vieng Kham: Midnight Expres…. wait, what’s the opposite of Express?

Monday, August 27th, 2007

“Dave! Dave! Wake-up! The bus is here.”

It was 12.50am, we were in the town of Muang Vieng Kham, and the only bus coming through that little place to take us to our next destination of Vieng Xai on the Vietnamese border came through at one in the morning. Less than an ideal night’s sleep was to come.

[read on]

Muang Ngoi: United Nations Chillout

Friday, August 24th, 2007
When travelling around Southeast Asia, there's a fairly well-worn path that most people take. And it is far too easy to follow that path from the comfort of a tourist-only mini-bus getting you from one destination to the next. It ... [Continue reading this entry]

Luang Prabang: Like an Old Friend

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
Ahhhh, Luang Prabang. Once Bec's clothes had dried enough so that she could go outside wearing more than just a bath towel, we wandered the streets as darkness fell and reacquainted ourselves with this beautiful old town. It's a place ... [Continue reading this entry]

Nam Ou river: Water World

Sunday, August 19th, 2007
We strolled down to the boat pier in Nong Khiaw pretty early in the morning, hoping to see if a boat was heading south down the Nam Ou to Luang Prabang. "Hmmm, come back at 10.30," said the guy in charge ... [Continue reading this entry]

Nong Khiaw: Chocolate Water

Saturday, August 18th, 2007
From Huay Xai, we had originally wanted to travel by boat north to Luang Nam Tha. There was nothing we wanted to see in Luang Nam Tha, we were going there simply for the boat ride, which was said to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Huay Xai: Payment

Monday, August 6th, 2007
After returning to Huay Xai and reflecting on the madness of the Gibbon Experience with the others whilst taking a few group photos, we were returned to reality with a jolt when we once again attempted to pay for the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Bokeo Province Jungle: Tracking Gibbons

Sunday, August 5th, 2007
We woke a little after 5am to the sounds of sirens floating through the jungle. That's what they sounded like, the gibbons. Like sirens. Their beautiful singing was a continually rising and dipping note, that soared between the trees. We ... [Continue reading this entry]

In the Jungle: The Gibbon Proposal

Saturday, August 4th, 2007
If someone had told me ten years ago that I would propose to my girlfriend in the north of Laos, in the middle of the jungle, at the top of a tree in a private treehouse that could only be ... [Continue reading this entry]

Chiang Khong: Old Buddies

Friday, August 3rd, 2007
Happy to be leaving Chiang Mai, we hopped on a bus early one morning for the six hour trip to the Thai-Laos border. The sleepy village of Chiang Khong on the Thai side was our destination. We'd been there before, ... [Continue reading this entry]