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July 22nd, Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

LAOS | Tuesday, 22 July 2008 | Views [844]

We packed up our bags and had a quick breakfast, same as yesterday. I only ate a little of my baguette and saved the rest for the bus ride. A pick-up truck picked us up at 9am to take us to the bus station, the bus left at 10am. We checked out and left. When we stopped at another guest house the driver tried to tell Kyle and I that we didn’t pay, but I showed him the receipt and the bus ticket that said paid on it. So we got to the bus station, and the girl from the hotel showed up on a moto. Apparently we hadn’t paid for the room only the food, minibar, and bus ticket. We didn’t have enough cash to pay her, and she couldn’t just charge it to the credit card. We suggested she take Kyle to the ATM to get more cash to pay her, or to take him back to the hotel to use the credit card. I waited at the bus; he only had 5 or so minutes to get back to the bus. I sat on the bus, I was very anxious. I was preparing what I would have to say if they tried to leave before Kyle got back.

It was 10:15am and Kyle still wasn’t back, but the bus hadn’t tried to leave either. Kyle and the girl went to the ATM which wasn’t working, neither was the one in the bank. So she took him all the way back to the hotel to use his credit card. Then the guy in the pickup took him back. Thankfully he arrived before the bus tried to leave.

Off we went through the mountains to Luang Prabang. The bus ride was uneventful. The seats were somewhat comfortable. Kyle had an ok amount of leg room. After a couple of hours we had some bread and cheese. Every so often we would stop and I would pee in the bushes on the side of the road. The pills we bought worked well, I wasn’t nauseous at all. After about 4 hours we stopped for a lunch break. There were little stands selling sandwiched. It sounded good but the chicken as sitting out with flies all over, and it didn’t seem very clean. So Kyle and I didn’t get a sandwich. We did buy a little fried bread, one was sweet and one had green onions. It was good, but I knew I would be very hungry by the time we got to Luang Prabang.

Oh side note- in Vang Vieng we saw this guy at one of the Friend’s bars that looked just like our friend Bryan who is house/cat sitting for us. He was shorted and had darker hair, but it was like he could have been his brother. Kyle agreed and we decided we needed to take a picture of him if we could. He was on our bus with us. We talked to him for a bit at one of the stops and found out he was from Austria.

When we arrived in Luang Prabang he got into a tuk-tuk and I sent Kyle over to try and snap a picture, but it was too awkward and weird so we didn’t get one. But I had a feeling we would run into him again.

We took a tuk-tuk to the hotel we had picked from the LP, but it was fully booked. But there was a man there from a neighboring guesthouse that was on the lookout for people like us. So he took us over to his guesthouse. It was an ok place, but no internet, and no breakfast and it was $20. This was more than we paid in the capital (Vientiane) and there breakfast was included. We unpacked a little and then went off in search of food as usual!

We found an Indian restaurant and Kyle got his curry fix. So far we have had Indian food in all the countries we have been to except Japan and Thailand, but we will have Indian food in Thailand when we go back! The food was good, but the service was unfriendly. And then as we sat at our table near the street, the Bryan-look-a-like walked by. He recognized us and asked to join us. No problem! We then found out that before his travels in SE Asia he had been studying in New Delhi, India. He had an interesting opinion on the food at the restaurant since he just came from India.

After dinner we perused the amazing and huge night market. I was not planning on buying anything the first night. I wanted to just look at everything and then buy stuff the next night. Kyle and I really haven’t bought too much yet, so we are in need of some souvenirs. The market had tons of jewelry, trinkets, beautiful fabrics, handbags, and so much more. The sales people did not hassle one bit, which was so nice and refreshing. Most of them would just say "Saba Dee" in greeting and that was it. So relaxing!

We made our way to the food area, and Thomas got us to try some chili peppers from one of the street stalls. Both Kyle and Thomas tried a green one first. They both agreed that the inch long little pepper was really not that hot, so I thought I would give it a try! Bad idea. I have been getting better at eating spicy things but the moment I bit into this pepper I thought I was going to die! It was searing my tongue. I t was so hot and bitter I had to just spit it out right onto the street; something I would never normally do! It was so awful! It made my mouth tingly and then it felt like it was puffing up! They guys went on to try the red and orange peppers, Kyle said the orange one was the hottest. He even had trouble with that one! We quickly made our way to somewhere that served beer. We needed something to cool our mouths. We found this cute little place by the river complete with tons of mosquitoes. The waiter brought over a mosquito coil for us. As we sat there having beer and whiskey I felt something wet on my foot. At first I thought it was just the sweat from my beer glass dripping onto my foot, but when I looked down I saw something black on the top of my foot. I freaked! I screamed and kicked my foot which sent my shoe flying. This very large Laos woman came over to make sure we were ok. I don’t know what was scarier, the slug on my foot or her thick mustache. Quite a character.

Off we went in search of another place to sit and chat. There seemed to be not much going on in this town that late at night, well it was only about 10 pm or so. We shared a bottle of wine at a very pretty little place that had stopped serving food. Then we desperately needed to find somewhere that was still serving. We all had had an early dinner. We found the last place in town that seemed to be open. I had pad Thai, and Kyle had some sort of rice dish, and Thomas had some skewer of meat and rice. They also both got some sort of Laos whiskey that had herbs in it to help your kidneys. I tried some and it tasted horrible. But of course Kyle drank his anyway.

By this time Thomas is thoroughly "pissed" as some Australians would say. We started to head back to our guesthouse, but he wanted to stay up. There really wasn’t anything to do. At one point he was yelling in the street, Kyle was pretty lively as well. I was just worried that we would get in trouble. The whole town seemed to be shut down and sound asleep. Kyle and I were having trouble finding our hotel, and Thomas decided to find his way back to his guesthouse. We said goodnight, and that we would probably run into him the next day, the town is very small. Kyle and I walked for maybe another 10 minutes and finally found our place. A huge cockroach was waiting for us in our bathroom, yuck! But it was a shower and off to bed. Kyle successfully killed the roach for me! Aw, my hero!


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