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Experiences in Asia

Laos: prep work

THAILAND | Tuesday, 15 November 2005 | Views [1156] | Comments [3]

These last few days have seen the four of us exploring CM and also arranging travellers cheques, currency and transport for the crossing by boat down the Mekong river into Laos. Before that however, we will take a three day jungle trek. Here, there will be no running water / showers etc, and we will live in bamboo huts. The activities we will get involved in are white water rafting, elephant riding and trekking through the bush. I am really looking forward to the elephants, but not the 3 hours trekking every day! We leave tomorrow at 8am, so basically this is our last full day in CM, because we head for Laos the day we get back. Click here to see the website about the trekking to get a feel for what we'll be getting up to in more detail.

We have had a great few days in CM. Last night we wandered around the moat and the main square. Today marks the first day of the CM festival, so there is a real carnival atmosphere. The big thing at the moment is setting off sky lanterns, which are big paper lanterns which have a lit parrafin ball at the base in order to carry them (and your prayers) into the sky. After buying one, Barry, Elle, Kari and myself all wrote our prayers on them (mine included a brief Everton wish), then, after a photograph, we let it fly with the others into the sky. There were quite a few in the sky by then, and it was a really cool sight.

On a trip like this though, it can't all be good. Yesterday morning we went to the CM Zoo, and I was a bit dissapointed with the general state of the animals. There were no keepers, and basically some of the more timid animals like the Ostriches had free reign. Some had excaped their enclosures (not lions!) and were just wandering around. One particularly sad sight was a crocodile, whose bathing area had run out of water. It seemed as if he was cooking in the midday sun, which is over 30c. Perhaps all the keepers were busy waiting for the arrival of the giant panda from China (Chinese Flags everywhere at the moment), so hopefully it will get more attention. It was by far the worst zoo I had visited, and a dark mark on an otherwise fantastic week.

Other huge news is where we might stay in Laos. We might, if we can get booked on, stay in a tree community! Click here for info on the Gibbon Eco-experience, Laos. Basically, you live in tree huts and use zip wires to get from hut to hut or restaurants etc. Whilst in the trees, you get to learn about some endangered species such as the rare black gibbon, hence the name. It should be an amazing experience.........if we beat the waiting list!

So anyway, I'm not contactable for the next two nights because of the trekking......I hope I get back safely in order to fill you in on how it went!

Tags: Adventures



Hi!Dan.Today is really cold.It's real winter.Do you spend hot day today? Afer jungle trek, you'll become skinny. Beacause 3 hours trekking!! I need that course for diet. ^.^ I have a favor to ask you. Please go to the CM zoo again. And please send me crocodile skin of cooking crocodile. ha~ha~ I hope you'll spend a great time in jungle trek.

  jane Nov 16, 2005 12:18 AM


Hiya - what next?? sounds very exciting [to say the least] will wait to hear from you on your return. You'll never be content with 2 weeks in Spain now, will you? Hope you are taking loads of pics - cant wait to see them. xxxxx

  Mum Nov 16, 2005 6:28 AM


Hi Dan, I've started reading your journal from time to time... I'm stuck in the WorldNomads office in Sydney, but every few days think back to a couple of months backpacking around Laos/Cambodia that i did earlier this year. What i wouldn't give to swap lunch at this desk for a bowl of noodles in a plakkie tables'n'chairs cafe with chili, fresh lime and a smiling host! I think you'll find Laos a step down in pace from Thailand - hard to describe exactly what is so wonderful about the place... slow, smiling and 20 years behind the rest of Asia. Travel well ~ Christy

  crustyadventures Nov 16, 2005 9:52 AM

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