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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

What Did You Expect for $5?

LAOS | Tuesday, 12 June 2007 | Views [2244]

Arriving in Muang Khua, we disembarked our boat, and slugged across the sewage flowing from the shanties and stilted homes & restaurants on the hill directly into the river. Our chosen guest house teetered on wooden stilts, and had a prime river front view deck that would probably not hold up if too many people hung out on it. With our 16 kilo packs on our backs, we hauled ourselves up the steep muddy hillside, trying not to fall backwards from our out of balance posturing. I now have even more respect for those porters in Nepal. I can barely climb this small stretch 100 meters up to the guest house... how is it that they cart around 100 kilos on their backs up the Himalayas? The slope under the guest house was full of trash flung over the railing of the restaurant deck, and there were pigs, chickens and dogs all living under the deck, rolling around in the dirt with the small children who were playing with them. We reached the entrance way, and were greeted by the friendly owners who were thrilled to see a guest during the rainy season. The last time they had someone here was 3 months ago, and this was the most highly recommended guest house (of about 4 or 5 in town). Prices were not as cheap as we had expected, but we shelled out 50,000 kip ($5 USD) for the night, which bought us a room, with no fan, but a mosquito net, and a private attached bathroom with hot water.

The room was a sauna. No fan, and no breeze from outside, it was a suffocation box. It didn't help that this was probably one of the hottest nights we've had to date here, 35 degrees celsius with 90 percent humidity. The bed sheets were stained with someone else's blood spots, probably from bed bug bites, and there were hairs still on the sheets and pillow cases. A pink mosquito net enveloped the four sides of the bed, sure to keep out not just mosquitos, but any chance of a rare breeze that might blow in through the one window in the room. Large cockroaches scattered across the floor... and we balanced our packs on small plastic chairs in hopes they wouldn't be coated with cockroaches in the morning. A mirror hung on the wall, and a used comb with someone's hairs that they left behind, dangled from the shelf attached to the mirror. The bathroom was also something sweet... a filthy squatter surrounded by moldy cracked tiles on an elevated platform which laid below the shower-head that trickled a small stream of water when on full blast. Another mirror (what a luxury, as we've gone for weeks not seeing a mirror) clung to the wall, suspended by a rusty nail, and a used toothbrush, along with 6 half used small bars of soap all stuck together on the plastic vanity shelf. Overwhelming fumes radiated out of the drain hole in the floor, spitting dirty water out to the slope and into the river below the guesthouse. There was no sink in this bathroom, just a spigot from the wall and a big black filthy bucket too rinse our face from, which also, coincidentally, doubled as the water bucket that we needed to use to flush the squatter toilet.

So, what was it that we expected for $5/night? We pulled out our silk sleep sacks, slid into them under the mosquito net, and hoped for the night to pass quickly.

Tags: Misadventures


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