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Smiley Nix Big Adventure Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji - Starting March 29 2008

Pai to Bali the Missing Weeks! Part 1

LAOS | Saturday, 17 May 2008 | Views [621]

Well alot can happen in two weeks when you are on the road. I've technically managed to set foot in 5 countries over the past 14 days - not bad going eh? So what happened?!

Well, after Pai I headed to Laos. As lovely as Thailand was and as great a time as I had, I was begining to flag a bit. Don't get me wrong, this experience is just what I needed but it is not all plain sailing and its not quite like just having a holiday. There are some downside that go with the obvious adantages and after 5 weeks travel fatigue had set in. Being a single, white female traveller can be very hard at times for one. You get questioned wherever you go, something I had kind of prepared myself for but still cannot get used to and you are seen as a bit of a freak of nature. Whilst I have managed to avoid any really bad situations I am always in my guard and this does not stop people being downright rude and offensive at times. Also, as a tourist (whether on or off the beaten track) they see you and they see dollars - that (with a few exceptions) is all. So when the guidebooks say the people are friendly, they forget to admit it is genrally because they can here their cash registers cha chinging! I know some of the countries I have visited are poor but that is the really awful thing. Those who are poor are not going to get rich just coz I have passed through, they don;t see a penny from tourism. So it is the same old story that the wealth is enjoyed by a minority. Ho hum, the reality of the world we live in today - but that is one of the things I was interested to know when I came travelling.

So I headed to Laos. I was looking forward to it because I;d heard and read that 'the people were lovely' and it was the most laid back of the SE Asian countries I planned to visit. To some extent that was true, however, it was pretty much the same as Thailand but just a bit toned down. That said I did go to some lovely places even though my visit was only a week. Luang Prabang was a gorgeous little town and I'd treated myself to a nice hotel for my birthday. I was glad I did because the journey down the Mekhong to get there was very long and very uncomfortable. I'm glad I did the slow boat because the alternatives were not nearly as picturesque and even more uncomfortable - but I was also glad when it was over. If anyone reading this ever goes, get some tips from me first!

OK ... I've run out of time so I will leave this story to be continued.....

  

Tags: mekhong sunset

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