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Reisverslag Laid back Laos
20 februari 2017
Laid back Laos
After the gibbon experience we went with a slowboat down the Mekong for 2 days, very relaxed if it was not that some drunk ( English morons with a boombox ( who else) spoiled it the first day. Thank you Canada for sending those guys away to another boat for the second day.
Once arrived in Luang Parabang, beautiful city with a lot of colonial houses and a strong Buddhist presence through the numerous temples and monks, we chilled a few days. This is easy in LP. Now one of the good things of French colonialism is the fact that we can have "baguettes" and "pain de raisins" and coffee, good coffee. I also went to see the Tak Bat, this is the morning ceremony where the monks go out to receive the alms, mostly rice and other foodstuffs. As tourist you can witness this, even participate if you genuinly mean this, but it is respectfull to keep a proper distance and be silent. Chinese tourists don't understand this; they are massively present, all transported with minivans still waiting for them with running engines. They all talk in their loud voices and push their cameras with big lenses into the faces of the monks. If i was a monk i would grab their cameras, say thank you and move on. The "whites" are a little more respectfull although some of them are wannabee buddhists which also try to find themselves within days after arrival in Laos.
During our stay we spend 2 days at the elephant village. Let say it like this; We enjoyed it, the money we left there was well spend for the care of the elephants, but in the end it is just another way of exploiting these magnificent animals. Maybe there is no way around this, and it is for sure better than the logging industry, but elephants belong in the jungle. And Laos, once litterally the land of a million elephants, has it now only as its slogan. The majority has been killed by American bombs and mines in the Vietnam war and only 1600 elephants are left. Very sad!
From Luang Prabang we went to Vientiane, the capital city. We stayed in the centre and spend a day biking around the city.
From Vientiane we went with local bus to Thakhek. This very old crappy bus was in the main corridor for seen with wooden pillars to support the roof. We asked ourselves why, but that became clear. Somewhere during our 6 hours ride we stopped along a n overloaded truck, almost hanging on the ground, which was loaded with 50 80 kg bags filled with corn cobs. And believe it or not all bags, 4 tons, went on the roof of the bus. You saw the roof coming down slowly. Anyway we made it to Thakhet and there we met with Britte and Mo. It was great so see them and spend some time together.
Next day we started "The Loop" , 480 km track through this part of Laos on questionable roads. Dirt roads, potholes as big as the wheels of our bikes. And of course we were bare legged. Anyway we made it without injuries ( many didn't)
Now we arrived at 4000 islands near the Cambodian border, which is a chill place. We will tell about this in our last blog as the end of our holiday is approaching fast.
Foto's bij verslag (22)
20 februari 2017 18:39 | Door: Ralph
Wat een gave plaats om te slapen, heel veel.plezier met de laatste episode van jullie prachtige reis. Enjoy