..and Vang Vieng--End of the Blog
Trip Start Apr 15, 2012
24Trip End Jun 06, 2012
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Indeed, there was an ATM-Laos Development Bank--that accepted cards from its own customers only. Down to a few bucks, me and a similarly situated Brit named Tim hit the Western Union Office to get money wired. WU said it would be a lot of work and suggested we not bother and get a bus to Udomxai.
Barely enough money to get there, but we made it.
Next day bus across some of the worst road ever
It was sad to see denuded, logged land foralmost the entire ride, with the view improving concurrent with the road doing so. Who knew that only a good road in the jungle (tourist travelable) could save the trees? And since the burned hillsides are planted in corn, who knew that eating local pork is a greener choice than an ear of roasted corn?
The high value teak was logged off and sold years ago. Every house is wood, with wood bins full to use for cooking fuel. Saw almost no concrete/ block structures and miles of slash and burn agriculture on the hillsides.
This place dearly needs an Ag Extension Agent.
Luang Prabang-- the centerpiece of this city is a wat (temple) in the center of town on a high hill named Mount Phu Si. The "h" is silent. (There is a lot of British tittering about climbing.) Nice caves (Pak Ou) a 2 hour boat ride north of town up the Mekong. Lodging here is quality and a tad upscale, and the off season rate of $15 for the Soyo Hotel makes this town excellent value
Vang Vieng is Party Central. There are numerous "Happy Pizza" places, where you can get a pizza regular, happy, or extra happy (slathered in dope--and not just pot.) Saw a well endowed girl in a low cut spaghetti strap dress the morning after stumbling home with "MOTOR BOAT" written --unbeknownst to her- in magic marker across her breastbone.
Tubing accidents have killed one foreigner each week here, as upriver bars offer "free shots" and far too many folks take up that offer.
Last stop--headed home. End of the road, end of the blog. Hope you enjoyed it.
WM signing off (until next journey).