As Ryne mentioned in the last post, our stay in Laos was adventurous indeed. Laos has some of the best scenery with limestone spires and forest clad mountains. This makes for good vistas but very long, bumpy bus rides down torturous roads. We travelled the whole length of the country from north to south by bus, so many days were spent in transit. Buses were often old, falling apart, crowded and very hot!
Along our journey we went on a 4 day jungle trek accompanied by a guide. It was nice because we didn’t have to carry any of the food and meals were prepared for us. Meals were traditional Lao and eaten on the big banana leaves on the ground. Sticky rice was served with every meal and is traditionally eaten with your hands by rolling it into bite sized balls and dipping it into sauces or vegetables or meat. Meals were very tasty, but very repetitive! After eating rice 3 times per day I was ready for bread or anything different. On the hike, we saw very few animals, mostly small birds and a few insects. Whenever an animal was seen the guide would say “barbecue.” The forest was conspicuously quiet. This is because Lao hunt and eat everything!
Another highlight was a boat trip through a 7 km cave! The water was gorgeous blue-green and the cave was at times 100m high and 100m wide with spectacular cave features. Unfortunately, a virus or worm infected our camera and we lost all of our pictures from Laos and northern Thailand. There is a chance we can recover the photos so I am going to try.
3 Things we learned in Laos:
1) Even if a bus or bus seat appears full, it is not full! There is always more room to crunch another person on a bus!
2) Lao people eat anything and everything (except cobra “because it is poisonous”).
3) Tourists never pay the same price for food or bus fares as the locals; simply because we have more money.
We are going to Siem Reap, Cambodia today. We will visit the mother of all temples: Angkor Wat