Friday, 8 April 2011

Laos - Simply beautiful

Out of sheer laziness, I'm titling this blog post using the line from the Lao Tourism Board, I've been seeing it used on quite a few posters. I also agree with the statement / copy line, so after all why not?

I've been in Laos for close to a month now, including two weeks in Vientiane with my brother Morgan. I had planned to update the blog with a post ideas I've jotted down along the way while I have an internet access in Vientiane but have been too busy playing with my baby niece, cycling around and reading for that (plus the connection is pretty slow).

I've been having an amazing time out here so far, the country is gorgeous, it has been hot, mostly very sunny and people are generally pretty nice. It's the time of year when the Lao have a lot of parties and weddings prior to Pimai, the Lao New Year so I've also been invited to a few random parties in villages and on Don Det, one of the 4,000 Islands where I stayed for a week.

From Savannakhet I headed over to Pakse and Champasak, a lovely small town on the Mekong. It's quite touristy in a low key fashion and the main thing to go visit are the pre-Angkorian ruins of Vat Phou, which I went cycling to with some Spanish people who arrived at the same time as I did.

Tomorrow we are heading North of Laos, to Luang Prabang and then hopefully by boat to Niong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi.

The Mekong viewed from the guesthouse terrace in Champasak

The ruins of Vat Phou

I was invited for my first shot of Lao Lao (the local rice alcohol) by this fine gentleman. Language barriers made for limited conversation, we coped by drinking shots, sharing cigarettes, smiling, laughing and basic sign language

Beautiful views of the 4,000 Islands from my hammock

My little niece Anahi eating some yogurt - and using it as a hair conditioner at the same time ;)