Laos

 Having spent 29 days of my 30 day visa here, including a birthday, Christmas, and a New Year, I feel quite attached to lovely Laos.

Best bits:

1)      The Night Stars. Clearer, brighter than anywhere i’ve ever seen. Even the International Space Station :)

2)       Veggie Samosas that Claire, Lindsey and I became slightly obsessed with. Only $2000kip from the ‘sells everything’ shop next to Marlena’s. Don Det, we salute you. Add to that misc bakeries and wine (Scandinavian Bakery Vientiane & JoMa in Luang Prabang. Good work guys.)

3)      Incredibly fun things to jump off at incredibly beautiful spots. Laos has the old water/rope swings Tarzan fun covered, be it Blue Lagoon Vang Vieng or Big Waterfall Luang Prabang.

4)      Xmas cheer. It’s not a holiday you celebrate Laos, but you made a bloody good effort all the same with xmas trees/santa hats/turkey roasts. Top marks for getting involved.

5)      The last one goes for Vietnam/Cambodia too. The small genius that is having a coinless currency. God bless you for meaning us girls can go our purse-less with our money hidden in our bras.

Could do better Laos:

1)      The 11pm curfew. Bars/nightlife all closes (unless it’s xmas/NY and the owners pay off the police). Although I understand it’s quite a responsible approach to tourism growth and a preventative measure against the ‘Ibiza effect’ so fair do’s.

2)      The legacy of UXO’s. Of course. Not that anyone is going to ‘like’ landmines and cluster bombs and all.

3)      Long distance minibuses. The painstaking agony of balancing your weight to not bounce off the window/your neighbour whilst shoehorned into a 10 inch space on Laos’s rollercoster roads. Second only to the bizarre double bed VIP all nighters. No Laos, just NO.

4)      Laos is for life. I know it’s communist. I know it’s tradition. But some of the conversations I had about divorce not being an option/no sex before marriage make me grateful for choice & freewill. Aungry (the guesthouse owner from Vang Vieng) was telling us about how he met a girl at the market. They ‘dated’ for a few hours on the phone. 3 weeks later they were engaged. 3 Months later married and her pregnant. He was telling us why/how that is a recipe for disaster, in case we all couldn’t have guessed.

5)      The Plain of bloody Jars.

Where I stayed:

Marlena’s Guesthouse DonDet, Vilaysing Hotel Pakse, Mixay Vientianne, Nine Nois Vang Vieng, Dokkhoune Hotel Phonsavan, Spicy Backpackers Luang Prabang, Dauwe Home Huay Xai.

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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