I stumbled on the giving of the alms on my first morning in Luang Prabang. I went for a walk at 5: 45 am and saw rows of seats lined up. I decided to watch not understanding the significance of the ceremony. I went to sit on a chair and a woman rushed towards me … Continue reading Day 53 Laos – Preserving the historical city at what cost? Spirituality in Luang Prabang
I didn’t think I would linger long in Cambodia but the country grows on you in unexpected ways. You have to explore beyond the surface. I’m already thinking about when I will return. There is so much to discover in Cambodia. From the history and hustle of Phnom Penh to the city of temples in … Continue reading Reflections on Cambodia
Luang Prabang is nestled between the Mekong and Nam Khan River. It's dry season and neither the boats the people in them or the rivers move very fast. The city emits a gentleness that rubs off on visiting tourists. Although I’m travelling alone in a strange city it feels familiar, like I’m part of the … Continue reading Day 52 Laung Prabang – a community of tourists
I awoke to a dark sky. I could hear distant thunder and the wind rushing around my hut. Just as I was leaving, laden with bags, the sky opened and drenched me. I was leaving on a 9am bus to Luang Prabang. I was with Kerry, the Australian from Annandale who was meant to be … Continue reading Day 51 Laos – a journey to the world heritage city Luang Prabang
Vang Vieng is nestled along the Nam Song river surrounded by serene cliffs which conflict with Vang Vieng’s party reputation. Just a few years ago most visitors were young backpackers. In 2011, 29 tourists died here and many were injured. Teenagers attracted by the lawlessness of the place and the cheap alcohol took risks that … Continue reading Day 49 & 50 Vang Vieng, Laos – “you are so very bravery”
This trip has made me realise how little I know. When you work full-time it is easy to get caught up in an information bubble. Before I visited the COPE centre in Vientiane I didn’t remember hearing about the secret war. During the height of the Vietnam War, from 1964 to 1973 the U.S. conducted another … Continue reading Why are children still dying in Laos?
Vientiane is a historic Buddhist town, influenced by the French with temples on every corner. The capital is an easy city to explore and is much cleaner and ordered than the towns in Cambodia. I was there in the hot season and walking around the city in the day felt like I was in a … Continue reading Day 46-48 Vientiane
I arrived at the bus station at 7am keen to get to Vientiane. When I went to buy my ticket, I stressed that I wanted a VIP bus. He told me a bus was leaving now and pointed to a double decker bus behind me. I repeated I wanted a VIP bus and he impatiently … Continue reading Day 45 Laos – A bus trip to Vientiane
There was only one option to get to Tha Khaek and it was the local bus. My guide book warned it would be a long 7-hour journey that feels like the bus is travelling 7 km an hour. In preparation, I deprived myself of sleep in the hope that I would sleep on the trip. … Continue reading Day 44 Laos – A local bus to Tha Khaek
I arrived in Pakse just after lunch. Pakse sits at the convergence of the Mekong and the Se Don (Don River). My guidebook did not recommend lingering long so I had booked my next bus trip for the following morning. However, the town was alive with celebrations for the last day of the New Year … Continue reading Day 43 Pakse – Pii Mai ! Imagine a New Year celebration that goes for 4 nights and three days!