Monthly Archives: January 2012

Last Week in Cambodia

Left Batambang and a nice bus ride to Pheon Penh..changed bus at a very hot and crowded PP bus station.. Got to Sihanoukville late at night.. got a driver and bike to help me find a room.. as this was the start of a 4 day Chinese New Year most places were full. My driver, CatRay.. was a good guide. he took me to Victory Beach, 6 miles west of the city, and I got a great room with wifi.

The next day he took me to a beach which was just like Geribar Beach in Buzios. Near Rio…Brazil.

That afternoon CarRay took me to his Aunt’s house and I was treated to a real Cambodian New Year’s eve dinner and plenty of beer.

The next day I got a 50 mile bike ride to his family house east of Sihanoukville. I met his mom, wife, daughter and son…how amazing to stop being a tourist and to be able to visit real families…

They really celebrate New Years here…4 days of parties and World War Three explosions of fireworks all through the night.

I was told to visit Bamboo Island while I was here.  I spent 2 days at a little cottage on the water and I kept thinking I was in paradise.  Food and beaches were perfect. The little boats bring tourists to the island to swim and drink.  It was nice to spend a couple of days without cars… they start the generator at 5 pm and turn it off at midnite… pretty basic island living…

got a ticket for a nite sleeper bus to Ho Chi Minh City for 30 Jan. 2012

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Catray and family

2 weeks in Laos

2 days on a slow boat down the Mekong..1 week in the beautiful old capitol Luang Prabang..3 days in the wild west Vang Vien..several days in the capitol Vietianne and then the last few days on the Island Done Khong.  Today a boat off the island, a van to the Cambodian border..then a long bus ride to Ankor Wat.

My big thing on this island was a 36 mile bike trip around the whole island.  I started off at 8am and got back to town around 5 pm.

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Lao grandson and grandma

Got some sunburn on my legs and really had my doubts about completing the ride… But I did it and the warm shower and cold Lao dark beer was so good when I got back. 

Always nice to run into my friends I have made along the way.. I take off from a place and several places later I run into them again.. Sitting in front of my hotel in Vietianne,  I looked up and there they were..my 2 friends from Chaing Mai.. Jerry a guy from Burma and the UK and Sasha from Siberia. So nice to see them again.. We are all on the same routes..all just a bit different.

Hopefully the web will be better in Cambodia..

First week in Laos

First this country is called Lao, not “Lay os”… after a month of Thailand it is nice to be in this country which is so layed back and calmer… Similiar but different. I have stayed at the same crappy Guest House in Luang Prabang for the past 7 days.  I just did not have enough energy to pack up my stuff and look for a  better place.

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Temple next to the Luang Prabang Night Market

Never felt like a guest here but it has wifi, a balcony which overlooks one of the busiest tourist streets in Luang Prabang and a TV with some English channels.  It is only 10 bucks a night so it is okay, even with a sink which leaks onto the bathroom floor. This was a French  colonial city and they built some beautiful structures which are now guest houses.  For some strange reason, this place has many Lesbians tourists.  I do not know why, but they are here.  Also there are plenty of people visiting from China, UK, Germany, France and Australia… Not too many USA types. My days here consisted of going out in the morning and looking for some coffee.. each day I tried someplace different.  I had long walks all over the place.  The historical part of this city is built on a peninsula made from the convergence of the Mekong and another smaller river.

They have a night market here and it is amazing to realize the whole thing is set up in the late afternoon and taken down at 10 pm everynite.  I did not buy anything at the markets but I talked to plenty of the ladies trying to sell me stuff.

This town has many temples and young monks walking around in the morning looking for free food.  I am not sure why I chose this place to visit, but once again a great choice.  After a week here, I got a ride in a Tuk Tuk to the bus station and took a VIP bus for an 8 hour ride down to Vang Vieng another tourist town which is so much rougher than Luang Prabang.  Different type place situated next to a nice little river and surrounded by very steep mountains.  the ride here was another one of those incredible frightning experiences plenty of winding roads up and down some amazing mountains.  Somehow people live up along the ridges with house on stilts with 2000 ft. drops behind them.  It is amazing how people somehow survive in such difficult situations.

I met some people from Beijing and had dinner with them here.  They do not have google Plus and no Facebook… they live behind the great fire wall of China.  I am looking forward to visit China in April.  Off to Vietenne, the capital of Laos..