4
May 05

Chief Wigum and I

Well, I got arrested this morning and it was the WORST possible time. At least I wasn’t charged. Gotta love this part of the world, if you have money, you can do what you like. Long morning but an experience all the same. A tattoo and a deportation is all I have left to do on my list. (Well, I am excluding waking up with someone older than my mother for obvious reasons)

Got up early this morning and decided I’d rent a motorbike and go see the city. After getting lost I came to a pretty busy junction. Only one problem, there were no traffic lights. Everyone stopped and I was waiting to turn right at the top of the queue. I was waiting for SOME sort of sign to go and I got it…. the cars behind me started beeping. So I just drove and turned right. WOW, I have never heard so much whistling and shouting in all my life. I knew I did something wrong and I stopped. Good job because there were 3 police men on me within seconds.

“You speak Lao Falang?” he questioned. “Mai Dai, bas putt nitnoy Thai” I replied. (I don’t, but I speak a little Thai”). He proceeded to tell me what I did wrong, as much as I could understand anyway, and I was supposed to wait for the green light that DID NOT EXIST to turn green.

I smiled (As per lonely planet instructions) and I laughed a little too and it seemed to diffuse the situation a little, or maybe that was in my head. Anyway, he made me wheel the bike a few doors down to the police station where he brought me into a room with another new man. At this stage I began to shit myself a li’l.

After asking him to “Putt Tcha-Tcha noy Khrap, Phom mai Kow-Jai” (“Speak slowly please, I do not understand”) he went through it about 20 times. He was waiting for something from me. But me being the idiot, did not know what.

He then asked me for my passport. WOW, BIG PROBLEM. My Visa expired today (This morning actually) and I had no outgoing ticket to produce, so that was me in even worse books.

He told me I had to pay the fine for the traffic offence and the passport offence and that I had to stay tonight and call my embassy. I was shitting! Then he started going on about the same thing as earlier. He tried another three times then it finally hit me. Remembering the time in Bangkok with the smoking offence, I said ‘Ahhhhhhhh, Jet Roy Bhat!” which caused some smiles and a proceeding hushing.

I felt like Homer Simpson when him and Bart became Carnies and Chief Wigum came to shut down the Stall.

I took out the money and handed it to him (It worked out at about 14 euro) and he said ‘Mai Aw! Mai Aw!”. Confused I looked at him. He gestured to the floor. Filled with the fear of looking stupid, I put the money on the floor. The two men, one a silent party until now, smiled, gave me a ‘Khop Jai li li” (“Th ank you very much”), shook my hand and presented me with the door, which I was VERY happy to be walking out of.

I know it was not a big offence, but I was so happy that I learned my lesson. I could have saved myself an hour and a half waiting and feeling scared if I had have just given them the money in the first place on the street.

Moral of the story? “If you are western, a small ‘GIFT’ goes a long way and saves a lot of time”.

Anyway, as a result of my little incident, I realized that I need to get out of this place or pay a $5 a day extension fee. If I go down to friendship bridge (The border crossing to Thailand) I can cross, come back and get a 15 day visa for $30. It seems like theres no options for someone who only wants to stay a couple of more days. I need to know what the story is with people wanting to meet up with me in Bangkok so I know how much time I have here. I need to go to Pakse then to Don Det (Not that many of you know where the hell that is! OR EVEN CARE!)

I’ll keep you all updated if anyone is bothered.

Regarding Vientiene, Its a nice little city. Very small but confusing.All along teh river, it kinda reminds me of Saigon (HCMC). Dry season akes teh river look quite ugly though.

I’m staying in a weird little dorm right now. Thees a 71 year old man, a weird Japanese guy and some Swedish and Australians. Everyone seems pretty old though. I’m on a loner buzz right now so I politely declined their offer to come to the market with them. I’ll feel a bit bad if I see them there later but I’m sure they will understand.

I’m in the process of uploading some more photos of Laos. Ill upload a couple from Vang Vieng right now. Check out the photo section if you’r interested in more Laos and some more birthday photos.

Saibii Dii.
Dave

3
May 05

Some Birthday photos

Just a few photos of my birthday celebrations. Only a few here cos its sooooo feckin slow over here. Happy Birthday to me. 🙂 Had a REALLY happy Birthady. Thank you everyone for coming! And thank you for all the lille nick nack gifts. I know your all poor, so they ment a lot. They will not be thrown out! Hopefully you will all get to experience the kind of birthday I got to experience one day. Hopefully in Vang Vieng in Laos too! Tonn, thanks for having us all night!

1
May 05

Happy Birthday to me!

Thank you for all your birthday wishes and emails. Had probably the best birthday ever! Missed only one thing…Sarah. Never had so many people sing happy birthday to me in my life! I’d love to write more but I’m still celebrating. Its been wonderful and I’ve met so many wonderful people and got lots of nice….presents. 😉

The weird thing about Vang Vieng is that there are SOOOO many Irish here. They really know how to celebrate a birthday abroad and because everyones here for the same reason, everyone is cool and chilled out and literally EVERYONE bought me something (Small of course!) for my ascent into adulthood.

Marissa (Shitebag! {In a thick auzzie accent}) organized the singing and her gift was one of her dreadlocks. Jocelyn (Still cannot spell it) organized the cake (Pizza) and Cyril and Jay provided the….entertainment. Been tubing, Kyacking, cliff diving (Man….Its sooooo much higher and shit yourselfy than it looks!) and visited some caves and villages. Tomorrow as the last day of a three day celebration (as per traditional Lao style), we take out motorbikes to the lagoon in the jungle. I’m the ONLY person without a Laos tattoo (A motorcycle accident scar) so I’m due that pretty damn soon. Probably tomorrow. 🙁

Got an infection in my right foot and stood on a rusty nail on my left this morning climbing up the wrong way out of the river. As with everything bad, its my own fault. Watched the sunrise, and the constant thunder and lightning storms and my birthday was ILLUMINATED by fireflys. They are so fecking cool looking! And it made everything so …..magical. I wish Sarah was with me for it.

Since I got to Laos, I’ve met up with Cyril again, Jay again, and Andy and Bob from Vietnam again and met so many new people. I am so happy here….. but nothing lasts forever. 🙁 I could spend the rest of my trip here actually!

I’ll dedicate a day tomorrow to upload some of the wonderful photos of the most beautiful , magical and awe inspiring place on earth.

Sorry if it sounds like I’m talking like a … shitty. (HEHEHE, I’m so whitty! Only to those who understand that. I’ll NEVER forget. 😉 ) I still haven’t come down. 😉

Amazing how western and CRAP Thailand seems after seeing this. This is REALLY stone ages stuff here. (Coming from someone typing away on the Internet!).

Anyway, Ill give a PROPER update tomorrow night and try get some photos and videos uploaded if its at all possible.

Sabaii Dii.
Dave

28
Apr 05

Vang Vieng – WOW

Reached Vang Vieng in one piece (Just about!…long story) and its even MORE beautiful than Luang Prabang. Bit of an adventure getting here. I’ll write again later. Have no money left and have to find a way to get some.

Place I’m staying in is AMAZING. Ill try upload some photos too soon, if its even possible from here. This is just a post to let anyone know who is interested that I’m alive and VERY well. Sorry this is so short! I promise, I’ll write later. 🙂

26
Apr 05

Moving and meeting in Laos

Everyone left today. Cyril, Ozzie, Noriko and Jamie all went separate ways. Each one asked me to come. What did i decide to do? Stay. I made the decision to stay one more day for a bit of alone time during the day and figure where I really wanted to go. I could meet up with Noriko in Phonsavan, Ozzie in Nong Kiew, Cyril and 90% of the others from my boat in Vang Vieng or Jamie in pffff, can’t remember where shes going.

Decided to stay and clear my head. Strolled around the town and instead of being on my own, I met Jay from Thailand. Cool to see him again and we decided that it would probably be better to go to Vang Vieng for my birthday. Just in the Internet cafe after booking my ticket down now. Good ole local bus! Jay me, two Canadian girls, an Australian girl and two Israelis who I met last night are all going together. Should be fun. Really looking forward to the tubing there. Supposed to be EXCELLENT.

Needed a relax after last night. everyone went to hive bar again (The latest opening place here) and I met , literally, a boatload of people who just arrived that day. Really nice people from all over the world. Also met an Irish guy from Artiness (Who knows Joe Connon) and two from “Dunnee caaaarrrrnnnneeee” that I met in Spicy in Chiang Mai.Met lots and lots of lovely Laos people too. I am still having trouble coming to terms with how friendly the people here are. After it closed, a local told the whole pub that there was a party back in his. So everyone followed him. MY GOD, It was CRAZY. I wrote in the forum already, but it was like a party in an American teen college movie. Literally HUNDREDS of people in the house/cafe thing. Everyone just got drunk, talked , and chilled out in the biggest “Cushion room” I have ever seen. THOUSANDS of cushions and beanbags! My kinda party. Learned more Loas (Great how similar it is to Thai) and had a nice refreshing night and met lots of new people. Great to share stories with people. Sorry to repeat myself, but its so nice to be able to give people advice on Cambodia and Vietnam because most people are heading that way now.

Laos is so refreshing for a HUGE reason other than the spectacular scenery. It is illegal for a foreigner to be with a local here. Its so strictly enforced that if it happens, the local gets locked up for 7 years and the foreigner gets deported. Its true, if you don’t believe me, do your own research. As a result, theres no lady bars, no prostitution and no hassle from women to “Hey handsome man, come to my bar for drink”. I have never been in such a chilled out place in all my life. its like everyone is stoned all the time. its so quiet, even in the second biggest ‘City” in Laos. its been said before, but life does NOT get out of first gear here. All there is to do in the day is see the sights , sit around having beers by the Mekong or use this little Internet cafe. Perfect life for me. Its what I dream life for me would be when I was rich and famous. Turns out I don’t need to be either!

Got up early today and went to see some caves. Very nice. Met Matt (Not Canadian) and just strolled around with him and Jay. i bought a head lamp torch thing and some new sandals. My trusty flip flops i think have met their end. i needed something stronger and rugged. Got more long sleeve shirts. perfect for me. Been getting a lot of sun on my back over here so its REALLY starting to look healthy now! 😉 Still don’t have a sexy tan though. Stupid Irish skin.Not to worry. not to worry.

So Anyway, I’m off to….. Ohhh, can’t say that! Someone might find out what part of their birthday present is. “Ill give you a clue. its in my pants and its not a toaster!” need to read up on some more Vang Vieng stuff. I’m sure if its smaller than here Ill meet up with everyone anyway when I get there. Karen, I will DEFINITELY see again. i keep running into her EVERYWHERE I go. Silly Brit.

Anyway, I’m sure theres Internet access there so I’ll take some more photos. The journey is only 7 hours on the bus so thats not a problem. Man, 7 hours on a bus back home would sound CRAZY. Over here, 7 hours is a lucky escape. By the way, I’m going down route 13 so if I’m killed (Read up on it yourself) I love you all and I miss you all. 😉

I uploaded a couple of more scenery pictures and other photos in the Laos photo section. Sorry I cannot put the rest up. The connection is too slow.

Take care of yourselves. Tell Buttons I was asking for her!
Be good to each other. See you soon.

25
Apr 05

The most beautiful place on Earth

After typing this out many MANY times due to an electrical storm here, (very interesting being actually able to see the lightning hitting the ground a few hundred meters from you!) I finally got this written. Needed to let everyone know that I saw, as the title suggests, the most beautiful place on the planet and that is Khoung-Sy Waterfall about 40KM outside Luang Prabang. 🙂

We stayed there ALL day yesterday and I had so much fun. took THOUSANDS of photos because my camera is so broke I don’t even know when the photos take!

Anyway, After a day of eating with some locals, swimming with some locals and having diving competitions with the local children, we hit the trek up to the top and holy shit was it worth it. There were so few people there it made it perfect and the water was so clean, fresh and warm, it was like a man made theme park. I really do not think my photos can do it very much justice.

After settling in here in Luang Prabang, I can say with absolute definition it is the nicest, most peaceful, calm and unspoiled place I have been so far. I cannot BELIEVE I was considering not coming here! I must have been nuts.

Met lots of new friends and realized that the Japanese have a hidden sense of humor that takes a while to take in and process, but is incredibly funny and unique! Still have had my fair share of meeting complete twats along the way, but they seem to be like mosquitoes. the world would be better if they were not there, but for some reason they are. Just a bit crap that I’ve been meeting them since Koh Pang-Ngan. (Well, a lot longer in reality). They all know who they are.

Anyway, moving on, moving on. Where am I to move on to? Everyone is going to Vang Vieng next. I don’t know if I want to go. I think I want to head up to a village up north and stay in a small little area with no tourists and expats. (Theres quite a lot of expats actually because I could really see myself and a lot of people I know living here forever!)

Speaking of that and speaking of speaking, the Laos language is coming along fine. Strangest thing is that they have the same word for ‘Hello” and “How are you?” So saying hello twice means…. I’m sure you get it. Funny how much of an effort locals will put in with you to learn their language. Me and Jamie (Who looks EXACTLY like Kirsty from Home and Away, when I first saw her I freaked out!) we walking along a really dark road when we were approached by a, what we thought at the time was, a crazy man.In fact, it was the uncle of three young girls and 3 young boys. All 10 and under.The three girls were with him and he started trying to communicate and we eventually ended up in the family home with the family and children, learning Lao, teaching English and learning how to sing ‘Frere a jaques’ in Lao. really cool night. Unfortunately, when we got to hive they would only server us SMALL beers. Aparently, the size of the glass bottle determines the amount of damage you can do to someone if you decide to cut them up with it after a CERTAIN HOUR. the place pretty much shits down here at 12. theres one shop that stays open that sells the cheap whiskey but I think I’m gonna leave that alone for a GOOD while.

I’m sure a couple of beer Lao (FACTUALLY the finest beer in SEA) by the Mekong, I’ll have my mind made up soon. Depends on a lot of things really.

Really miss everyone from back home. Don’t wish I was there, just wish everyone else (Barr a few) were here to see how wonderful and untouched this place really is. Wild snakes, elephants and tigers are testament to that! I thought LiverRalley was bad for loosing electricity, WOW, here, your lucky to have electricity. in fact, as a result of the storm, I have had to start this twice and save it after every 3 lines. Its now been over 2 hours to write this!

I upload as many waterfall piccies as I could in the Laos photo section ( http://www.davesadventure.com/photos/country/Laos ) but the connection is FAR too slow for videos and I’m wasting enough of the precious days here in an Internet “cafe” than I would like to dedicate. too much enjoying to be done. especially if when i come back after a few days and Nicola is the only one thats left me a comment! Cheers Nicola! your a legend!

Anyway, Ill love y’all and leave y’all so don’t forget me. I’ll be home soon and I’d like SOMEONE to remember my name.
Take care. Love you all lots and lots. Be good to one and other.

23
Apr 05

Getting here was half the adventure!

Looks like Lonely Planet and my sources were wrong. Laos DOES have Internet access via satelite, albeit slower than an SM. 😉

Anyway, just thought I’d let everyone know that I got to Luang Prabang safe and sound. Longest journey of my life but probably the most fun and interesting and beautiful.

Started off getting the bus to Chiang Rai where we got a rickshaw to Chiang Khong. Stayed there the night and met a lot of people going the same way (We were all on the package tour anyway!)

Next morening, pretty damn early we left Thailand and got a little boat over to immigration in Laos. After a nice healthy 10 mins of waiting and processing, we were finally in Laos….but trust me, nowhere NEAR our final destination.

Got a tuk tuk to the pier where we waited for our boat. After getting 80 people onto a 40 people, most people decided it was unsafe and got off. They finally arranged a bigger boat for us while some opted for teh speedboat. The boat was still overcrowded and uncomfortable but we got a great group on it. About one hour in when aeveryone started to get drunk, everyone started moving around, playing guitar and talking and finding each others “Story” (Story being the standard set of questions you ask other travellers…where are you from, where have you been so far in SEA and howlong are you travelling. )

For me its great because I have been most places everyone is heading! I fucked it up by going to Cambodia and Vietnam first! So anyway….
We stopped in a really REALLY deserted village (Pekbeng) for the night where we stayed in a hut. There was NO electricity and it was really cool cos it was Laos new year and the whole village was lit up by candles. So beautiful.

next day, the boat journey was great. We all got a different boat but no more comfortable. Everyone made the best of it. Everyone got drunk and got on. Major party. The boat in total tool two days and one night. met up with a few people who arrived by speedboat (Same journey in 6 hours) and they wished they hadda gotten the slow boat. totally worth it. the scenery is like out of the most beautiful dream you could ever have. Amazing. I never knew something soo amazing could still exist on earth. Sorry if that sounds cheesy.

Anyway, got the last two beds in the only dorm in LP. Its CRAZY. Its UNDERGROUND in a bobmshelter! Its so cool though cos its full and the people are really great. We all met up alst night. A group of 20 of us went for food got really drunk and ended up swimming in the mekong out of our faces. How cultural is that.

today we went to see a few temples and relax after the long journey. The city is SOOOOOOOO quiet! Its the most, I mean the MOST peaceful and laidback place I have ever been in my life. All day the city NEVER got out of first gear. Theres no beeping of horns allowed here and whats really strange is that all the westerners stick together because its ILLEGAL for a non-Laos person to be with a Laos person. The Laos person goes to prison and the Non gets deported. its pretty extreme but really refreshing. No nice ladies feigning interest in you for ANY reason and they will only speak on a PURLEY “Hello, how are you? Want to learn Lao?” level. Strange but true. Also, I ahve not seen any police over here. in Pekbeng, a 12 year old boy offered me and SHOWED me weed, cocaine, E and Opium. When I asked him how old he was, he said…”I’m 12, but dont worry, theres no police all the way out here”. Sure enough there wasn’t.

Anyway, everyones waiting for me so I have to go. Sarah, I tried ringing you all day. Too bad, you must have been in work. So heres my update for you. Cannot stay so Ill talk soon. Going to the biggest waterfall in Laos tomorrow. Major party I think. Should be a lot of fun. Probably leaving for Vang Vieng on Monday or Tuesday, this city is way too chilled out. I’ll get hooked. Plus another night of drinking straight (1 euro for a 2 liter bottle) Laos whiskey is not good for any of us. Looking forward to then tubing there, but more on that when I actually do it.

Hope everyone is well. Take care and I miss you all. 😉 Wish you were all here in this great weather. 😉

PS: I hear the pope is a Nazi, is that true?

PPS: I got really badly stung by a HUGE bee today THROUGH my t-shirt. Sympathy anyone?

Dave's World Adventure (2.0) is a round the world travelogue (Travel Blog) started by Dave in 2005 and follows Dave as he tries to cover the entire world in different phases starting in South East Asia, then North America followed by the South Pacific and South America.

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