Sunset atop Phu Si (a hill overlooking LPG and the Mekong) with a gazzillion and one other Lonely Planet readers. How annoying.
Also saw Buddha's Foof which was rather noteworthy. (An unfortunate mispelling of Buddha's Foot but rather humourous, I thought Buddha was a bloke but maybe not!)
Spent a considerable amount of time in the Ancient Cafe doing internet research and eating tasty and cheap food, or should that be foof?! They home bake cakes and you can buy a nice chuky peice of apple cake for about 30p. Mmmmmmmmm.
Now For Laos
Laos is a third world country, the people here are generally very poor. The terrain is quite mountainous in the north, each mountain invariable cloaked in jungle and rivers flowing rapidly in the valleys below. Laos has a very poor road infrastructure which inhibits economic progress, I'd go so far as to say that Laos roads are worse than those in Leeds. Laos used to be owned by France who neglected it, then during the Vietnam war the Americans bombed the hell out of the place and left thousands of unexploded ordinance (bombs, Jon) here.
The Plan For The Next Seven Days
I'm going to hire a motorbike in the next few days and get into the jungle and away from all these pesky Westerners who insist on doing the same crappy tourist things which involve getting ripped off by little men in tuk-tuks who take them to see a water fall, or the nine millionth temple they've seen on their trip.
Hopefully I can avoid the following:
- The massive spiders (as big as your hand)
- Snakes (I nearly ran a five-footer over in Thailand) and my grandad Eric reckoned he saw a Python eat a motorbike around these parts when fighting in some war or other.
- Tigers, elephants and anything that can eat or squash me.
- The 'little green men' (Laos military police who are very suspicious of foreigners as they think you might be helping the Americans cause political trouble or take pictures of their persecution of Hmong tribal people who are refugees from China hiding in the hills)
- The massive potholes, some as big as a swimming pool!
- Malaria (very high risk, I'm taking some anti-malarials but they don't protect against all types of malaria, just the worst few).
- Crazy driving (and they drive on the right, like the French)
- Corrupt police (AKA the little green men) who want money for nothing.
- Scammers who try and make money out of foreigners.
- More Delhi Belly, which isn't pleasant.
- Too much Beer Lao, the only thing that Laos actually produces at a national level. It's quite good and is 50p a pint!
- The monsoon rains which make the roads and dirt tracks very treacherous, it's rainy season so each afternoon it buckets it down.