I love the people of Loas. All they do is SLEEP! Honestly, they sleep EVERYWHERE. To actually pay for something, more times than not, I have had to physically wake up a shopkeeper, guesthouse host, or taxi driver. They sleep anytime and any where! In their market stalls, behind the counters, at their desk, I swear when our nightbus was crossing the border from Thailand to Laos, I saw one of the backpackers having to wake up the guard there to pay the entrance fee to get in the country...i could get use to this lifestyle!
I am still in Luang Prabang but only for a few more hours. I'm scheduled on a local night bus (14 deathly hours!!!) to leave here at 5:30 and arrive at some point tomorrow morning. Last night, when I went to buy my ticket I went to the first travel stall/tour agent in town and they said it was 225,000 kip- air conditioned bus, including tuk tuk ride to the bus station. I thought I would be smart and do some comparative shopping, but by the time I had hit the 5th bloody stall and EVERY SINGLE ONE had given me a diffent price, and i found out there is only one bus that goes there and it is a local bus with no air conditioning. ARGH! The glamourous side of being a dumb tourist! So I took the cheapest one and again, keep my fingers crossed I get there:) I am headed to Houay Xay (pronounced Hoy Say- ya, go figure!) where I will be leaving on Tuesday to do a 3 day eco-trek at the Gibbon Experience. This is the place where I will be sleeping in tree houses and zip lining all through the jungle. I cant wait. It is going to be a mission to get there but it should hopefully be worth it! (to see it checkout http://www.gobbonx.org/)
Luang Prabang has been pretty cool. It has been nice staying in one spot for a few days with a nice room with AC. Though last night I went into the bathroom and shared my shower with a cockroach that was big enough to actually bite my head off. I had dreams all night of the book Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka, where the lowly salesman turns into a roach and he was hiding out in my room......ugh!!!!! Sweet Dreams.
So, it turned out that my free Tiger Trail photo shoot trip worked out. We headed out at 8am and drove for a few hours up river and literally did a photo shoot of us kayaking down the river for a few hours. All the photos are supposed to be for there new website and promo stuff. We went through a bunch of pretty big rapids but did it with the guides so it was pretty chill. The only gross part was that the earth here is a red clay colour so all the rivers run this gross brown red colour and i was SOOOOO dirty by the time mid day arrived. Even if you push your hand about an inch under water, it is totally hidden in the muck. Doesnt exactly make you want to plunge in for a refreshing dip. We kayaked to the main Lodge and had buffet and then had the guides to ourselves all afternoon to take us to the Elephant Project. What a wicked afternoon!!!! We got to climb up the elephants (literally climbing up there legs and pulling their ears to get us up) and walk around on them, and it wasn't part of a big touristy group, it was just 2 other girls and moi with the guides! And of course, the best part- it was ALLL FREEEEEEEEE!
The 2 guides we had were super cool too, on the way back to Luang Prabang, we were driving through fields upon fields of pineapple crops (the pineapples here are better than anything i have ever tasted before!) and they explained to us that this one village was a pineapple village. All they farmed was pineapples and they were everywhere, as it is pineapple season here. There was hut after hut after hut ALL SELLING pineapples. So we stopped, ate free pineapples in one of the huts with the locals, and then made our way back to L.P. Beautiful, beautiful day!
A few more hrs to go until I pack myself up and head out to the next stop............