Thursday, 20 October 2011

Last lap

Sitting at airport ready to start long trip home - hope it's an emptyish flight and I can catch some sleep. It's now 16.35 UK time on 20th Oct. I'll arrive home about 13.30 on the 21st - big advantage flying into Birmingham.


Few extra pics of Pattaya:













So ready to be back home !

Sanctuary of truth - Pattaya

This wooden building was instigated by a wealthy Thai businessman 40 years ago and is still unfinished! It's full of beautiful wooden carvings that reflect Hindu and Buddhist culture and specialists from Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos are involved in the intricate carvings. 























Because it is situated next to the sea, some of the original work has had to be replaced because of salt damage - a project that will never be completed?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Kuang Si Falls - random pics













Day 3 Luang Prabang

Hired a minibus and driver for the day and headed out of the town for the spectacular waterfalls a couple of hours away. Interesting drive through the lush countryside and small villages.


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Driver told us that the area had been heavily flooded 10 days before and that the waterfall had been inaccessible.


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Managed to get some good pics and met up with a couple of Autralians who were on their 5th trip to Laos - they were very good guides and knew a lot about the flora and fauna too.











At the bottom of the falls was a bear rescue sanctuary. Apparently bear spleens are much sought after in Chinese herbal medicine. The bears had a big open play area and seemed content.






We then headed back to the town, stopping off to visit a 'typical' village and take in some of the local sites before heading to a new hotel, just outside the town, which had a swimming pool.










New hotel very pleasant with bananas and papaya growing right outside our room.



Sunday, 16 October 2011

Day 2 Laos

Booked a river cruise on the Mekong. Very wide river with very brown water, though no refuse in the water. Seems that the river is mainly used for tourism, that may be because water levels uncertain, and not much evidence of villages along the banks. An interesting 4 hours stopping off at a cave and whisky village






Weather was glorious though still much more humid than I'd like - never drunk so much water!





Whisky village, and no, I wasn't tempted to try any !






We then walked along the riverside and stopped at a bar for a drink ( me still on water ) and watched the sun go down, having made sure we were well covered in anti mosquito cream ! Very peaceful.





Luang Prabang, Laos - October 8th Day one

Left Pattaya early on Saturday morning and headed for Bangkok airport.Heavy downpour of rain which we little realised was the start of the severe flooding Bangkok is still experiencing.




90 minute flight to Luang Prabang, a charming little town surrounded by verdant hills with the Mekong river running alongside it.So much calmer than Siem Riep or Pattaya





Checked into a small guest house and went for walk around the town. Cheap place to visit and all the locals we came across were very friendly. Laotians much more quietly spoken than Thais and the town felt very safe.