March 13-14, 2010 – Day 443-444 – Hanoi to Hue, Vietnam
After a day of waiting around for the night bus to Hue, we were happy for a change of scenery in Hue. We took our time wandering around the small city to see what was around. It’s pretty simple but there are plenty of interesting things to do around Hue. Maybe we will go do something interesting tomorrow, you never know…
March 5, 2010 – Day 435 – Vinh, Vietnam
Between the hours of 5am and 6:30am the next morning, we were on a bus. Correction: 2 buses. Crossing the Vietnamese border was pretty much a piece of cake. It was slower than it needed to be because it seemed like the officials were looking to find any possible reason to hold up someone just for the fun of it. Since everyone on our bus was prepared with a proper visa and everything else, there was nothing they could do but sulk. (It’s a universal border official pastime.)
March 2, 2010 – Day 432 – Vientiane, Laos
With some early morning negotiation powers we arranged a visa pick up, a stop at the concrete monster called Victory Gate, and then back to where we started for 30,000 Kip/pp. Of course we had to insist that we would only take 5 minutes at the embassy and 10 minutes at Victory Gate, which we did at both places. We scurried up the 7 stories of Victory Gate and back down in record time, much to our tuk tuk driver’s pleasure. Easy money for him, power sightseeing for us.
February 20-21, 2010 – Day 422-423 – Luang Nam Tha to Luang Prabang, Laos
Two travel days right in a row. Yuck! We just can’t seem to sit still! On the way from Muang Sing to Luang Nam Tha, we were stuffed into an 11 passenger van that was actually transporting 16 passengers. Saben’s seat was a fold down metal bar and Lin’s was some random part of the van behind the front reclined-passenger seat, facing the other 15 passengers.
February 18, 2010 – Day 420 – Muang Sing, Laos
Travel within Laos is an interesting experience. From the border town, we took a speedy but surprisingly cautious mini bus to Luang Nam Tha, about 4 hours north into the mountains. The road started off surprisingly good. It was paved and almost entirely free of pot holes or random missing sections. The farther we drove the worse the road became.
February 17, 2010 – Day 419 – Huaxy Xai, Laos
Up at 6:45AM. No breakfast. Tuk tuk to bus station, bus to Chiang Khong. No lunch. Crossed border on foot and boat ferried us across the gentle shallow river. Two minutes later, we bought our Laos visas for US$35 each and were zipping out of immigration. Uphill 20 seconds walking and we are officially “in town.” Welcome to Huaxy Xai, Laos side of the border with Chiang Khong (Thailand).
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February 12, 2010 – Day 414 – Chiang Mai, Thailand
Mama pajama rolled outta bed and went down to the station…Well, actually we both did and hopped on a bus to Chiang Mai. It was 10 hours and the closer we got to our destination the more the landscape began to resemble the Appalachians in our motherland. Well after dark we got an overpriced tuk tuk to Loi Kohn, the street where loads of guest houses are (and all the foreigners to match) to find a place to lay our weary bums for the night. Convenient as it is, Loi Kohn is Chiang Mai’s version of Khao San Road in Bangkok. Anyway it will do for now and there is certainly no shortage of good places to eat. Glad to be off a bus for a while!!
February 9, 2010 – Day 411 – Bangkok, Thailand
“Get ready to feel like an asshole.” We looked at each other and got out of the tuk tuk and onto the idling bus pulled alongside the road. Waiting. For us. Against our usual protocol, we had booked a bus ticket all the way from Phnom Penh back to Bangkok thinking it was a bit cheaper than all the separate tickets.
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