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Browsing Archive: August, 2011

20th August 2011, Long drives and Landslides...Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

Posted by Penny Young on Monday, August 22, 2011,
Knowing that a 230km drive was going to take us ALL day in ‘Laos time’, we visited our favourite baguette vendor early, then hit the road. The first 30km took an hour… I’m no mathematician, but Joe is, and he said that that meant it was going to take a f&^%ing long time to get the Luang Prabang. We had to pull over and make a cup of tea in one of the bamboo sheds next to the r...
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Vang Vieng!

Posted by Penny Young on Saturday, August 20, 2011,
Ah, how refreshing it is to find a place so unrestrained by rules and regulations that the hero pastime involves hiring an innertube, taking a tuk tuk ride a couple of kms upstream to a raging torent of swollen brown wet season river, swigging down some free Lao Lao rice whisky then hurling yourself downstream in your tube paddling furiously to catch the rope being thrown to you by one of the many bars along the way. What? Drunk people, swollen rivers, rain and impending darkness are a recipe...
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Laos so far...

Posted by Penny Young on Friday, August 19, 2011,

There’s low cloud and mist shrouding our view of the river and mountain karsts this morning. Like most mornings, we’ve made our own coffee (cheapskates or coffee snobs, you decide) and are sat on the balcony of our shed, wondering whether this rain will ruin our plans to jump inside innertubes and hurl ourselves along the river later today.

We’ve been in Laos for twelve day...


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Changing the route...

Posted by Penny Young on Thursday, August 18, 2011,
Planning a trip like this has to be a dynamic process because you never know what's going to happen, or whether you'll be setback, poverty stricken, or half eaten by a shark at any point in your itinerary.

Originally, we'd planned to go south from Russia, ferry the car across the Black Sea and drive the adriatic coast from Turkey up through Albania, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia etc. Part of the reason for this was seasonal - it would be getting cold by then and it would therefore be better to go ...
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Stuck in the Mud; Why you shouldn't take back-roads in Laos

Posted by Penny Young on Friday, August 12, 2011,

I knew this moment would come. The moment of deepest regret that follows a moment of solemn defeat. It’s the second you realise that the car you’ve been hurling around the backroads of southern Laos in is inextricably wedged in the deepest of sludge, half-way between the ferry and the river bank; the back wheels spinning, the engine roaring and grunting and the clutch stinking l...


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Cambodia into Laos, Monday 8th August

Posted by Penny Young on Wednesday, August 10, 2011,
For some reason we expected the crossing from Cambodia to Laos to be just as trying as the last one, and so rolled up to the border with a little bit of fear, a little bit of adrenaline, and our James Bond soundtrack on full pelt (we always listen to James Bond on border crossing days).

Naturally, as a 'developing' border crossing, there were cows grazing near the building site, chickens scratching around the boom gate and the customs guy was asleep in the hammock. We accidentally woke him up ...
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Siem Reap – it literally beats Thailand.

Posted by Penny Young on Wednesday, August 10, 2011,
Part of the journey to Siem Reap involved driving back over the same road we came in on the previous night in the dark – albeit much less stressful in the light of day, although much easier to draw attention to ourselves and our bright orange landcruiser.

One of the challenges of this trip happens to be hunting down an eatery outside of the main tourist traps, we went for the luc...


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Battambang, Tuesday 2nd August

Posted by Penny Young on Wednesday, August 10, 2011,

A small, handwritten, faded cardboard sign pointed down a dirt track; "BAMBOO TRAIN 800 METERS THERE."

An untrained eye would have missed Battambang’s highlight attraction, but since we'd been circumnavigating the district for an hour in search of such advice it was pure gold. As we bumped down the dirt track, past the hickeldy-pickledy bamboo shopfronts and houses, scooters, ...


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Crossing the Thailand/Cambodian Border (Ahem, twice)

Posted by Penny Young on Tuesday, August 2, 2011,
After the day we had yesterday I’m astonished to be sitting here in Battambang slurping coffee and planning our first full day in Cambodia.

We’d heard and read a bunch of nasty stories about rife corruption on the main border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia at Poipet, and since our fling on Koh Samet had put us closer to the ‘lesser used’ border crossing at Ban Pakkard...


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