On being on the road again…

Firstly, my apologies to all for not starting on my blog earlier… It’s been mad, as you can see from the previous post, and easing myself back into the folds of the lion’s den hasn’t been easy.

For those not aware of where I am, here is the ‘official’ story – http://www.petronasadventure.com/southasia/diary.php

Anyways, I’m now right in the thick of work, as I only joined the convoy about the fourth day of the expedition, jumping right into piles of work. It’s not as bad as last year though, as this year I’m no longer in charge of accommodation, and can breathe easier.

I’m currently in Luang Phrabang, Laos. Yes, Laos… definitely backpacker backcountry. Definitely out of reach – by rail or air. The only way to get here is to either drive, or cycle. Or, you could also take the boat, right from the mouth of the Mekong River, somewhere in Vietnam I was told… Can’t imagine how the immigration stop is going to be though… 😛

Laos is predominantly influenced by the French, as they were the powers that be back in the heyday. The hotel we’re staying in is an old colonial house, with tall French windows, with sweeping views of the Mekong River below and cooled by lazily turning wooden fans. It couldn’t be more idyllic…

The town is a quaint mixture of new and old, melding with the eclectic mix of predominantly European backpackers, and locals peddling their wares – from war antiques, to finely detailed silver filigree jewellery, to handmade tapestries and the ever-present Thai ‘monk pants’, almost everything my heart desires can be found in the night market… I even bought Laughing Cow cheese, and a can of American-made Pringles! (you would know darling, better than anyone, these are really almost everything I’d ever want)

The people are simple and happy, and they’re quite beautiful people considering how harsh life has been for them. Laos has been embroiled in local civil war for quite some time now, but then again, it doesn’t feel like a land torn in war. Instead, it feels like the modern world forgot all about this place on God’s green earth, and let time pass it by…

Food is glorious, when I can avoid the pork of course… Its an interesting mix of Laotian and French cuisine, giving rise to true ‘fusion’ tastes. Last night’s dinner was chicken confit (soup lah, for those not so snooty people :P), grilled foie gras with something like a Thai kerabu-style sauce, and the most gorgeous hand made noodles served with sweet sauce, and duck breast meat. I suppose no where else on the expedition I will be able to makan all the ‘gourmet’ meals on such as measly budget – dinner was only US4 last night!

No complaints today… Just wishing I had more time to enjoy this place, without the hustle and bustle of work… Just to give you some idea of how beautiful this place is, I’ll let you savour the pictures ya?

Much love, and still thinking of our ‘dognapped’ monkeys, and enjoying the beauty of Laos – Jasmine.

ps – Found a small cafe, with Wifi, and the best chocolate cake in the world… so decided to update blog lah! 🙂

– Sunrise on the Mekong River

– Laos highlands

– The Naga temple, on the Mekong River in Nong Khai.

– Dinner on the Mekong River, with Kak Wa (Labuan’s wife)

– Monks collecting alms in Luang Phrabang

– Wifi, cake and a cold drink… What more could a girl ask for?


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