This is an e-mail I just sent to my friend Lisa covering my travel so far. Since I’m paying for internet and I’m lazy, I have copied it here. So read below to get the short version of what I’ve been up to! It has been edited a little, I tried to add more detail where I felt like it, but like I said, I’m lazy.
Juliet said she just replied to you in the briefest form possible and would like me to explain that typing is a massive pain for her right now because she has a broken hand!
Let’s rewind shall we? First we get across the Thai/Laos border, after meeting some awesome people in Chang Khong who we’re still traveling with now. On the Laos side, we give our passports in to get stamped by a bunch of people and they give it back. Except Juliet never gets her back.
Long story short, they accidentally gave it to someone else, but Juliet and I are both blessed with dual citizenship so she used her US passport to get across, we get on the slow boat with the friends we’d met the night before plus a ton of other people obviously, then we started a small protest to force the slow boat guys to give us a second boat because there were FAR too many of us to fit on one boat. This ended up really well because we got the second boat and it was way better than the first boat. Comfy seats, plus an area in the back where we just laid down a mat, sat on the floor and did our thing. A Laos border guy calls Juliet, and at the first stop we make they deliver her passport. No idea what happened, but who cares, she is now a dual citizen again!
Two days on the slow boat – big party, it was awesome. We had a great group of people, we just drank a lot and played cards and hung out for two days. Not bad and totally worth it, whatever you do, do not take the speed boat or the bus. The speed boats look like suicide missions and apparently the buses are pretty horrific.
Our group currently consists of myself and Juliet, Calvin from Canada, Matt, Zoe, Claudia, Patrick and Andy from England (the Brits kind of dominate the group), and Chris from Australia.
Luang Prabang was cool, the one thing we really did there except just explore around was to go to this amazing waterfall. The night market is also amazing, I highly recommend it for some shopping although I did none because I cannot fit one more thing into my backack right now.
Most of us took a tuk tuk to the waterfall, but Juliet, this guy Patrick, and this couple Heather and Jason decided they wanted to rent motorbikes. I should say that about a week and a half before that, Juliet had her cards read and was told that while traveling to NEVER ride a motorbike. So a week later that’s exactly what she did. The four of them arrive at the waterfall a little while after the tuk tuk group, Patrick’s arm is covered in blood, and Juliet can’t move her hand. The next morning when her hand is still incredibly swollen, she goes to the pharmacy to get pain killers and comes back a couple of hours later after being sent to the hospital to find out she has snapped a bone in her hand in half. So now she has a large club for a left hand. Luckily it hasn’t stopped her from swimming down the river with the rest of us in Van Vieng, going from bar to bar and enjoying herself. The only thing she can’t do are the HUGE rope swings that are at each bar which is a shame. Another tip – if you go ‘tubing’ in Van Vieng, don’t bother getting a tube. They’re expensive, it’s very easy to swim from bar to bar, and it means you don’t have to keep track of a massive rubber tube that people are constantly trying to steal.
So that’s it so far! Another day of tubing ahead of us I think. We’re currently a band of about nine travellers all doing this thing together and so far it looks like a lot of us will be together for a large amount of this trip, which should be a blast. Sorry there are no photos but I can’t afford toi spend more time in on the internet than already have today! There are LOTS of photos and videos to upload though so I’ll try to get to that sometime soon.
For now, bye bye!