This post is going to have to be short and to the point, as I have to order some food and visit the travel man before getting on a bus, because tonight we are going to Vietnam! We're taking a sleeper bus (should be interesting) that leaves at 6:30 tonight and gets into Hanoi at the same time tomorrow.
I promise to write a much longer post when I get the chance. But here is a quick recap from my last entry:
-Luang Prabang, Laos. Unbelievable. I felt like we were going back in time, in this slow, lazy town on the Mekong. We spent about four days there, and the highlight was going to Elephant Village, this conservation organization that rescues female elephants that were abused in the logging industry. The Village works with the elephants and helps domesticate them while ensuring their health and physical activity. We did a two day elephant adventure program at the Village, where we rode elephants bareback through a river and washed them in the water. It was such a special experience...I didn't think I would ever have been as comfortable riding on the head of an elephant, my knees wedged between her wiggling ears (which means she was happy). I felt so in my element, so at ease washing her in the water, being totally submerged and wet as she filled her trunk and sprayed water everywhere. It was unbelievable and was an experience I'll never forget.
-Vang Vieng, aka the home of extreme tubing, Laos edition. Picture a river lined with bars, where you tube down, totally drunk, and hold your hand out for ropes that the Lao people throw to you to reel you in to the bars. We had two full days of tubing before I had to stop because my liver physically hurt. So many dance parties, mud wrestling, and floating down a river in the unchartered, mountainous country of Laos. It was incredible.
-Kong Loh Cave. We took a six hour bus ride down into the southern part of Laos for what was an unbelivable special experience, being in a part of the country that was totally untouched by tourism. We were literally the only white people in the village; every time we walked by the local people, we would get a chorus of hellos....kids would run up to us, touch us, take pictures. We went into this massive cave that went for what felt like a good mile and a half, full of huge stalactites and stalagmites. We sat in a longboat, immersed in total darkness--the only light came from our headlamps. It was actually like a descent into Hades, and being the dork that I am, I half imagined scenes from the Inferno happening above me. It was so creepy and so, so cool. I've never seen anything like it in my life.
-Vientiene. It's a crap town, really, and we've been here for one too many days. But we are leaving tonight, and I couldn't be more excited. So much more to write, but I have to go order a bread bowl so I can get moving. I'll write more when I have the chance, I promise.
Much love to all. xo