09 janvier 2008

the last week has come ...

hi my friends,

no i am not dead, not robbed, but still very alive and kicking. my last week is coming up and i am trying to enjoy every last minute because i love it out here!!!

on my way to ko phi phi now, should be paradise as i have heard.

see you soon

xxx

Posté par Annelies à 07:00 - Southeast Asia - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

19 décembre 2007

back in thailand

After an other crazy busdrive yesterday of 15 hours, I am back in Thailand. And if that was not yet enough, I am taking the nightbus this evening to Ko Phangan because it is party time over there around Christmas en New Year. So I am stuck an afternoon in Bangkok, hence I have time to write because it is freaking hot out there.

First things first, Cambodia was absolutely amasing, a country with such a violent history and still people are so friendly and funny here. They seem not at all to have become bitter by their past.

So after Phnom Phen I went with Alexa to Kampot, the french built this city on top of a hill and it has been completely abondonned for years, hence the name Gost City. It is 2.5 hours driving to get there with a jeep, and of course, our jeep broke down... very funny (and this was not the last broken bus \ jeep experience in Cambodia). So we waited for about 3 hours for a new one to arrive, the 2 hours we could spent in the city where slightly reduced to 30 min, the waterfalls were skipped and the sunset river cruise must have been really nice, where it not that the sun had already set some time ago. Still it is part of the cultural experience and a trip I will not forget.

Back in Phnom Phen I visited the killing fields and the jail, Cambodia was in civil war from 75-79 and this crazy man just killed his entire intelligent population!! No need to mention that the killing fiels and the museum were a difficult day to absorb.

Next stop, the famous temple complex of Ankor with Ankor wat being the biggest religious building in the world. I took the 3 day pass and had this 24-year guy driving me around on his motor. The pictures will say for more then I can ever write, but it was beautifull. The second day I woke up very early to see the sunrise, together with thousands of other people, but still worthwhile to wake up for. By the 3rd day, it seems that my motorcycle driver got a little crush on me, very sweet but not really necessary from my part.

The trip to Sihanoukville started again with some more broken busses, it does not seem to affect me anymore. Sihanoukville was amasing, the first beach I saw in 7 weeks of travelling, and it may not be the most beautifull beach ever, but it is still very small and undevelloped, something how Thailand must have looked liked several years ago. I ended up staying there 9 days, mainly also for visa reasons but I enjoyed every minute. It was so wonderfull spending that time at the beach, not really doing anything, just relaxing, beach parties in the evening... which has let to my next decision...

For christmas and new year I was thinking of just going back up to Pai, to avoid all the hastle and crowd at Ko Phangan. The only real catch was, everybody is going there and I loved the beach so much, I decided this morning to just go there, face the crowd and have a new year party as never before.

Posté par Annelies à 08:18 - Southeast Asia - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

26 novembre 2007

cambodia

I have arrived yesterday in cambodia, still not yet been killed, robbed, ... so far so good it seems

At the moment in Phnom Phen, the capital. They have some nice guesthouses here next to the river, honestly you can not tell you are in a city from the terras. Arrived yesterday with Alexa, german girl, very late at night, but this evening is cocktail time.

Since Alexa is leaving in a couple of days, we will probably go with the train south to Kampot, come back to phnom phen. From there moving to siam riep to go and see ankor wat and going back south to some beaches in Cambodia. If plans do not change again what they always seem to do out here...

Posté par Annelies à 06:34 - Southeast Asia - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

21 novembre 2007

the south of laos

I have arrived in the south of laos on the 4000 island - does that not already sound very good- ?

Internet is ridicously expensive here, so you all will have to wait for more pictures untill I have arrived in Camdodia, which is finally pretty fix that I will go there.

The south is really nice here, as if live stops here, so relaxed...

Posté par Annelies à 09:54 - Southeast Asia - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

18 novembre 2007

Finally some time to write ...

On the VIP bus, Laos style (see picture) to Vientiane, which gives me some time to do some writing. Thailand again was great, being in Laos makes me sometimes even more realise how much I love that country. And I will never complain again about the absence of decent bread in Thailand, Laos has amasing baguettes but I truly miss my Thai curries. It is strange how a country so far away can feel so much like home, but I will have a couple of weeks again in Thailand before coming back to the real world. All of this does not mean I am not enjoying Laos of course.

I spent a couple of days in Chiang Mai, visiting the temples, and completely suprised ran into Angelique who I met in Bangkok. To both our disappointment, she only had 3 weeks and our paths had to seperate in Pai ... In Chaing Mai, we rented a big motorbike and went into the mountains, so beautifull.

I managed to stay another 11 days in Pai, still one of my favourite places in the world and home to a lot of backpackers who get stuck there. Pai has a ideal combination of local life mixed without tourism with the tourist taking over the entire village. What did I do there, not that much, relaxing, trips on the scouter, drinking tea, reading my book, enjoying the nature and the mountains of Pai, partying. I did follow a cooking class, mmm Thai food is so good. My last day in Pai, I finished with a yoga class and I would love to find an other place where they gives these classes.

Going from Pai to Laos, always involves a full day in the bus and then there are  options. Either taking the slowboat wich takes 2 days or the speedboat which only takes 6 hours, but is ridicously dangerous. Not to upset anybody, I took the slowboat. The good thing was, I have been hearing so many stories about how boring and uncomfortable the thing was, it actually turned out much better than expected. I was expecting a row of wooden benches all packed next to each other. The boat is of course Laos style, meaning instead of 80 people, they pack it with 150 and once going to move 2! people from site because the boat is out of balance and of course sitting on the side is unsafe. But still it was fun, not to be seen as a alcoholic, but after a couple of drinks, everybody starts talking to everybody and times flies by.

Luang Prabang is the first stop in Laos. The french colonial influence is very clear here, the city site is like asia meeting france. Partywise, the bars close at 11.30pm with only the bowling open after that, no need to say that bowling is not the first priority.

Luang Prabang also has an amasing waterfall just 30 min outside the city. The big pool has a robe swing and who knew that was only preparing me for Vang Vieng.

Everybody going to Vang Vieng, goes tubbing down the river in a inner tube of a tractor. Along the river, plenty of bars who literally pull you out of the water. Every bar has robe swings and some are pretty scaring but lots of fun. The 2nd time, I went down the really big one (mom you might want to skip that photo once I get those...), it took a lot of courage and knee shaking but what a kick, the adrenaline is just rushing through your body afterwards. It is a bit like 3rd world disney land.

Further I liked Vang Vieng but had a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. In the evening, all the bars have these lights outside, seems a bit like Las Vegas and the association with Laos seems sometimes far gone.

So yesterday I took of to Vientiane, the capital of Laos and this evening I am already leaving on an other bus to the south (Pakse). It should take about 10 hours but there are stories of 16 hours. The roads in Laos are nothing compared to Thailand, everythings goes still a bit slower.

Posté par Annelies à 07:08 - Southeast Asia - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]