Saturday, 19 December 2009

A bit of a catch up!

Sorry everyone for the lack of a recent update, Laos was pretty cut off internet wise and we haven't stopped since we got back into Thailand. Anyway, at the moment we're staying with with our friend Jinny at her house, 3 hours or so north of Bangkok. She lives near the city of Nakhon Ratchasima, but out of the city enough for it to be quiet. Sara's tagging in...

The whole village is basically made up of her family, literally every house she points out is an uncle or someone – its really nice! The house opposite has cattle in a pen and their house is a wooden one on stilts, proper traditional rural like! Jinny's house is brick, it kind of reminds me of a French south of France type house, but she isn't happy with the builder as he didn't stick to her design so its somewhat half finished haha she even refuses to paint! Although to be fair she does spend most of the year in England and her sisters house is opposite!
She took us for a relaxing pamper day yesterday, we had our hair steamed, and then we went for a massage before her friend took us for dinner. (Me and Jinny took so long at the hair dressers that Louis the “Movie star/ Super star” as he has been named went ahead on his own for the massage, we had already been before our hair appointment to make a reservation, the place looked a lot like a hospital, but Jinny explained it more as a health centre. When we booked our massage they took our name, date of birth, height and WEIGHT! Haha I couldn't believe it! Apparently a real massage should be more of a health check! With our Laos massage in mind I was terrified and fully ready to be pinched to death! Louis went along and a full near 2 hour experience and in that time was lunch time so many of the nurses and staff came to have a look at him! Jinny tells us that the locals never really see tourists here, and its true - we've only seen one old white (pretty tanned now) man and nothing is really in English here , most of the locals only know Hello and Zankyou (That is the Thai word for overtaking someone! :). Its is very different to Bangkok and Chang Mai, its feels a bit more Thai and not nearly as commercialised – although there is a Tesco Lotus!

The hairdressers took so long because there was only one woman and it was also a corner shop, a lot of people popped in for bits and were shocked to see us sat there, Louis even served a few people, most just left the money in a pot. I am the first foreigner ever to have been to the salon and she liked my hair very much, although they were insistent we looked more Arab than English – I fear they have pretty low expectations of the English! Haha I had never heard of hair steaming, but it's basically intensive moisturising, the lady washed my hair with a gorgeous smelling shampoo and then an equally nice conditioner, using literally a fist full not the meagre midget portion you get at home, the water was cold, but I was about a million degrees so it was welcome and she washed and massaged my head for about 30 mins, a nice massage – I nearly fell asleep, it involved the ears as well which was a shock at first but really pleasant. She then caked on a conditioner of a sort and put my hair in a plastic cap, under 2 wet towels and then into a steam machine. It was hot but not uncomfortable, when I was finished we washed my hair again and started blow drying it, she was surprised that my hair was so different the cream was still there so I got my hair washed a third time! That is why we were late heh, my hair is so soft and shiny now though.

There is a reason Louis writes this blog as you can see, I could write 100's of pages and still miss things I'd love to tell about. This has been one of my favourite days of the trip, really easy going and relaxing as well as a really fun experience of real Thailand– Back to Louis now :))

Now a quick catch up since the last post, i'll try and keep it brief! Where were we when...?

10th Vang Vieng Tubing

11th Travel to Luang Prabang, Laos old capital, had a lovely night market with a lot of local handicrafts, and an amazing veggy buffet on the street that was about 35p per heaped plate of amazing food!

12th Luang Prabang – Elephant Riding! Can't stress how brilliant this day was, we had an amazing time at an elephant rescue village, where the elephants give rides till 1pm and then have the rest of the day n the jungle to muck about. They were mostly ex-working elephants, ours was a logger. She was so sure footed, even when going down some very steep slopes and getting into the river!The Mahout, elephant rider, sang to her all the way round, and it seemed that our money was going to a good cause! We then went to by fast boat up the river to see a waterfall, in the jungle – only five of us went, the rest stayed to sunbathe, but we were rewarded by a dip in a turqoise blue jungle pool. We were back to the elephant centre for lunch, and then back to town to look round some of the temples. We met a monk called Lai who asked Sara if she knew Steven Gerrard – he said he missed playing football, if you're a monk you can't! Walking back to town we stoppped for a Laos massage – it was more like GBH! We giggled our way through it, laughing as they did something to hurt us in a knew and ingenious way! The day ws rounded off with some more shopping and a trip to Mr.Veg again – his prices had gone up for the weekend, scandalously 25p more!

13th By 7am we were on our Longboat to ride all the way up the Mekong to Pakbeng that night and then Chiang Kong, Thailand the next day. It was a very relaxing day, although freezing in the morning before the sun came up – we had every layer on, scarves round heads, the full works to keep warm. Once the sun was up, the roof slid back and we had a good bit of sunbathing until we reached Pakbeng, a tiny stopover town with no electricity after 10.45, and a very good Indian restaurant!

14th Long boat all day back into Thailand - Chaing Kong, we did a total of 19hrs on the boat over two days! Went for a dip in the Mekong – it was pretty cold! On the way down to the water a little fluffy dog started yapping and then jumping up at me. I don't like dogs, Sara nearly wet herself laughing.

15th Drive to Chang Mai – stopped at an amazing white temple – an artisit had come back to his home town and built this white temple covered with little mirrors. I can't realy descrbe it, it was mental – have a look at some of photos! In Chang Mai itself, Charin (one of our guides) took us sightseeing to a couple of temples, we took part in a bit of “Monk Chat”, with a monk who could do a cracking "Liverpooooool" accent, and then part of the group left as per the original itinerary back to Bangkok – we'd decided to stay another nght in Chang Mai.

16th Charin sorted out a day elphant riding, trekking through the jungle past a big waterfall, seeing some of the hill tribe villages and then bamboo rafting down the river. Night train to BKK.

17th Very delayed night train, hour and a half late leaving meant 3 hours late arriving into BKK, arrived at 10.30am. Wandered round China town with Signe buying bracelets at wholesale price.
Taxi through rush hour to meet Jinny at the bus station, then bus with her to her hometown and picked up by her sister at 11, grabbed some street food and then crashed out.

18th- Sara's epic tale above!

We'll catch up properly once we're at the beach on Monday when we've got nothing to do for 5 days! Love to all!

Sara & Louis x


  1. Wow - you've certainly had an action packed month must feel like you've been away for years! I'm sure you'll be ready for a few days chilling out on the beach at this stage..

    Meanwhile... here in Blighty tis snowing - hurrah! Britain has turned into a festive winter-wonderland (in line with all theories on global warming I'm sure)Was minus 5 here last night. Needless to say half the country has ground to a standstill. Four trains stuck in the Euro tunnel all night caused some excitement (apparently it's very bad fro trains to go from the cold straight into warm tunnels - hey ho!..

    Returning to you adventures - lovely that you've been able to meet up with Jinny - I'm sure she's chuffed to see you and show her exotic friends from far and distant lands to her family. Hope your enjoying you celebrity status!Of course I'm sure (?!) it's been enhanced by tales of fighting off mad rabid creatures on the Mekong... ok.. I know you said small cuddly lovely little dog but realise you are just trying to keep the worry levels down for us folks back home..(sorry ol' 'superstar' but hey Sara cracked me up too!)

    Great journal guys! Looking forward to seeing the elephant pics (am so envious!! and the visions of them having 'time off to muck about in the jungle' - ahhh bless!!)

  2. Hi Louis and Sara,

    Your trip sounds amazing! This is just to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a good New Year!

    Love from David, Kathy, Annabel and Madeleine x

  3. Hi Louis,

    We are still enjoying reading about your travels.

    Happy Birthday for the 4th March! Have a great day.

    Love, David, Kathy, Annabel and Madeleine x