Monday, February 23, 2009

Phonsavan, the Plain of Jars and 24 hour scuts

For my last day in Luang Prabang I decided to check out the Pak Ou caves nearby and the Kouang Si Waterfall. The caves were a tad crap but the falls 'Mama Sita!'. They were wonderful. An actual paradise.


Kouang Si pool


Glass Buddha

Post that I split to Phonsavan in the east to see the Plain of Jars a mysterious megalithic site no one really knows anything about.

Phonsavan is not going to win any awards for it beauty. It is totally devoid of any personality. The reason being it was flattened during the Vietnam war and the province has 1.5 metric tonnes of unexploded ordnance per person. It is literally everywhere, you don't go off the beaten track as there are claymore mines, Blu cluster bombs. The other problem is scrap dealing, kids find the bombs and try to dig them up to sell for 1000 kip a kilo, that's about 9 cent. But they are some of the poorest people in the world and don't have a lot of options. UXO Pics


Cluster Bombs


Mortar tail fins

I went to one of the local cafes and waited for over an hour with just a beer Lao for company and watched a rerun of a football game. Seeing as I loathe football I passed the time wishing horrific and comedic injuries on the various players. My malicious intent backfired, I was hit with some kind of karmic switcharoo. The plastic garden chair I was sitting on gave up the ghost and with two loud cracks the back legs snapped out from under me and I tumbled backwards with my legs in the air like 17 year old on her debs night.

Ideally for me, I was at the front of the restaurant and in full view of everyone. I didn't even have the option of sheepishly skulking out the door. It was obviously horrifically embarrassing although only the Laotians laughed. The other travelers there just stared at me. I found that strange as had it been someone else, I would of been beside myself with laughter.

So with all that going on the waitress forgot my order and my food came late. I was sitting there for about an hour. Thankfully as I now exist solely on water, beer and cigarettes I wasn't really that fussed. I eat more from habit than anything else. Had I known this was possible I would of come to South East Asia years ago.

To top it off, I got the scuts from the chicken noodles. It was nowhere near as bad as the time I was in a complete jocker in Africa. I got off quite lightly.


The plain of Jars was interesting enough. But without any context to frame an understanding of the site it got tired quickly. Les Photo's fantastique

Jars #2


I met up with a traveller I met in Luang Prabang and we decide to catch the bus together to Vang Vieng. Thankfully we got out of town a day earlier and got a bus that was something out of Borat.

Laos Bus

For the entire seven hour trip we had the dreaded karaoke box blaring away. Then some weird Laotian comedy that involved.

1) Bestiality - One lad spies a another humping a dog, decides this is a great idea but having no dog he shags a water Buffalo

2) A monk crapping on another monks robes, said crap is then given to a blind man as food.

3) A lady wazzing from a tree on top of a passing chap. Then coming down from the tree to make a little sexy time with the urine soaked lad.

It turns out there was a Hmong uprising while I was up in Phonsavan so we had an armed guard on the bus. Basically just some guy bumming around with mussel of an AK47 sticking out from under his jacket.

We arrived in Vang Vieng at midnight and just made for the nearest guesthouse. Then the next day I went tubing and the rest is a drunken blur. I'll keep this clean as me Mum will be reading but its crawling with Irish and northern Europeans on lash. I did the tubing the first day but after that you don't bother you just take a tuk tuk up to the first bars and swim and do zip wires etc. It is fantastic, I was poleaxed for four days on the trot.

Sunset over rural Laos
Sunset on the road out of Phonsavan




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