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26.01.2006, 11:27

NEWS 48: Biking - Vientiane - Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang

Dear friends,

it's us again and still from Laos.
The last time I wrote about our trip to the Mekong-island on the southern tip of Laos.
After it we rented some very good bicycles for 4 days and went up the Bolaven Plateau famous for the Laos Coffee and some nice waterfalls. The first day we had to bike about 50km but with an altidude difference of 1200m. Like always in this hot countries we started 6 o'clock in the morning and during the midday heat we found a nice place in the shadow next to a fresh waterfall. The night we stayed in a small city in 1300m altidude. So in the morning when we started it was really cold but the rising sun was very very nice together with some fog. To bike through the country has some advantages because you are very close to the people and their life. We passed very small villages and went through coffee, papaya, rubber and other plantations. Thereever we stopped in the villages immediately we had a lot of children around us. The people are very poor and live mainly in bamboo huts but are very friendly.
The second day we biked about 65km and in the afternoon we rode on an elephant. That is a thing you have to do in southeast Asia but it is not that spectacular. You are just sitting on this amazing big animal. I mean if the elephant really wants to hurt you no problem at all. We did not understand why those animals are so tame. There are regions in Laos they still use the animals for working. The third day we biked 85km. It was a nice trip.

photos here:

Later we took the night bus to the capital Vientiane. The afternoon before Anja searched in the internet in the Hospitality Club ( for a contact there and ended up chatting with a Brazilian. So the next morning we were in his apartment. He works for the WFP (World Food Program), a program from the UNO. So we practiced our portuguese again and had a very nice time. (THANK YOU VERY MUCH LEONARDO). He showed us the city and at night we went to a party with some friends. It was weekend and so also the second day he took the time to show us more of the cute little city. It does not seem to be a capital...

Further we went to Vang Vieng more in the north, a small city surrounded by Karst Mountains. Nice place and we found a nice bamboo hut (3US$ per night). The place is famous for the typical southeast Asian traveller and they are smoking a lot of things and you can buy a lot of "Happy" meals, that means some special Mushroom is in it and makes you happy. Not that kind of things we like so much but the place is really nice. So we did also the famous "Tubing", or floating down the river on a truck tyre. Probabely, if you smoke a lot and still ate some mushrooms it would be fun, otherwise it is just very boring... Nice was one attraction on the way; a nice slide with a spectacular jump...

Going to our next stop Luang Prabang was a 7 hour bus ride for 200km up and down through some amazing landscape. Here we met our first people from our city Dresden. Very nice to hear our typical dialect again...The place is famous for many temples and has a certain athmosphere with many monks and next to the river. At night you have night market with a lot of good and cheap food, remembering us of China.
In two days we will go 2 days by boat to Thailand.


More and more the days of our travel are counted and we are preparing our going back to the normal social life. We are looking forward to this see you all again.

Anja and Soeren


30.01.2006, 11:49

@ Soeren

Luang Prabang

Well, I wanted to write something more about Luang Prabang.

There is a handicrafts market every night where you can buy scarfs, lamp shades made from bamboo paper, pillow cases, paintings, T-Shirts, cloth of minorities and also bed covers. One night I was walking through the market and heard a tourist repeating the price for a bed cover: 20. I thought I didn't hear right because US$ 20 for a hand made bed cover is way too cheap. So I asked on one of the next stands and the woman also told me US$ 20. When I went away she asked me: Okay, how much do you pay??? I was really shocked!!! Okay, it's Laos and the people really make the stuff by themselves but US$ 20 for such a huge bed cover.... Unbelievable! It took me a day to get over it...
Walking along the market you can see the women sewing. We also went by bike to some villages and saw women waeving scarfs and also making paper out of bamboo for the lamp shades. At 5 p.m. the women go to town to sell their products on the market...
It's nice to know that the people do the souvenirs by themselves and still use traditional techniques. So if you need some nice presents go to Luang Prabang.... ;-)



09.02.2006, 10:27

@ Soeren

NEWS 48: Biking - Vientiane - Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang

You are welcome!
I also had a wonderful time speaking Portuguese and showing you around our "capital".
Hope you are still enjoying the final part of your trip, and hope to see you again, in Brazil, Germany or anywhere else in this big world of ours.
Leo :-P

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