Sunday, January 15, 2012

Did You Have Loo Problems on the way to Laos?

River view from our guesthouse

Lampang ended up being exactly what I needed. On the outside, it looked like a small run down city, but once we started to explore, we discovered it's hidden beauty. With not much to do, walking around was leisurely, reading a book for the afternoon was OK, and even the occasional siesta (widely popular by locals) was acceptable.

We found this amazing
spot to eat (all 3 nights for dinner) OK- so we didn't go off in search for other places. We were pretty sure we found the best one with it being filled all three nights with the locals.
Resting Buddha in a restful city

Chillin at another Wat

As soon as we arrived in Lampang, we already had the "whats next" question on the brain. Were we going to see more of Thailand or should we pop over to Laos? With a successful ride to the bus station, we went to stall #8 to talk to these giggly girls about our options to Laos. I say giggly because they didn't really know English and every word unknown was replaced with a giggle. We finally decided to take the 10 hour overnight bus ride that would put us pretty close to Laos.

With my warm clothes, dramamine, and empty bladder, I was ready for the overnight bus challenge. With a late (930 pm) bus, that ended up being late arriving, I paced up and down the station with a sense of anxiety and adrenaline rush. The bus finally arrived and as the trip progressed, more clothes came on, a second dramamine was swallowed, and somehow the bladder filled up. I luckily slept 90% of the trip. I got to use a lovely toilet at our one stop. (I use that term very loosely) But all in all, my trip was successful, as I was the last one off the bus because I slept so well.

As we are let out in the rain at 6am, we hop on the first tuk-tuk. After our fellow riders get off at their stop, Danny looks at me and says, "Boy do I have a story for you!" (Check out his blog for all the interesting details provided!)

Shocked at his story and feeling very thankful that I slept the whole way, I realize we are driving in the pouring rain and are putting all of our trust in our driver to bring us to the right place. Feelings of anxiety and adrenaline all come rushing back to me.  Oddly enough, we were dropped off in this secluded alley that had a lone bus with our destination on the front windshield.  After a successful  hour ride to the boarder crossing, we decide to stop into town on the Thailand side to check it out.   After a quick bite to eat, we were ready for the second part of the trip to begin.

A picture from the Thai side of the Mekong Delta
When you cross most boarders,  it makes life easier if you have small USD, passport photos, and a pen. Somehow, we both managed to have all three. With a quick exchange for our visa on arrival, we were free to enter into Laos. We wearily bypassed all lines without being stopped and found some furlongs to share a tuk tuk to the center of Vientiane, Laos where we will be spending our next few days.

It's so strange to me how it all comes together. A bus ride, a rainy tuk tuk ride, another bus ride, another tuk tuk ride, followed by another tuk tuk ride and we happened to get to the place we wanted to be. All with little to no conversation and for most of us, no problems to write home about!

Be sure to check out the link to Dan's blog at the bottom of this website!!   GO GIANTS!

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