The people of Luang Prabang:
Meet 18 year olds Joe and Summer from England. These two shared our tuk tuk to the waterfalls and hung with us throughout the day. These two are currently travelling for 6 months as part of their gap year!
Meet Casey and Ge from England. Omar and I met these 19 year olds while trying to find Utopia our first night there and it turns out they were in the same boat! The funny thing is we are walking one way and these two are walking the other way. So somebody’s going the wrong way…These girls were apparently never fresh enough to take a pic with Sheldon – thus the very flaterring pictures of these girls.
Omar and I boarded the sleeper bus to Luang Prabang on the 7th of March and to be completely honest – I was preparing myself for death the whole night. The beds on the bus were quite roomy and comfortable however the bus driver was driving like a maniac and you would literally be sliding around in bed. If not for the railing on the side of the bunk, I would have fell multiple times. Because of this, I had basically no sleep at all.
Omar and I thought we were being budget travellers by going with the sleeper bus to save one nights accomodation. But we got to Luang Prabang at 4am and with the lack of sleep we both said fuck it and found a guesthouse. We walked in at around 5am waking the owner up and he put us up in a room.
Our first day started by visiting the main temple in Luang Prabang and then just spending the rest of the afternoon using wifi at this local cafe. Walking back to the guesthouse we came across the daily night markets, which was quite nice. I tell ya, trying to barter with these ladies was difficult! Omar tried so hard with these shirts and even walked away…only to come back 15 minutes later trying again. After an unsuccessful attempt he gave in to her pricing. In the evenings most backpackers head to this restuarant/lounge called Utopia – a beautiful setup where you really just lay down on these mattresses and have dinner & drinks – but the place closes at 1130 (so does every other bar as a matter of fact) and the only place open is this bowling alley…and this is where EVERYBODY heads towards. You would expect it to be more of a glow in the dark type bowling alley where its somewhat a party/dancing thing but its absolutely not like that at all. The lights are on full blast and if I didn’t know any better you wouldn’t think its 2am outside. The bowling is semi ghetto as well, for example bowling in bare feet, but it was still fun. I don’t reckon doing it more than a night but thats just my opinion. I did this the first night and never came back! Just a bunch of drunk young travellers bowling so you can imagine the type of debauchery that goes down.
The second day we went to the beautiful Kuangsi waterfalls. Navin knew a secret passage to go in for free so he took us on a slight detour jumping this fence and going through the woods. The trail leads to a fence that we jump over and land in the “employees only” area of the bear rescue section of the waterfall park. Continuing our rebel ways, we hiked up the mountain a bit and jumped another fence that said “Danger Do Not Pass” to swim in an area of the waterfall that gave us such an amazing view of the waterfalls. We ended back at Utopia in the evening with some people and stayed there til close before heading back to sleep.
Our last full day in Luang Prabang was one of those chill days. Laos is so humid and hot so being outside for me is miserable cause I sweat very easily even when I do nothing. It’s been consistently 38C everyday so it was nice to just sit in an AC spot just chatting doing nothing.
In the evening Navin, Omar, Casey, Ge, and I switched it up and went to another bar for cheap cocktails. Navin, Omar, and I have been drinking all day so by the end of this night, Navin was pretty messed up. Passing a spliff around, Navin would decline every time. But Omar peer pressured him into doing at least one puff. Ten minutes later as we’re told the bar is closing, Navin sits down at one of the tables near the entrance. We walk over to the other side of the bar that was still open for another half hour or so. Here is a pic of Navin trying to stay alive during this time:
While the rest of us were at the other side of the bar, one of the waiters comes to us and says “your friend! your friend!”. We all go over and see that Navin fell over while trying to walk to the toilet. Scary moment because we have no idea if he really hurt himself or not. Turns out Nav is okay but as we’re squatting and checking on him I notice that somebody really ripped ass. It was really stinky but I didn’t care my mind was on the health of Navin. Navin was able to get up after about half hour of sitting against the bar where he fell and went straight to the toilet. We then hopped in a tuk tuk and went back to the guesthouse.
The next morning, Navin came to our guesthouse to make sure we say our goodbyes. It was here he told me “I don’t know if I should be telling you this but when I fell I actually shit my pants”. Oooohhhhhhh it all makes sense now! So nobody ripped ass! It was just Navin taking a shit! “And thats why I was in the toilet for so long…cleaning that shit up. Thank god for that bum gun man otherwise I wasn’t gonna be able to clean much” Navin continues to tell me. Nav, if you’re reading this I’m sorry if you didn’t want me to share this story!!
The plan originally was to fly into Bangkok International Airport (BKK) and then just stay there until our flight to Bali leaves 14 hours later. When we arrived in Bangkok, we were convinced by other travellers to just go into town. Omar and I then went looking for lockers at BKK airport so we can store our bag there and just pick it up later. When filling out the forms for arrival and departure, I whipped out my phone to check our flight number leaving Bangkok. It was here I realized…that we don’t actually fly out of BKK! We fucking fly out of DMK airport which is 90 mins north of BKK. Can you imagine if we stayed at BKK thinking we fly out of there. We would’ve realized eventually but that would put a lot of stress on us trying to make out way to the other airport.
So with that, we went and caught the train to the city and then took a taxi to Khao San Road, famous for being Bangkok’s party strip. We dropped our bags off at the hostel where Omar stayed 3 months ago and they charged us 150 Baht. They asked what time we will pick up our bags and we just guess-timated midnight. When we arrived at 1230 to the hostel, we decided to just chill in their lobby for another hour or so because theres no point in leaving that early to the airport. Then this new receptionist says to us “you guys paid to leave your bag until midnight. You need to go now! I can’t risk losing my job if I let you stay here”. Omar and I replied “we’ll just need another hour or so if thats okay”. She was having none of it and then Omar just lost it on her. “Is one hour really going to affect you? We’re just sitting here on our phones!” Omar says. Again, she says no. Omar than simply says to me “For fuck sakes”, and the woman thought he said “fuck you” so she replied “YOU SAY FUCK YOU? I SAY FUCK YOU TOO!”. Back and forth Omar and her went and it got to the point where she was about to call the cops on us and when she pulled out that card we just grabbed our bags and went away…
While on Khao San Road, we went to this beach club bar to have some drinks and use wifi. It was here that I was recieving messages from guys I met in Laos – “You’re in Bangkok? Come to Khao San Road!” says Simon, one of the guys I met in Vang Vieng! I replied to him saying we already are on Khao San road and at the beach club. Next thing you know, he comes with 3 others we met in Laos. As well, this couple (George and Charlotte) I met in Nha Trang, then again in Phong Nha and Hanoi, replied to me on Facebook saying they’re also in Bangkok! We all got together and as it turns out, George and Charlotte are on our flight to Bali!
Afterwards a few of us decided to walk the strip and sit down elsewhere for cheaper drinks. It was at this little pub sitting outside that I was just drunk enough to agree to try a deep fried scorpion. Simon (we’ll call him Simon #1), fired up, sees a man walking around selling them and calls him over. “50,000 for one” the man says. “No! Too much! Two for 50” Simon #1 replies. Back and forth the bartering goes and he agrees to two for 60,000. Simon ends up buying the scorpions for Simon #2 and I saying “I know that if you had to pay you wouldn’t try it. The only way to get people to try is if they don’t pay for it!”. Holding the scorpion up close kind of fucked me up – you can still see some of the furryness on it and when I saw that I really started to almost sober up and back out! But as soon as I see Simon #2 go in for the bite, all I could do now is not be a bitch and I went for the one-biter. Simon did half first and I just wanted to get it over with. It was actually quite tasteless…I can’t really explain it. At this point it was just all mental. I remember when I bit into the body I felt something ooze out but I tried to not think about what it could be. “Drink some beer!” yells Omar. By taking the entire thing at once I was chewing for what seemed forever…but it all soon came to an end and I can finally say I ate a scorpion!
That was about the extent of my trip to Bangkok, just drinking and eating on Khao San Road. Pure Chaos Bangkok is…I don’t know if I’d stay in Bangkok for more than a night or two when I do a proper travel to Thailand. We left for the airport to depart for Bali around 2am and went to sleep for two hours there before checking in to our flight!