Living in New York City one loses touch with the stars, moons and at times, the weather. Actually, one becomes self-consumed. I’m certainly guilty of that but leaving home gives me a renewed perspective. I spent hours today watching the clouds go by while laying atop of an intertub on the Nam Xong River. Sawtoothed limestone karsts served as a stunning backdrop. There were numerous bars along the river and we made four stops. The guys went on the slides and zip line jumps but I was happy to sip my sweet wine coolers(gasp! but I am sick of beer ) and simply relax. There isn’t any culture(there are no wats(temples) to visit) here but it was an excellent place to relax and have fun.
I enjoyed waking up late this morning(10am) after a late evening out last night. After dinner, we headed over to Bucket Bar, named for the buckets of alcohol that one is able to order at the establishment. After a week of hanging out with the older people in the group, I finally joined the 20s and 30s crowd. I can party with the best of them but at this point of my life, I prefer more mellow evenings. I’m craving a movie and nice dinner with good wine.
The day before was a travel day through the beautiful mountainous landscape of Laos. Tourism has only been open since 1995 and there are many facets that need to be fine tuned but part of the draw is this rawness and the sorts of tourists that it then attracts. For example, on the bus ride, we turned off the air conditioners on the ascent so the bus would not overheat; food stall vendors still use coal and wood to cook.
Two days ago in Luang Prabang, we took a three hour hike to the Kuangsi waterfalls -- another example of the rich beauty here. After a long hike, we swam in the beautiful natural turquoise pools.
Tomorrow, we are heading to Vientiane, the capital city of the Mekong, for two days. We then fly from Vientiane to Hanoi, Vietnam. My tour continues through Vietnam and Cambodia without me; I bid adieu in Hanoi. I’m going to try to see Vietnam’s greatest natural wonder and UNESCO site, Halong Bay, instead of spending a fourth day in Hanoi.
I finally booked my ticket to New York. Found a $129 one way fare from SFO. Fares are very competitive right now. I can’t believe that I’ll be home in a week! After four days in Hanoi, I’ll be in Bangkok for one day, one day on the plane, one day in San Francisco, two days in NY and six days in Bordeaux. I need to focus on wine again as I haven’t thought of wine for nearly three weeks! I have so much overdue homework but this trip was well worth it. I can’t wait to have a nice bottle of wine!! I’m getting lots of reminders that I’m missing La Paulee(the crazy good Burgundy byo) in NY this weekend.
Hello from Vientiane
I’m tired. I tried Lay’s Basil and Chile, Spicy Squid and Extra BBQ potato chips. Weird flavors.
I rarely send postcards or purchase gifts but did both today – somehow, someone inspired me.
The internet connection has been erratic and at times, painfully slow.