Laos

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  • So I’m in Laos, a small country nestled among its more famous neighbors of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China. My plan is to get a moped and hit the road for a few days, trekking a route around the south of the country that’s known as the ‘southern swing.’

    It’s monsoon season now so I am not sure how much of that route I’ll actually do, but if the weather stays on my side then hopefully I’ll be on two wheels for a few days getting to know this country and its people.

    Right now the only thing I know about Laos is that it has the rather unfortunate title of being the worlds most bombed country*. Some 40 years ago B52 bombers from the USA carpet bombed the country almost 24 hours a day for nearly nine years in the so-called ‘secret war.’ More bombs were dropped on Laos than were dropped in all the bombing raids of the second world war. Many of those cluster bombs did not detonate and therefore continue to kill and injure those who stumble upon them even today.
    * On a per capita basis

    You can follow my progress around Laos by checking my location on a map. I’m updating that as often as I can so just click the ‘About Simon Jones’ link at the top of the website then click the ‘Find me on a map‘ link.

  • 16 comments on “Laos

    1. so don’t ride your moped over a bomb or you might fall off again.

      Question
      You and I are both extreme travellers, I’m doing about two countries a month (one of them is always the USA though often new cities, and for the rest of my year I am doing Canada, China, Australia, Spain, India, Turkey, and probably Peru and Brazil). but mine is business travel and pretty much everything works the same in every country, the plane, the terminal, passport control, baggage, hotel shuttle or taxi, Google maps / Yelp / urban spoon / Zagat to find a good meal, my iPhone and American Express means everything pretty much just falls into place. Yes things are a bit different in Saudi Arabia compared with Sydney or Mumbai but still once I have my bearings one city is much like another,

      You are doing your travels on a shoestring, no iPhone or Amex, very little booking ahead. I’m wondering if your frugal travel on mopeds and trains, leads you to the same conclusion as me. A bus, moped or launderette is much like another in evert country.

      Except Buffalo NY, that place always disappoints.

      • You know James, I find every bus and landry place different. It’s very challenging travelling this way. Not knowing where you’ll be in 3 days is fun and stressful too sometimes. Laundry in Asia is a nightmare because the clothes smell nice but appear to be just as dirty when you get them back, and sometimes more so!

        Having people see my white skin and constantly try to rip me off gets old fast too. But I’m good at haggeling and giving them crap too.

        All in all it’s a total adventure that makes me feel like I am the host of some crazy TV travel show. Take yesterday, bumping along a road in a precarious motorbike sidecar (taxi) dust flying up and clinging to the metal frame sidecar as if my life depended on it BECAUSE IT DID! πŸ™‚

        It has to be said though, a nice hotel room, fast wifi, and a hot shower are magnificent when I have them. I had a bath in Penom Pehn and it was pure ecstasy!

        • the pic of the map was a map in french that’s why I mentioned that u were learning some french lol
          If you take a look at how Cambodia is called in French it is not the same word in French than English.
          Anyway, will anybody be able to fly from Europe to Asia for a weekend trip with Simon?? πŸ™‚ sounds amazing!

          • You know I didn’t really register that it was a French map. The place is crawling with frenchies so there must be some history there. As for a weekend with Simon, lets not forget that James flew over the Australia for a weekend!

      • We all have the life we choose Sameeta. There’s nothing stopping you from living the life Simon leads.

        I have children, what’s your excuse πŸ™‚

      • I don’t want to trade Sameeta, but you’re welcome to come out and join me somewhere. All it takes is a few days off work and a plane ticket. I’m going to Vietnam in a few days.

          • Well, I have a flight from Ho Chi Min city to Bali leaving on the 23rd of July, so I’ll be travelling from Northern Vietnam to Ho Chi Min city from about the 10th or 12th sometime. Other than that I have no idea! I am hoping it will involve trains and fun transport like that.

            • are the trains clean ? i am very particular about washroom cleanliness ! the only place that i dont mind using public washrooms are in JAPAN. ROME was a DISASTER !

              • The trains in Asia aren’t well known for being particularly clean Sameeta, and if the Japanese standard is your international acceptability standard I can assure you most public washrooms around the world, and pretty much all of them is Asia, will fail to meet that level of cleanliness.

    2. Bali seems interesting as I have not been thr yet. Next week off to Jakarta and Makkasar. Week of 23rd high possibility in Japan. August seems good at the moment. Let me know once your plan is confirmed.

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