Laotian dreams

  • Laos

One guide inLaos shared his aspirations with us by the end of our time together. In his early thirties now, with two children and the intention to have a third, he is aiming for a…

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Giving thanks

So there's not a turkey in sight, no mashed potatoes, no gravy. It's just a regular workday here in SE Asia and a regular travel day for most of the people we've met, since we've…

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Cycles and Falls

(There are three posts we've made recently; don't miss the other two!) So we haven’t biked in three weeks, except for the precarious trip on level ground through Bangkok (see our post). But here we…

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Alms and the Monks

  • Laos

Early in the morning, residents of the town rise and prepare food to give the monks of Luang Prabang. They must have the food cooked and ready to distribute as the monks walk along the…

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Crossing Cultures in Luang Prabang

  • Laos

Our two days enjoying Luang Prabang showed us the substantial charms of the place. It’s like a city in a garden, with narrow lanes leading past the guesthouses, ageing and restored French colonial buildings of…

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On to Laos along the Mekong River

  • Laos

Over the last two days, we’ve luxuriated in some of the grandest river scenery in the world. The Mekong River flows for 3000 miles out of Tibet and through every country in SE Asia, spilling…

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Footnotes from Thailand

Now that we've departed for Laos, here are some remaining observations and thoughts from our visit here. Tiger balm Our hill village guide introduced us to tiger balm, an all purpose cure in a small…

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The Chang song

Here's another way to make instant friends in Thailand. It's the local nursery rhyme about the chang, i.e. the elephant. The first line: “Chang, chang, chang, chang, chang,” precedes a child-like description of an elephant…

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