The Adventures of Marianne

Monday, May 08, 2006

American Seagull!

It seems as if I'm finally getting acclimatised to the Bangkok heat - not bad considering it's 35 degrees ("feels like 50" according to the weather network) and things are falling into place regarding Laos. Me and the bro went to a travel agency off Khao San Road where the computers were definitely from the 80s and confirmed plane tickets. Apparently Lao Aviation flies oles, so the plan now is to fly from Bangkok to Luang Prabang, then take the boat and bus down to Vang Vieng and Vientiane, then fly back to Bangkok from there. I'm pumped about Laos, although the actual flight seems a bit iffy: I found this guy's account of a jouney with Lao Aviation:

"I flew Lao Aviation last October from Vientiane to Luang Prabang and back. To say I was terrified anticipating it is to put it moderately--the Lonely Planet assured me that I should only board the plane if I had good life insurance!

Lao flies old Chinese and Soviet prop planes, and often lacks spare parts. I had just been on a variety of scary flights and bus trips in Vietnam, but I needed to meet friends who were coming from northern Thailand to Luang Prabang, the gorgeous 13th century kingdom on the Mekong. And I had no way to reach them.Some Danish tourists I met in Vietnam said the bus ride could take 10 hours and that the roads were often muddy. Busses tended to slip off them, and they had had to get out and push. Their bus driver drank lao lao, the local whiskey and smoked something they claimed was opium. Also Laos, while a lovely country, isn't entirely safe outside the main tourist destinations. Between the bandits and the land mines, it might be safer to fly???

I figured I'd rather be scared of dying for 40 minutes than 10 hours. At least I'd go quickly. So I bought a ticket.The departures board at the airport was a white board with notes in Lao. The flight itself was smooth and uneventful. The flight attendants served icy sodas and seemed serene. Except that when we flew through the cloud layer, the clouds actually came into the plane. "

I'm crossing my fingers!

Bangkok's been pretty decent - wholesome family sightseeing's been the main agenda and on Sunday I went to the weekend market and did some shopping, purchasing among other things a fake hollister t-shirt. That's right, american seagull's made it to the fake producers in Thailand.

Otherwise there haven't been any big events apart from the fact that my brother arrived safely so I officially have some company my own age, and the kids outnumber the parents 3-2. Advantage us.


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