Its raining, its pouring, Dave and Carrie are walking around Laos thankful their plane didn't crash (knock on wood). I can't believe my wife got me on a friggin propeller plane. Run by Laos airlines. Seriously. The two Tiger beers I drank did not calm my nerves. The delay in the airport did not calm my nerves. The turbulence did not. Flying at only 18,000 feet did not. Landing did. But, reading an article today how Laos airlines contracts with Air France for maintence help and a Chinese airline owning 60% of them is a bit calming. After our flight on Tuesday to Chang Mai, I will be nice and relaxed.
When we landed we went thru customs very easily- $36 for a visa ($1 more for them working on the weekend). Then we went to find our driver from our guest house but ended up with a taxi for 50,000 Kip (8,500 kip = $1). We arrived at Merry Guest House #1 and I am reasonably sure they had no idea we were coming. There was no one at the front desk and we finally found someone in the first room to check us in- while they were wearing their pajamas. Of course, she was wearing PJs for most of the day today, so maybe that was her clothes. We went to our room, and found it to be a 5/10. There was an incredibly musty smell in the bathroom (moved the room air freshener in there). And there is/hopefully was a very gross stain on the mattress cover under the sheets. Sleep sacks for the evening!
Morning was sleeping in - a bit lazy- cause it has been pouring all day long. We went down and tried to get breakfast, but the lady at the desk (same lady) didn't understand a word we were saying. Eventually we played charades and got a menu. Bread and jam- what fun. Tomorrow we will be more adventurous and get some banana pancakes. We also spoke to some fellow travellers - Dan, from America and his wife Morina (Italian) who live in Dubai and another Aussie. Fortunately, it was early enough that this Aussie didn't make us drink. Oh- and that cat. He literaly jumped up on my lap in the middle of my meal. Assuming I didn't get fleas, he was very cute.
After breakfast we walked around town, looking at temples, rain, and the MeKong River. Very very wet. Very pretty though. Lots of green everywhere and many old Wats (temples) covered in gold pictures. We at lunch at The Coconut Room and had Green Curry with Veggies, Stir Fried Chicken with Ginger, and of course, spring rolls. Very good spring rolls, and depending on which of us you ask the rest was either good or great. Oh- and the sticky rice was mysteriously sticky. Post lunch found us buying air tix out of here, and looking for tours.
We filled up our afternoon with a quick trip to the hotel (not so quick) and some replacement headphones for the pair I lost on the flight across the Pacific. Before our massages we got coffee at Cafe de Artes coffee house. Carrie and I also had a chocolate croissant and cinnamon almond roll. The massages- 60 min for 40000 Kip- were full body pressure point type massages. Definitley the best we have had. We tipped probably way too generously, but the difference between 20% and the 88% we gave was like $3 USD. And there were 2 girls that probably get paid terribly, so I did my good deed for the day (emphasis on I, since someone is angry at my frivolous spending). Regardless, it was a great way to spend an hour. Then we came here. So now you know what we know. Not a ton of pics for this blog, since they have been uploading for 30 min now. Peace.
***In fact, the pictures were uploading for 60 min to no avail, so you get nothing. NOTHING! We will add them as soon as possible***