Rachel and Matt’s World Tour
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Up the Mekong

Hello all,

This post comes to you from Chiang Mai, as we arrived back in Thailand today. Laos was gorgeous. From Vientiane we headed north to Vang Vieng… home of tubing: the art of floating down a river in a truck inner tube, drinking too much beer laos, mud wallowing, rope swinging, dive bombing and flying of the end of a very tall concrete slide!

A definate highlight or our trip, although the travel snobs will disagree because the town is full of tv bars pumping close to 24hrs of Friends, Family Guy and The Simpsons, to westerners who are either beered up or mellowed out on ‘happy’ shakes and pizzas…But ignore them because it is a really great place to have fun and meet many new friends.

We dragged ourselves on from fun time to Luang Prabang, a pretty town full of old wats and temples. There was awesome scenery on the bus ride there, as the road winds through the mountains, but we suffered a near death experience when the bus swerved to avoid a broken down truck that was hidden around the corner, and flirted with the edge of a cliff! Somehow the guy on the back row slept through the swerving and the screaming of all the girls on the bus (including Matt)! Similarly to Vientiane, Luang Prabang is very french colonial in appearance and has great restaurants, so it was a very pleasant place to while away a few days. We took a day trip to ride an elephant and swim in the turquoise waters of an expansive waterfall area.

We spent the evenings wandering around the Hmong market where I fell in love with many bags that I was not allowed to buy.

We left Luang Prabang and headed for the border on the SLOW boat up the Mekong River. 10 hours each day for 2 days! Luckily we had good books and good company. It should have been closer to 8 hours a day but the boat kept breaking down! We stayed over night in Pak Beng the first night, which is nothing more than a cluster of guesthouses and restaurants. The second night we stayed in Huay Xai,in a cute wooden guesthouse, where one of the adorable old sisters that runs the place proceeded to explain her medical conditions to us in  great detail and for some time, bless her. A real mumsy character, she organised our transport across the river border into Thailand and onto Chiang Mai today.

That all for now, laters x


1 Barters { 09.02.09 at 2:48 pm }

Just to let you know that i’m still reading ……… and now i’ve been back for a whole year!! Rubbish!!!

2 Dad Doran { 09.02.09 at 3:17 pm }

Only me here at the moment, (Fee of course) so Mum will check up on your progress when she gets back from her visit to N&P in Scotland. Just looked at the videos as you recommended and everyone seems to be having a great time, there appear to be quite a few fellow travellers in recent stops so the social life should be quite lively. amazing what you can do with ropes and pulleys and water – all low tech stuff. Glad to see you’re getting into reading novels and also the flight ticket problem has been resolved. Oh well!! Back to work tomorrow. Dad D.

3 Fiona { 09.02.09 at 5:24 pm }

Oooooh I am so jealous – after a grey drizzly rubbish day at Enterprise bloody rent a car I come home to watch these videos! Rach is still beating you in the tan stakes – you must have reached your peak Matt! Was the skin any softer after the mud? Got some pics of the biddy bus Matt, I’ll send some links soon. xxxxx

4 Fran & Vince { 09.02.09 at 5:45 pm }

Hi Rach & Matt, We have been following you on your trips and always look forward to reading your blogs. xxx

5 Fiona { 09.02.09 at 6:18 pm }

Here is the link for some Portugal photos and Ashleys Biddy!: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=115939&id=277002120&l=bf15421de0

6 Mum and Dad Silsbury { 09.02.09 at 8:15 pm }

Hi there
Glad to see your having fun,always thought it was Marchwood on the Mud but that takes some beating-it just reminded us of Dawn French and the chocolate fountain -I’m going in’ !! Just love the biddy bus ,it’s great-nice and roomy.Enjoyed the pics/videos.Harry went in the paddling pool at the w/end.He dances away to Madagascar, the theme of ‘I like to move it,move it’. Keeps us amused.Anyway carry on having fun and enjoying life.

7 Matt { 09.03.09 at 5:10 am }

Wow, the Biddy Bus looks great! It’s way more luxurious than I imagined. Is Ash gonna get it painted? He could do the decals for it himself probably. Balhatchett Racing….

Yes I have long given up on catching Rach in the tan stakes. We haven’t done much sunbathing recently and mine has faded quickly. Rach says her skin might have been softer but all the cuts and bruises from tubing kinda took away any benefits!

8 wesley { 09.03.09 at 1:54 pm }

Hi Both

I’m still reading too – lovely to see your updates and all your photo’s – keep it up. All the best. Wes

9 cool car { 09.05.09 at 11:10 am }

Well i can see your up the creek without a paddle as the saying goes . i thought would be last this time to give the others a chance or first at the other end.We are having our summer back on tuesday so ah ha so bronzy time here i come .well as us young folk say . laters.

10 Su { 09.10.09 at 11:26 am }

Hi guys

I am loving your updates. Have read the New Zeland extracts several times in particular & made notes (loser that I am)- only 4 more months and I’ll be there! Take care xx

11 Mum Doran { 09.10.09 at 11:36 am }

Sorry Cool Car – I’m last now!! Last is best as they say in the RN.

You guys seem to be having an increasingly good time to yourselves. I like the video of the mud volleyball. It was just like the old days of Burridge FC Matt. You diving in the mud (goalkeeper) Altho this time I didnt have to wash your strip! I had a lovely time in Scotland and N & P are now up to date with the photographs, except for the latest batch! They send their best to you both and said to say look after yourselves. I went out for a Thai meal last night with the girlies, I had green curry but it cost more than £1.00. We have Fionas Graduation in Oxford on Saturday, then off to pub for a late lunch. I guess we can class Fee as a Mature Student when she starts at Soton next month!! Si Bevis has now moved to London – Fiona is jealous! Nice to speak the other day. Keep safe.xx

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