Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Luang Prabang, Laos - fastest internet

After a long journey to get here to Laos I had to do some more work. I found fast wifi connection at Dao coffee just up the street crossing the walking street, across from Dara market on Kitsalat Road. Good coffee for decent price.

Also for cheap accommodation - check "Mixay guesthouse" take a right after the above coffee shop (going away from the center - walking street) and continue stright. Just before Jaliya guesthouse (which turned out to be more expensive). I was able to get a room (with two beds) for 30k KIP (about $3.75USD)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Crossing from Chiang Rai to Huay Xai and Luang Prabang in Laos

I was finishing my time in Pai, mainly because of visa expiring. And I know I don't want to go over, mainly to avoid complications when getting further visas in the future.

So I headed to Chiang Mai for a few days. Had a great time, rode around with automatic moped/scooter/motor bike. Ran a few errands; took money using bitcoin to avoid ATM fees and reap the benefits of the profit I made. Changed for some USD for entry visa into Laos. And sold North face backpack my brother had left me a month before at a hotel. I didn't like the size and weight of it and am already happy with the ones I have. 

All in all a good time before going to Chiang Rai for only 120bath greenbus (+50 for tuktuk to bus station). Spent one night in Chiang Rai (completely forgot that I met a traveler in Morocco that was in town volunteering! sorry). I liked the night market and vibe of Chiang Rai and got decent priced private room - even though I normally prefer dorm, but the price was the same. So I got good sleep instead of crowding in a dorm.

Walked around and also went to see the white temple, which was very worth a visit, a must see if you are in the region. Very unique artist work and unlike any other. Make sure to also visit the gallery. All of that is free, only costs 20bath from the central bus station in Chiang Rai (each way). Enjoyed a papaya salad lunch just outside the "mall" type area before the temple entrance.

And then I went to the station headed to Laos - cost 65bath and they go every half hour. Red bus with all the windows open - not so good when feeling a little weak. I believe the cold I caught was from that. The bus drops you off near the bridge. From there the only way to get to the exit point of Thailand is using tuktuk that costs 50bath (or walk) but at my condition and with the bags I had - I couldn't imagine walking.

Once you get there, the exit is very simple. but then comes the annoying part. the bridge has dedicated bus service that costs 20bath (25 on weekends - which of course it was for me) once you go about 4 minutes over the bridge, you have the fun time to enter Laos. First fill out a form and give your passport + picture. Now you wait. They call your name and you pay the price (30-40 USD depending where you are from) being Canadian I paid ~$43, extra dollar after 22:00, which it was. 

Finally you get through and now you are on your own (unless you paid for complete journey somewhere) there's tuktuks that will take you into town which is around 12km away (why? this is a foreshadow into how the bus stations of Laos cities are very far from the actual city - poor organization) cost me 100bath

I had the tuktuk stop at the bus station so I can buy the ticket to Luang Prabang. This is where I got confused since I had no local currency yet, I paid 1,000bath and received 75,000 KIP. Scheduled for 6pm the next day, means I got to spend some time and relax in town of Huay Xai. 

Didn't expect to have so many travelers in the town, but it makes sense being so close to the border of Thailand, a common stop off. With many guesthouses, Gibbon excursions, restaurants and even a nice temple overlooking the Mekong river. Tomorrow comes the terrible overnight ride to Luang Prabang.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why I might become a fruitarian

First, let me start by saying that I have never been vegetarian. Most vegetarians I ask why they don't eat meat told me it is because of the bad conditions or the bad of killing animals. I simply never agree with this. I do know about the terrible conditions farmed animals are kept in sometimes but the killing of animals is not a problem because it happens in nature.

So why would I agree with being frutarian? Because of the logic behind eating fruit, being the best and most nutritious food for human consumption. We as humans are meant to eat it, everything in our body is designed for it. From our hands that fit fruit perfectly, to our eyes that can see when fruit is perfectly ripe and our stomachs that observe it perfectly. As opposed to green leaf vegetables, root vegitables and meat or animal products which our stomachs and teeth are not designed to eat raw.

This to me is a much better explained reason that comes with many benefits to the environment as well as ourselves if we consume only (or at least mostly) fruit.

Am I going to only eat fruit for the rest of my life? probably not, but I will focus my majority of the diet on fresh raw fruit unaltered by humans - not shakes or smoothes, not dry or salads type.

I still don't think I will even be vegetarian though, the last time I ate animal products was yesterday, seafood 3 days ago and meat about 1 or 2 weeks ago. I don't see the need to buy any animal products nor vegetables but if it's offered I will not turn it down (generally).

What do you think? do you agree or disagree?

Let me know

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Pai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand

North Thailand for a month. I've done yoga and got massage.

Staying at a place called funhouse in exchange for help with computers, tablets and technology like website, Google maps , WordPress, airbnb and hostelworld.

I got injured in my way back from Mae Hong Son immigration office to extend my visa for 30 more days, this cost me 1,900 bhat plus 5 for photocopy if passport. Also I got passport pictures done earlier in town at rate of about 140 for 4. Only one is required but it's good to have more for other visas that I may want to get when I continue my travel.

While injured I did a lot of work at the house. My own and for him.

Now waiting for the stitches to be removed at the hospital costs 200. But to get the stitches cost me 1000 plus the bike damage was around 3000.

Was at shakina community lunch today, they are fantastic people always happy and very open to share anything.

To be continued