Posts for Laos

Around the World * Pakse, Laos: Motorbikes and Lao Whisky

Travel Blog - Ross French - January 5, 2011

By: Lindsay Hogg

A Tale of Relaxing in 4000 Islands to Lao Whisky and Motorbike Adventures During Monsoon Season


Lucy making her happy face

As some of you may know, I left South America after 4 months to meet my friend Lucy in Asia. But that was becoming a complicated task. Stupid Lucy! We managed to finally catch each other in Don Det (4000 islands), Laos. It was slightly boring. We drank beers and floated in the river on tubes. After a few days we headed to Pakse, and that’s where the excitement began.
Our group of 2 quickly grew to 9 and our late lunch turned into a table of booze.
Someone suggested we buy some cheap Lao whisky and soda from a store and take this party back to our hostel. There was more than a few bottles purchased, which lugged back in a bit of a hurry, as it was beginning to rain.


Party time

We made it back to our hostel patio, which was covered under a tarp and it began to pour. As time went by, it began to rain harder and harder as we drank more and more. It was monsoon season in Laos and we were up to our knees in flooding water. A few if us lost our flip flops due to our drunken state, we didn’t realize they floated away in the flood. Not to worry! The next day, they were placed by the front door, courtesy of the hostel owner (turns out this happens a lot during monsoon season).

One of the boys, Ed, was quite the humorous duder and we quickly became buddies. But after a few hours he began saying “I will stab you Lindsay”.



Now, don’t take this to heart, he was kidding, or at least I assume he was. By the end of the night Ed was going to, “stab me twice”. Could it be my harsh sense of humour? Did he not enjoy me calling him a penis face?
People slowly started disappearing to bed. Eventually we were all in a drunken coma under the assumption we were going to get up at 9am and rent motor bikes to tour around the waterfalls rout for 2 days. This was decided nearer to the end of the night, so I was under the assumption that this actually wouldn’t happen.



But I was wrong! Everyone stuck to the plan except Lucy, who wanted to head off to Thailand. Did I already mention Lucy’s an asshole? No, I believe I said ‘stupid Lucy’… my point is thus emphasized. (I’m going to get a phone call or angry text message after this post goes up). Lucccyyyyyy I heart youuuuu! (But you’re still an asshole).
The rest of our new crew headed out to pick up bikes and attempt to drive them away without looking like complete morons. This was a challenge to say the least. But we made it out if the city centre and began our adventure.



About an hour into our bike trip, rain began to piss down. I never claimed to the brightest bulb in the bunch, and I managed to not pack enough cloths (in attempts to pack light) and had to wander around in my wet, muddy cloths for the next 2 days.
Each time we got closer to a waterfall, the pot holes and rocks in the road got bigger. Being troopers (or just really stupid) we kept going.

To say we were inexperienced drivers would be an understatement and the security of my life was at an all time low.


Lunch stop

We made our way to a little village the first afternoon and after dropping off our muddy shoes and cloths inthe huts we were staying in, we headed down to the river for some swimming. The boys wandered off exploring somewhere while Kitty, Tina and I relaxed in the water. Our relaxing time was cut short by Tina, who wandered too far into the current and was being carried through the rocky swirls of the river. Before Tina was swept too far down the river, she managed to grip onto a rock. Her luck or karma must have been at an all time high that day since she managed to not crack her head open or obtain a single scratch on one of the abundant amount of sharp rocks.



The guys had made it back to find Tina gripping a rock at the edge of the river and Ed ran to her rescue, unfortunately he wasn’t exactly a hero.
Ed “Tina, you okay? Need some help?”
Out of breath and shaking with fear Tina exclaimed “YES”
Ed “Okay, put your hand there and umm… Get out of the water?”
Tina “Ya, thanks for the help Ed”

The next morning, our breakfast in the little village took hours. Since Kitty has extreme allergies her food choices were often limited and she ordered chicken fried rice for breakfast – to which the woman running the restaurant, pointed at one of the chickens running around and made a gesture that implied breaking it’s neck. Kitty then requested vegetable fried rice.

I’m pretty sure we all walked like cowboys for a day or two after being on those bikes. And by this point Ed had been pushed to exclaim every hour or so, “I will stab you 4 times Lindsay”. I guess spending long periods of time with me can make someone quite violent.

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I’M COMING HOME! Recap of a Year Around the World

Travel Blog - Ross French - December 12, 2010


partying_lima_peruBy: Lindsay Hogg

How Do You Put a Year Around the World Into Words?

I’m currently 6 hours away from my 22 hour flight home from Auckland to Tahiti to California to finally, Toronto. It’s another hazy day which will unfortunately fade the sweet ass tan I’ve obtained in the past few weeks. Balls.
Although I’m nervous about coming home to an extremely different world than I’ve been living in for the past year, the comforts of my own room and conversations that don’t start with ‘where are you from’ thrills me. As I scramble to finish writing the pending posts from rest of my trip, I’m faced with the dreaded and daunting task of REFLECTION – all those typical questions you should ask yourself after a life changing experience.
“What have I learned” “Have I grown” “Am I more knowledgeable” and so on…
But for now I will keep these answers to myself and simply share the experiences that stand out in my mind.
In the next week I will go into more detail about the ‘life changing moments’ (yay! – insert sarcasm) and the people I have met along the road who have effected my life for the better or worse.

How do you sum up a year of your life in one article? I quit my great job, sold everything in my apartment and left all my friends & family to backpack around the world solo.

South America: Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina (and Mexico since I missed my flight oops!)
Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China
New Zealand


Kitty and I swimming in Laos

  • Swimming in waterfalls – hot springs and lagoons, hiking through ancient ruins, riding bicycles -quads – horses through the mountains, kayaking through crystal clear – aqua waters
  • Jumping off boats, tubing down rivers, floating markets and fishing villages, touring wine vineyards to taste and learn
  • Driving on the left hand side of the road and roadtrips through scary, windy, mountain roads
  • Motor bike roadtrips, tuk tuks and long boats, sun burns and food poisoning
  • Learning Spanish and Mandarin


    Els and I riding horses in Bolivia

  • Travelling with amazing new friends and awesome old friends, meeting the same people on 3different continents
  • Missing flights (yes, plural… flights) and purposely missing buses
  • Meeting friendly locals and not so friendly locals
  • Empanadas and lomo saltado, fried noodles and dumplings, kiwi venison and BBQ sauce
  • The boys, the bugs, the animals
  • Eating snake – rat – guinea pig and frog, lao buckets, all you can drink tequila, pisco, rice wine, lao lao, 3 day long parties, dancing till 8am
  • Crossing international borders by foot and by boat
  • Barely avoiding 2 major earthquakes
  • Bartending and sharing a room with 8 other people, sleeping in hammocks


    The Point Hostel crew, Lima – Peru

  • Bargaining for everything, buying more than fits in my backpack
  • Toilet paper goes in the bin – bring your OWN toilet paper
  • Good decisions, bad decisions
  • Pink eye and bronchitis
  • Getting arrested, getting ripped off
  • Coming home one ipod – A LOT of cloths and one bankcard short
  • 30 new beers tried, 10 countries conquered, stories that will never be forgotten, stories that may never get told
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