Sunday, June 28, 2009

Riding the Bull to Vietnam

The last place I visited in Laos was an area called the Bolaven plateau. It was secluded and beautiful, the area has many waterfalls and nearby to the village I was staying there is an Elephant Sanctuary. Since I haven't done any elephant riding while in Asia (or ever for that matter) it was really excited to see the elephants. The best part was watching them bathe with the trainers. It's almost like a dance, the elephant leads - dunking it's head then its lower back - and the trainer follows the elephant's movements trying not to get dunked in the water, all the while scurbbing the elephant (even behind there paper ears) with a flip-flop (whattaya know flip-flop do have a use after all).

Then after spending a little longer than I would have liked in a town called Pak Se I hopped on a bus to Hue, Vietnam. This bus ride, as I mentioned to my friends, 'is one for the blogs', nearly comparing with my long trip with my deaf/dumb/gay pal to Bangkok.

The only problem on this bus was leg room, these seats were not 'Westerner-sized'. My legs were literally being pressed against from the seat in front of me and my own seat from behind. My knees still hurt now.

We got off the bus for a few hours at the border to Vietnam to wait for the border to open. I slept the whole time because I was having some difficulties sleeping on the bus. I was surprised when I got on the bus and the floor had risen thirty centimeters everywhere, including the place where my feet used to go. The floor was level to some peoples seats! They had shoved cases of Red Bull everywhere on the bus, taking up seats, precious leg room, the cargo space under the bus, and (as I discovered when we were delayed while crossing the border while the border guard counted the number of red bull cases) inside the air vents for the engine.

This bus ride was 20 hours. I'm getting sick of buses.

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