Day 93: Last Day Laos - 108 Days Across Eurasia by Martins Ate

I'm writing Laos as I just can't understand the cities I've been and going - all of them seems to me the same even the names. Or maybe my mood is out of travelling so I don't notice the difference which probably exists. But there is one thing I've noticed since the very first day I entered Laos - no Wi-Fi. And for me currently it's enough good reason to leave this country ASAP.


It's a good country. Really, I mean it. It's a good for relaxing, meditation, doing nothing and being with a nature. But the options offered here for tourists are so limited: get drunk with a local cheap whiskey, get drunk with a Beerlao beer, get drunk while floating stoned and/or under mushrooms in the river, get drunk in the... Generally - get drunk anywhere and party like an animal. Probably that is a reason why this place is loved by tourists in age until 25.


Wherever I go here - it's nothing. Probably it's because massive aerial bombardment was carried out by the United States during the war with Vietnam. The Guardian reported that Laos was hit by an average of one B-52 bomb load every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, between 1964 and 1973!!! US bombers dropped more ordnance on Laos in this period than was dropped during the whole of the Second World War. Of the 260 million bombs that rained down, particularly on Xiangkhouang Province on the Plain of Jars, 80 million failed to explode, leaving a deadly legacy. It holds the distinction of being the most bombed country, in the world.


So now there is just jungles, jungles and jungles with a roads in the middle, small villages around them. The most popular entertainment for a tourists is driving down the river in the wheel of a truck for a few days where locals are throwing a rope to catch for you and after they pull you in for a booze, mushrooms and weed. I passed this fun this time.


I guess it's a very poor country but they have their own sapphire mines and in the few cities cars are new, big and looks like might be quite expensive: like Toyota Land Cruisers and Mitsubishi Pajero. And they are new not the second market! Mostly all homes are built like uplifted from the ground in about two meters with a roofs from bamboos and palm leaves. It reminds me a Tibet when I look into a faces of people but Nepal when I look at surroundings - mountains, plants and green all over around. Just no waterfalls - a pride of Nepal and Himalayan mountains. And instead of rice which is so popular in the rest of Asia people here mostly are cultivating wheat.


I'm moving slowly towards China border crossing point in Bo Ten (Laos) / Meng La (China) which is the only border currently opened to the foreign individual tourists between Laos and China. The distance I've traveled so far is not big it's just that there are mountains all over so the average speed is about 40 km/h and sometimes even that seems much.


The border to China is opened every day from 9 am till 5 pm and my possibilities to make the crossing today where zero even if since morning 8 I had to make only about 170 kilometers. The bus stopped about 30 km before the border right next to the guest house where, of course, tourists are expected to pop-in for a double priced room and now service where offered going further until the border today. But as I'm generally against such a cheap tricks I continued my way towards border hitchhiking which took me about one and a half hours.

So I stayed overnight at some place just few kilometers before the border for 50,000 Kips (which is about five euros) so tomorrow will hopefully enter China.

This border crossing point is only few hundreds kilometers from Tibet which means it will take for me few more days to get till Beijing where my trip officially and finally will be ended.

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