BootsnAll Travel Network

Sitting in the capital Vientiene responding to comments

The Mekong ain’t so mighty at the moment.

Well, I made it to Vientiene the capital of Laos. It is about halfway through the length north/south. I have to do some Visa inquiries as one of the plans is to go all the way south through Laos and enter Camobodia. If not I will have to cut through Thailand and then back to Cambodia. Anyways, Vientiene is a really laid back place unlike most capital cities so it is not a bad place to spend a few days. I have time so getting caught up on internet duties as I will be out of the tourist areas for a little while after.

Here are some responses to comments which I am continually behind on, sorry again.

1. Jeremy Kroeker
Steve, it’s so good to see you still riding the bike! I check this site sporadically, so I’m not even sure if it’s the same one you’ve had all along, but ride on, man! Ride on! How are you dealing with shipping the machine and all the paper work? I tried to buy a small bike in Iran, but it turned out to be a nightmare.

Jeremy: This is a whole new monster that I am riding. More of an off-road style bike this time. Well, it’s kind of a old school off road bike. 1950’s style Russian motorcycle. I wouldn’t classify it as powerful, but it is basic and reliable. Sort of. Because it is a Vietnamese registered bike, I have no problems crossing any of the SE Asia borders. Too bad I can’t take it to China otherwise I would ride it back all the way to Russia. Good luck on the book selling and the new book writing. I’ll keep an eye out for it at the guesthouses in case someone possible left one.

2. Debbie
Hi Steve
i am scouring the net for references to those recently or currently in Arambol.
I am desperately trying to trace AMANDA (Mandy) Reid, a 35yr old Scottish woman with balck curly hair and blue eyes. She is staying in the northern area where you were and has been there since December 08 – massage and yoga training.
Amanda needs to phone home URGENTLY and I’d be grateful if you or any of your contacts know her or her whereabouts could you please ask her to contact her brother Mike. Thank you, Debbie Coulter, UK

Debbie: I am glad they got a hold of her.

3. ropard

Ropard: Thanks, I’ll give it a look.

4. judy
Hey! You’re just about set to go mushing with me in Alaska!! (Or Minnesota). I have my mukluks now so I’m ready for some cold weather!
Sure have enjoyed your entertaining writings and great pictures as of late, as usual. Take care of Sasha and be safe and Happy Tet Holidays! Will be looking forward to hearing more from you. Cheers! Judy

Judy: I don’t know about the whole dog mushing thing. Seems pretty complicated. Being that cold all the time is not my pie. I like perfect weather with blue skies and puffy white clouds. I think I need a rest from adventure travels.

5. Jason McNeill
Hi Steve – Katie and I stayed with you in Dominica for a while in 2005, when you started your trip. I just wanted to say that I cannot believe that you are still going strong almost 4 years later! All the best!

Jason and Katie: Wow, amazing to hear from you. You are actually the first people that I met on this trip. Actually I also got an e-mail from a girl from Denmark who I met in Venezuela which would have been around my second month). Hope the married life is going well, that seems more of an adventure than mine. Tell Katie hello from me.

6. Edgard
There’s not such a place as “Juarez” in Peru, it’s “Huaraz”… nothing to do at all with the Mexican place. I would post it where that entry is, but comments are closed there…

Edgard: Thanks. My bad. Although when a gringo pronounces either one they sound the same. I’ll do a quick search and change.

7. Rebecca Very cool photos…thanks for sharing…

Rebecca: Thanks. Expect a lot more especially with my new camera. I am skewing towards the picture is worth a thousand words. Plus it takes a lot less time than writing.

8. Gire Konsey
Thanks for the blog. Like Racho i want to thank you for putting my birth and childhood in the light. I would really love to ask you questions about yabello, its been so long since i left and i more than curios to see how it has change if at all?

Gire: I would have to say that it is probably a lot more modernized now that when you were there. Heck, they even have a new University going up with housing and everything. It had the most facilities on the whole route. Still peaceful though and had some good food.

9. Bron
Wow Got and of those lettuce seeds for me. Bron

Bron: Would you like that shipped to your home of office.

10. Yash
Well , the problem is very simple:-
1. We dnot drive away or disallow poor people from entering our cities like in China.
2. We were quite a clean, rich and well maintained nation unless the Britishers arrived and wiin 200 yrs they increased poverty level from 6% to 66% and their mismanagement created dirty and filthy Kolkata , overcrowded Bombay to name a few . Why, western people dont understand that how can a democracy repair all the damage caused by them in 200 yrs within 60 yrs .You people first destroy and then complain for the damage to the victim.

Yash: No complaints here as surprisingly I am sure that is what a lot of people go there for. Not necessarily the trash, but that the culture remains similar to 200 years ago. Unfortunately with good there is bad. I think most people would find India more interesting than a sterilized city like Singapore. Unless you’re a clean freak. Like what I said in my post, most tourists only get to see from the outside, they never take the time or initiative to get to see the inside to know that the culture is based on cleanliness. The borders where that stops is where the confusion comes in.

11. Marisa
Happy New Year! I’m familiar with your “eating at the same place” methodology and its subsequent rewards — special treats from the kitchen, and even a free meal on my last night. Sorry to hear about your camera. I had a digital camera that I dropped into a river in Africa. It dried out and worked fine until I left it at a restaurant in Russia.

Marisa: Got my new camera and it is working fine. I remember your camera which was tiny but still had that big optical zoom. A real good view screen as well. That is where mine is really lacking as in the sun the glare makes it unviewable. That is why I got the eye viewfinder as well.

12. yazeed
oh yeah…Google earth and Google maps area awesome…on the latter you can even pull up the street view and then
travel about the neighborhood as if you were walking/driving around…

Yazeed: I should give the maps a try and to see if they would be useful on my travels. I should pick up a gps with all the driving I am doing. I have the laptop but it is too huge and the battery is fried so it has to be plugged in to work. Ohhh, technology so much easier but so much harder.

13. Rebecca
Fantastic photos! I worked for a family owned business and the family was Jewish. Our president took a vacation to Israel and brought us back a “spa” basket with items from the Dead the Sea. The mud was fabulous; it was the best mud mask I ever had!

Rebecca: You have to do the float it is one of the best physical experiences that I have done and I almost passed it up as it seemed so touristic. The other place in the world that had some miracle mud was in Tobago. They have a bay there where the fine pieces of coral collect. You rub that stuff on your skin and it defoliates and polishes your skin. It feels like you have rubbed baby oil on your skin it is so smooth.

14. Marisa
Liked the photo with the guide holding the “Shoebox”
The tunnels looked like a nice claustrophobic experience.

Marisa: Hot, sweaty, and humid. Claustrophobia is not a problem for me but if it was combined with getting bombed, yea, I would have a huge problem with that. Big props for the VC.

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9 responses to “Sitting in the capital Vientiene responding to comments”

  1. Karie says:

    Wow, it has taken me two days reading your whole blog. I must say you are a hottie, but you sure are lazy. Enjoyed reading your blog thought it was excellent( frustrating at times).
    All the best and happy travels.

  2. snw2srf2stt says:

    Lazy and frustrating? Good offset with the “hottie” though. Two days thats a lot of looking and reading although you paraphrased/read through four hard years of living. So frustrating? Like in poor writing skill, or frustrated like how people can be so mean to me like that Immigration officer in Sudan, or frustrated that I watch too much tv?

  3. Karie says:

    I found the way you write your blog fine 🙂 (if I didn’t I would not of continued to read it). Frustrated that you watch to much tv.
    I realise your slightly older then the teenage backpacker, but to waste that amount of time in front of the idiot box, well you really could do that at home. But I guess being as I was living through you I cannot complain.

    Keep writing 😉

  4. Kaye & Carl says:

    Hey Steve we are still hanging in there with your travels. I too love all the pics. Wish I could be there with you enjoying all the beautiful sites. Take care of yourself and enjoy everyday

  5. Hi Steve – you don’t know me, but I stumbled across your blog when I was doing research where to find a place to get my digital camera fixed in Buenos Aires – I’ll be there at the end of next month and is really the only place I will have time to drop if off if need be – the built in flash stopped working. Was wondering if you remember any of the names of the places you checked out or at least where they were, approximately? It was day 355. Thanks in advance for anything you remember!

  6. snw2srf2stt says:


    I can’t remember exactly where I stayed the first time as I hit a couple of places in BA. What really worked for me as my camera was a Kodak and it was difficult to find anyone who worked on them, I had the girl at the hostel call a couple of places that I found in the phone book (it was the Yellow Pages just like in the US). I lucked out and found one (the only one that had parts) and it was within walking distance from the hostel. I would recommend doing the same thing as there are many shops that do repairs but it depends on what camera you have. It will save you a lot of time by calling first. I wouldn’t worry about location as much as the metro system covers most of the area and it would be worth it to use a taxi for such an important thing. The main thing is that you should be able to get it fixed there.


  7. snw2srf2stt says:

    Hello Kaye and Carl,

    Good to hear from you. It’s been a while. Still up there in the Great White North or did you do the Snow bird thing and head back south?

    All is well here in whereever I am.


  8. snw2srf2stt says:


    I guess your right about the tv. Actually, I was thinking that if I cut down on the tv I could concentrate on taking more naps. Sweet.


  9. Karie says:

    LOL steve your soo cheeky 😉

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