Mr Orangutan. Fresh out of Sepilok, Borneo

 

 

 

 

Hey guys, hope you’re all doing well.  I’m Mr Orangutan, but you can call me O-rang if you like.  I really know how to work a crowd, and when Frances and Kayleigh came to visit me it was business as usual.  I sneaked out of the sanctuary enclosure while they were having lunch and waited patiently to be noticed.  Eventually I had a pretty impressive crowd admiring me and taking photos so I did few poses and flashed my pearly whites at them with my biggest grin.  One traveller dropped his camera so I quickly swiped his lens cover – I’ve been curious as to what they taste like.  Turns out they taste rubbish so I gave it back.  I got thirsty after all this attention so I ambled up to a German girl, tapped her gently on the leg and held out my hand whilst smiling at her.  No one can resist my smile so she handed me her orange juice and after I figured out how to take the lid off I gulped the whole thing!  Then I said my goodbyes and headed back to my tree.

Cambodia: Land Of Smiles (Part One)

The people I met and passed by in Cambodia had one thing in common: they smiled.  Everywhere people are smiling and laughing, the happiness is infectious!  I remember walking along the Mekong river one evening in Kampong Cham, the air was warm and the streets were bustling with people, and every single local we passed gave us a brilliant, wide smile.  You can’t help but grin back giddily!

This smiling and cheeky chappy was very rowdy indeed when we visited his family’s home on a silk village excursion.  He’s wearing his dad’s glasses, cute!  I pretty much fell in love with Cambodia.  Their ease is a wonderful thing to encounter and I felt inspired just being there.
So, I’ll give you a brief outline of what we did in Cambodia and where, then I’ll tell you all about the nitty gritty (and the disasters, never forget the disasters).  We began in Siem Reap where we visited the temples, went to art galleries, and drank many cocktails.  We had a major monetary mishap in Siem Reap which we managed to resolve, then we went to Phnom Penh – I don’t even need to tell you that something went wrong on the journey, it’s standard practice by now.  In Phnom Penh we went to see the killing fields and S21 prison, it was full on and very upsetting.  But on the positive side we also learnt a lot about a wonderful charity called Friends International and the amazing work they do.  After that we spent some time in Kampong Cham where we visited the local fishing and silk villages.  Finally, we briefly stayed in Kratie where we were lucky enough to be able to see some endangered irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong river.
So we began in Siem Reap.  We stayed at Rosy Guesthouse which is run by a lovely British family.  The staff here were the friendliest I came across on the trip and had oodles of great tips and ideas for things to keep us occupied.  You can find them on Facebook here.  Our tuk tuk driver John picked us up at eight o’clock sharp, we hopped into his tuk tuk and off we went!  I LOVE tuk tuks and I really wish we had them here in the UK.  We decided to get a three day pass and started our temple exploration at Angkor Wat.  It is magnificent.  You definitely need to be there and see it to really appreciate it’s majesty and grandeur.  The thing that I had trouble getting my head around was the fact that it is over a thousand years old.  One thousand years!  That’s really old!  Some parts have been restored, but some parts are still original and the detail is staggering.  I took A LOT of pictures, I won’t bore you with them all but here are a few that I really like:

 

 

 

 

There’s Kayleigh looking like Tomb Raider!
We were in complete awe, it was very surreal to think we were walking on stones that people built and walked on so long ago.  John was happy to wait for us (when we were ready for some lunch we found him snoozing away in his hammock!) so we took our time wandering around the outer perimeter of the temple and taking it in.  I’d heard other backpackers say two things about the temples – that eventually, no matter how amazed you are at first, you will get ‘templed out’, and that it is unbelievably hot.  Well, we were by no means ‘templed out’ yet, we’d only just started.  But my gosh was it hot!  Luckily there were plenty of shady spots because we were in a temple!  The two of us were followed by two young boys at one point who looked harmless enough, however it was pretty obvious that they were waiting to pick our pockets.  They clearly knew that we knew what they were up to so I had to admire them really!  We’d already locked our bags though so they soon got bored and moved on.
After about two hours of open-mouthed gawping and walking about we went to a cafe for lunch.  To get out we had to pass the street sellers.  I’m telling you if these sales people were employed in the UK they’d be at the top of their game.  I refused to buy anything but it was extremely difficult to do so, I found the best tactic was to look straight ahead, keep walking (I made the mistake of stopping once, that was enough not to do it again) and quietly say ‘No thank you’.  It’s a difficult situation and sometimes even a bit frightening if they start to get angry that you won’t buy anything.  But I remembered the advice we had been given, which was to not buy from them and rigidly stuck to my guns.
John took us to a place that was owned by friends or relatives of his (out there everyone is someone’s brother, literally everyone, so you never know who is genuinely related and who isn’t).  As we ate John sat on next table laughing and joking with his friends/family.  I idly watched some children playing on a bike that was about ten times too big for them and had no brakes, under the lazy watch of their father who was dozing in a hammock attached to some trees.  It was here that I felt I began to see Cambodia.  Don’t get me wrong it’s amazing to be able to do and see all of the touristy things and I feel incredibly privileged to have done so, but my favourite thing to do in foreign places above all else is to watch people.  I love seeing little things that you won’t see in a museum or on a tour, real things.  These kids were playing in exactly the same way my brothers and I used to play in our garden whilst our parents would be gardening or just sitting out enjoying the sun.  I find comfort in knowing that in a lot of ways people are the same, no matter where in the world I am.
After lunch we were back on the road again to see a new temple.  On the way there I saw something that I found really hilarious, a real coming together of old and new.  There were some men riding elephants on the other side of the road, they must have been on their way to their next tourist pick up point.  One guy was happily ambling along on the huge mammal steering it up the path, whilst also on his iphone!  Maybe he was playing angry birds, who knows.  I tried to get a good picture but this is the best I managed:
See the temple right in the background?  Cool right?
Now, here is where I realise I really should have been much better at writing in my journal.  If I had been a good traveller I would know where we went to next, but I don’t.  I’ll try and figure it out though, here is a map of the general temple area:
I know we went to Angkor Thom but that was later on, I think we did a loop of the area.  It wasn’t Ta Prohm Kei (where Angelina Jolie filmed one of the Tomb Raider films), so I think it was Bat Chum.  Yes I think that’s right, the order went like this: Angkor Wat, Bat Chum, Ta Som, Angkor Tom and Ta Prohm Kei. Here are a few a lot of pictures:
Bat Chum:

 

Ta Som (I think):

 

 

Angkor Thom:

 

 

Ta Prohm Kei:

 

We became more and more amazed with each temple we saw and by the time we were finished the sun was getting ready to set.  John took us back to our hostel, we paid him and agreed to get picked up at the same time again the following day.  After a shower and probably a nap we decided to have dinner then head to pub street – we’d heard only good things about the bars there.  We agreed we would have one quiet cocktail then go back as we had another day of serious temple exploring booked in.  You know those nights where you say you’ll have one drink and end up having about ten?  Well about four hours later when we should have been in bed we were dancing madly on a podium in Temple Club with backpackers and locals alike.  I had the worst hangover I have ever had in my entire life – and I’ve had a lot of hangovers!  Kayleigh wasn’t much better and we made that much noise and racket when we got home that a guy in the room next door came to ask if we were okay!  How embarrassing!  Unfortunately I have no photographic evidence of this night because we didn’t take our cameras – we weren’t planning on a big night out after all.
The next morning I woke up and knew immediately I wasn’t going anywhere.  Like the true friend that I am I refused to move from the bed so Kayleigh, who was just as hungover as I was, had to go downstairs and apologise to John.  She gave him ten dollars for the trouble, bought some water for us and came back to our room.  To make matters worse, we’d moved into a cheaper room with no air con so as you can imagine we were lying in a furnace of nausea, heat, sore heads and self-pity.  It was horrible.  We managed to get up and eat some lunch, and later on even managed to get out to a restaurant and have some tea.  We watched an Apsara dance routine which was really cool, I loved the outfits:

 

We then sloped off to bed to sleep off the last remanents of the hangover that really was from hell and the next day were actually up in time for John!  Poor old John.  I’ll tell you a bit about John actually, he was super cool with an ace sense of humour and a cheeky grin.  The first time he took us to the temples he got a flat tyre, he stopped and explained to us that he had to get it fixed in broken English.  Then as he hopped off he looked at the tyre and went ‘Why?!’ in a silly voice whilst shaking his fists at the sky.  Legend.  He was twenty-two years old (only about a year younger than we were at the time) and lived with his family.  What a great guy!  Anyway, moving on.  We decided to head back to Angkor Watt and explore the inner perimeter.  We’d missed our second day due to The Hangover and wouldn’t have time to do a third day, so this was it!  We had to make it count!  I think we got officially ‘templed out’ after two hours.  Yeah, it was a poor effort.
John took us back to Siem Reap and dropped us off in town so that we could explore.  Siem Reap is a beautiful city, the locals have a real passion for art and a lot of the architecture is nice and French.  Kayleigh bagged herself a load of silk too at a cheap price.  Note her reference to the landslide at the end of the post, tee hee!

 

 

 

When we got back to the guesthouse we decided to top up our cash cards online as they were now empty.  Both of us found our bank cards appeared to have been blocked.  Why oh why do bad things happen to good people I ask you?!  This was a little alarming for various reasons: we had to pay our tab at the guesthouse, we had to pay for the coach we were getting later on, and we did not want to arrive at the next destination with no money.  We couldn’t use skype to contact our bank (because you had to buy credit with your bank card, and ours weren’t working!), the telephone was only for domestic calls and our phones still wouldn’t work.  We tried a few other cash points with no luck and began to do what we did best: panic.  Kayleigh suggested we try and buy a sim card, my phone was unlocked so it should work.  We bought one between us (we had just enough cash for a sim card and some credit, how lucky is that!) and the woman who worked there very kindly helped us to top the card up.  I say she helped, she actually just did it for us.  We then each phoned our banks and managed to get our cards unblocked.  The guy I spoke to sounded incredibly bored, I guessed I wasn’t the first backpacker he’d had to tell off that day.  So yeah, I learnt the hard way that you are supposed to tell your bank that you are going to a developing country before you go there, whoops!
 
Disaster averted, we went and found a hotel with a free swimming pool and spent the afternoon lounging and speculating about one day owning our own shop together (you know, like best friends do).  At some point, I can’t remember on which day, we watched The Killing Fields in preparation for our visit to Phnom Penh.  This is a fantastic but haunting film and is great for learning about Cambodia and its more recent history.  While we waited for our coach to arrive we joined in with a pub quiz that was being held for charity and had a little bit to drink (only a very little bit this time!).  Midnight came around and we were loaded up and beginning another journey that we suspected would at some point go wrong, as you’ll discover in my next post, it didn’t disappoint.

Bangkok to Siem Reap

I think that train travel in South East Asia is great for one reason only: it provides a smooth ride.  Buses and cars out there don’t have the best suspension and the roads are scattered with pot holes, so the best way to travel is by train, especially if you want to catch up on some sleep.  After our disastrous attempt at catching a train up to Kota Bahru in Malaysia, we were now more determined than ever to have our train journey!  Dave had gone on to Vietnam and we had left the beautiful Perhentian islands.  We planned to catch a train from the border straight up to Bangkok.  I was a bit apprehensive about heading back to Bangkok, because the first time I went backpacking in 2010 this is where we began and the culture shock was huge.  We arrived on the day of the Thai Queen’s birthday so the city was even busier than normal and all I can vaguely recall from that first evening is walking down Ko San Road in a daze with people from all angles shouting ‘Tuk tuk!’ at me.  Nevertheless I decided to give the city a second chance, maybe we just got off on the wrong foot.

We treated ourselves to a hotel in Kota Bahru and ate dinner at a local night market.  In the morning our omen appeared in the form of poor old Mick being a tad unwell.  It’s always funny to begin with when someone gets the travel bug (pardon the pun), but amusement soon turns into pity!  We still got to the bus station on time and found the correct stop.  Naturally, the bus for our stop parked up at the opposite end of the station.  A local Muslim lady who saw us looking a bit confused very thoughtfully asked us where we were going to and pointed out our bus, we thanked her and did the ‘I’m going to miss my bus’ jog over to the coach.

The journey was hot but short and we arrived at border control about an hour later.  We were really excited and smug – we were finally going to be getting a train and could tease Dave for missing out when we next saw him.  Went through the border and basked in the excitement of being in a new place and entering the next stage of our adventure.  The tourist information office was close by and we bounded in to happily ask where the train station was, our answer from the lady at the desk was this:

‘No train today, bomb!’

Kay and I laughed, and so did the lady behind the desk!  Mick didn’t, can’t really blame him.  We learned that our best option was to get a bus to Bangkok, it was an overnight journey and would take about fifteen hours but it was a good price.  We all agreed and headed outside to get a taxi.  The only taxi service available was moto-taxis.  I avoided hiring a moped the first time I was in Thailand because I thought it was very dangerous, but this guy clearly rode these things every day so I thought sod it, let’s go.  It was good fun actually, I can see how riding a moped could actually be safer than driving a car because you have so much more control and ability to weave around obstacles.

Note how happy Kayleigh looks but how uncomfortable Mick looks, unlucky!

The drivers kindly dropped us off at a cash point and then took us right to the bus station.  We got our tickets, bought some snacks and waited.  Once on the bus we were provided with some great entertainment, there was a Thai soap opera in which three friends were constantly in trouble with their wives for getting into compromising situations with other women.  Plenty of slapstick thrown in as well for good measure.  After this we watched a variety of Thai music videos in which the main theme seemed to be passionate and all-consuming love.  One music video ended with a heart-broken and now crippled girl rolling herself and her wheelchair off the top of a building!

The televisions were then switched off and I busied myself with taking photos of overloaded mopeds and vans in transit – it’s one of the many things I love about this part of the world:

 

 

Eventually we fell asleep (Mick opted for the floor, he still wasn’t feeling great) and arrived in Bangkok in the early hours of the morning.  We were staying at a hostel called Suk 11 which had been recommended to me by my mum’s cousin.  It is located in the Sukhumvit area of the city, the opposite end to Ko San Road.  It is one of THE nicest places I’ve ever had the pleasure of staying in.  The decor is beautiful and interesting, it is family run and very family friendly so it almost feels like a retreat.  The rooms are immaculate and come with brilliant air con, there is a TV room, internet and all of the shared bathrooms are sparkling with cleanliness.  There is even a restaurant next door which serves amazing meals and has very friendly staff.  We checked in and had breakfast which was being served just as we arrived.  Best breakfast ever!  Brown and white bread, coffee and tea, fruit juice, jam and peanut butter, and a spread of freshly chopped mango, watermelon, pineapple and more.  In addition each morning they would also offer some small breakfast snacks.  These normally came in a little shot glass and consisted of yoghurt, salt or sugar and some kind of local fruit.  They were quite delicious!

After the obligatory backpacker nap we explored the local area and agreed to head to the weekend market the following day.  That night we decided to go out for a casual drink at a bar, there seemed to be a lot of watering holes around so we were sure we’d find somewhere nice.  Hmm.  Well, what we hadn’t realised was that we were right in the middle of the sex district.  Every single bar was full of Thai ladies and ladyboys and big balding white men.  We settled on playing ‘spot the sex tourist’ and after walking past what seemed like the millionth go-go bar we decided to call it a night.

We spent the next two days SHOPPING!  I’ve been to Chatuchak Market three times now and I would happily go back.  So many beautiful things and so much unsuccessful haggling on my part!  I still got some super bargains.  After a few days of shopping, eating, drinking and sex tourist spotting we had to leave.  Mick was heading up to the north of Thailand and we were heading to Cambodia.  The three of us would meet up in Laos in a couple of weeks.  I’m happy to say that I absolutely loved Bangkok the second time around, and was actually really sad to leave.

We said goodbye to Mick and headed to the train station where we would be getting a mini-van to the Cambodian border.  Mick planned to get a train to the north and as far as we were aware he had been successful, the lucky git.  As you will now have guessed, no journey for Kayleigh and I would ever be simple, we’d come to accept this now.  But we were running out of ideas as to what else could possibly go wrong for us!  Funnily enough, this post is set before the landslide we encountered in Laos.  Seated in a mini-van with a German couple and a Czech family we set off.  I really admire families that do backpacking trips together, I think it must be a great experience for the kids but also a lot of hard work for the parents!  The three children belonging to the Czech family looked to be between five and twelve years, yet the Thai driver still thought it would be appropriate to put on a vicious film about vampires which was rated 15.  Poor kids!  Napping was difficult due to the lack of suspension (when oh when would we get our train ride?!) but we managed to get a little bit of sleep.

Once at the border we had lunch, filled out all the necessary forms and crossed over into Cambodia.  The difference of the place struck me immediately.  I thought Thailand was poor, but I had never seen anything like this.  We waited for the rest of group to arrive and stared at this new place.  I just couldn’t believe how poor it looked, I had known that Cambodia was a developing country before I decided to go there but actually being there was something else.  

We were grouped together with some more travellers and herded on to a bus that smelt rather strongly of body odour, nice.  But we knew we would be arriving in Siem Reap very soon so we kept smiling and went on our way.  At a roadside cafe where we had a break, Kayleigh and I had our first experience of the children that sell in the streets.  We’d heard so much about them already and they did everything we thought they would.  ‘Hello, hello, today you buy!’ was shouted at us by little girls and boys holding up small trinkets and wristbands.  They laughed and joked so easily with us, it was clear how accustomed they were to this.  They were full of cuteness and smiles and waved us off as we left.  I wasn’t really sure how I felt about them but it definitely made me uncomfortable.  I feel it’s so difficult to know whether they are there by choice or not so I always avoid buying from them just in case.

By the time we got to Siem Reap it was dark and the coach company had pulled a little trick out from under their sleeve.  Rather than dropping us at the bus station as planned, they dropped us at a tuk tuk rank so that we would have to buy a tuk tuk into town.  To be honest, travel is so cheap in South East Asia that I kind of think fair enough.  But Kay and I had one big problem: we had no money.  As we were quite tired now we both began to panic a little and became short with the drivers trying to ask us to get into their tuk tuk.  We were trying to contact the hostel we had booked with by phone but discovered that our phones were not working.  We had been able to laugh when things went wrong up until now: it was dark, we were penniless, we didn’t know where we were and we really didn’t know what to do.  All of the sudden, a tuk tuk driver who called himself John quietly interrupted us and asked us what was wrong.  We gave up trying to ignore them and told him that we had no money and didn’t know how we would get to our hostel.  John said that if we agreed to let him take us to Angkor Watt and the other temples in the morning at a price of twelve dollars for the day for both of us, he would take us to our hostel free of charge.  Surprised by such kindness and how cheap the price for the temple tour was, we immediately said yes and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  These simple acts of kindness were something I encountered a lot in Cambodia and later in Laos, the people in these two countries are quite incredible.  

We checked in at Rosy Guesthouse (a fabulous place that I will write about in my next post) and checked our emails.  Mick had sent us both a message, as we read it we both began to laugh hysterically.  He had arrived at the train station to be told his train was cancelled due to flooding, and he ended up having to get a coach.  Brilliant.

Landslides and how to overcome them, literally.

During my globe-trotting escapades last summer with my partner in crime Kayleigh, we encountered a wide variety of challenges.  I’ve already covered our monstrous journey from Taman Negara to the Perhentians, but there’s plenty more to tell!  After a few days in paradise and a difficult journey up to Bangkok (I’ll tell you about that another time …) we planned to travel through Cambodia and Laos, finishing in Luang Prabang where we would meet back up with Mick.  Dave was by this point travelling in Vietnam and we had hoped to all meet up in Thailand but realised we would be cutting our visa time allowance too fine just before we flew home, so it was going to be the three of us in Laos instead.

Of course there were a number of mishaps during our Cambodia travels, but again I’m going to have to give each event its own blog space – too much disaster for just one post!  After a short stop over in Vientianne (the most laid back capital city I have ever been to) we were on another luxury double decker bus for a six hour ride to Luang Prabang.  Everything was organised, Mick knew what hostel we were staying in and roughly what time we would arrive, all good to go.  But the numbing inevitability of big time-delaying obstacles was first made apparent by Kayleigh’s broken seat on the bus.  At first we laughed but I now think it was an omen, a sign of things to come.

We entertained ourselves with Kayleigh’s ipod and looked at the incredible landscape we were being driven through – we were cruising along extremely high and windy roads through lush green mountains, it was so beautiful but I should mention that you couldn’t see very far ahead at all because of all the sharp corners and tall, dense hills.  We had a short mid-morning break at a roadside cafe (noodle soup, fragrant and delicious) and were then herded back on to the coach by the driver beeping his horn in an absent minded manner.  By this point we’d been travelling for about four or five hours, so I assumed we must nearly be there.  I also noted how surprisingly smooth the journey was going, thought too soon didn’t I?

Half an hour or so later I noticed a couple of broken down lorries up ahead.  Then a broken down coach with a load of backpackers sat on the road looking like they’d been there for hours.  Very odd indeed that these vehicles had all broken down in the same spot.  We turned a corner and suddenly saw the road lined on both sides with stationary cars, lorries, vans, taxis, buses, coaches and many other vehicles.  Something was quite clearly not right.  We seemed to be driving past all of these, so for a short time we were optimistic that we weren’t going to be held up by whatever was happening.  Wrong!  Our driver quickly pulled into a lay by and came upstairs to tell us all to grab our bags, start walking and meet ‘the bus on the other side’ … other side of what?  We assumed he meant the other side of all this traffic.  He gave us all a little ticket with a bus number written on it, we got our stuff together and began walking.  Sods law had kindly made this event occur in the middle of the day, that is, the hottest part of the day.  We stumbled along the road feeling the sweat start it’s south bound journey from our foreheads and marvelled at the ridiculous amount of non-moving vehicles lining the long and winding road.  We walked for about a mile still clueless about what was happening, but very keen to get out of the intense heat.  Kayleigh and I had now accepted that we were going to be late and Mick would probably miss us; we’d have to try and locate him tomorrow instead.

Then it hit us.  We turned a corner and saw this:

The road came to an abrupt end, the reason the vehicles had been held up was because of a landslide.  You see where the yellow digger is?  Well a few metres below that, just below the trees, that’s where the road is hiding.  The digger is trying to dig down to the road surface, very dangerous as removing the dirt only encourages more to fall down.  We learned from a few other backpackers hanging around that it had happened a couple of days earlier (so the bus company we booked through had known all about it, hence the coach relay they had organised for us) and that a whole village had virtually been wiped away.  Tragically, four people had died.

We had one choice and one choice only: climb over the landslide.  In the unbearable heat.  Whilst carrying our (now very heavy, the shopping in Bangkok is great) backpacks.  With nothing but our steely muscles (did I say steely?  I meant non-existent) to drag us up and over.  Without stopping to ponder our predicament (because that would have only made us more nervous) we got our trainers on and took a big gulp of water.  Then we began the ascent.

I looked at nothing but my feet and tried not to think about how ungraceful I probably looked, and more importantly how high up I was, oh, and how unstable the dirt felt beneath my feet.  It took us about twenty minutes to get to what we thought was the top.  Covered in mud, dust and sweat we triumphantly posed for a photo taken by a couple of Korean girls from our coach (who were immaculate I might add).  We then turned another one of those wily corners and realised we were only half way up, words cannot describe the sinking feeling of disappointment we both experienced.  On the way up we were passed by many locals carrying backpacks for other westerners, they were half our size and were going at twice the speed – pretty amazing if you ask me.

The descent on the other side proved to be more difficult because the ground would just slip away as soon as I set foot on it.  But we could see the road again and quickly slid down the landslide, how ironic.  Alarmingly there were local children playing happily on the landslide, apparently unaware of how dangerous it was.

Whereas we often have extreme health and safety regulations back in blighty, there seems to be no health and safety at all in many other parts of the world.  On the one hand, I love and admire this because I almost see it as an acceptance of external forces, an attitude that whatever will be will be and there is nothing to be done about it.  But on the other hand, I think standing on a fresh landslide is one risk I would rather not take.  I climbed over it as quickly as I could and I didn’t hang around to take in the view – although the little snippets I did see from the corner of my floor focused eyes were pretty amazing.

Finally, we reached the road again and were met with cheers and chuckles from locals watching the western backpackers navigate the landslide with ‘sterling expertise’.  We walked down the road past yet more held up vehicles coming the other way and started looking for our coach.  Obviously, our coach was right at the back of all the traffic, so after another long walk we were loaded up and set off again for Luang Prabang.

A combination of probable sunstroke, tiredness and adrenaline meant we were wide awake for the rest of the journey telling each other repeatedly how unbelievable it was that we had just climbed over a landslide.  Our coach pulled in to the bus station, we hopped into a tuk tuk and we finally arrived at our hostel about four hours later than planned.  Just after we checked in, we turned to see Mick walking through the gate.  He was passing on the off chance we had arrived, what a nice stroke of luck!  We had dinner at the amazing night market in Luang Prabang (if you ever get the slightest chance to go, take it) and slept very deeply.

All the pictures used in this post were taken by Kayleigh who cleverly got her camera ready before we began the climb, she got some pretty good shots!