after a few border crossings and a stopover at the beach, i made my way into cambodia
01.01.2007 - 14.01.2007 0 °F
i ended my laos trip in vientiane, which was a bit of a disappointment after luang phabang. the architecture in vientiane wasn't nearly as gorgeous as the red-brick streets and detailed temples in the riverside city of luang phabang. the capital city, vientiane, was full of sex-tourists and drug-dealers, and probably a few people who were both. i didnt bother with the nightlife there since it seemed a bit seedy. the only nice part of the town was a french boulevard which led upto the national temple. it's a bit odd walking down the streets of the old french colonial towns and seeing poor lao people sleeping on the sidewalk, but that was definitely a common sight in vientiane.
after an overnight train i returned to ko chang, where i spent a week last year as well. the beaches are still picturesque, but the prices have already started going up. heaps of european families are on winter holiday and they chose to spend it in ko chang. i can't blame the thai business owners who want to attract wealthy families, but they are really pushing out the backpackers. it was only $5 a day for a beach-frong bungalow, so i can't complain too much. after a ferry ride to the mainland, my brother and i parted ways. he's off to university and im off to other asian destinations. i wonder who will learn more......
as for cambodia, the border town was a real treat. ko khong was full of people trying to scam or rob you, but luckily i arrived before sundown. at the actual border crossing four groups of people colluded together and set an insanely high price for a taxi ride into town. i was with a few dutch guys and we decided to start walking down the road. within seconds we had a couple cars trailing us lowering their prices. it was quite a marketplace. currently im in sihanoukville, which isnt much better than the border crossing but atleast it has a decent beach. im heading into phnom penh and then to angkor wat next week. ive been hearing nothing but amazing stories about the temples of angkor, and now its turned into my camobodian pilgrimage. i hope it lives up to the hype.