So my phone was dead most of the day. I have an extea battery and bothel were out of juice. So I ended up wandering the heart of Colombo searching for a place I could just sit and charge.
I had ice cream that was relatively expensive at Baskin Robbins then found a place called the Bake House right next to a really nice and super expensive bakery and there I’ve been sitting just working on my story and eating baked goods and they were so good.
Now I have no place to stay again, so here I am its dark and I’m wandering Sri Lanka in Colombo. So nobclue ehwt to do but go south.
They say your brain isn’t fully developed until you are 24. That those risks you take when you are young are part of youe brain still maturing. If that so I may have regressed cause I’ve taken some risks and paid dearly for them. Some were innocent, some done out of frustation anothers done because the group makes you feel fearless.
There is something about traveling that has made me feel more raw when I should be even more careful but when you’ve had all your stuff jacked, been ripped of or threatened more times than you care to remember you just stop caring and if you get away with these risks you want to escalate them to heighten the feeling.
Today I was reminded of how careful you hsve to be amd while I was lucky I could have easily ended up in a pile of hurt. So its those lessons that teach us to ve on guard and not forget that we can easily go from safe to fucked before you can blink. So cheers to that higher power that reminded me hoe lucky I am and not to take those kind of risks again.
Waiting sucks and you can only do it for so long. I got to the point where I had to make a choice and it didn’t matter whst I choose or what I will choose all that matters is I start doing something.
Writing is what I seek and inspiration is my fuel. I’ve seen ancient wonders, beem through bad days ans good but whst I know now is that you can deal with it and there are more angels than there are demons if you can provide the same.
My next country is Sri Lanka, I have no guide and will just see what happens. I think I’m gonna get out of Colombo to save money and just get out there wherever that is and whatever that means.
These are the days to meet fast friends, of pushing yourself to do those things you didn’t think you could and for me that isn’t diving,l or rock climbing its taking a possibility and seeing if there is something there to grab hold off. So I have 3 articlez to write and 2 stories to get off the launching pad to see if they get into orbit or need to be relaunched.
This next phase of my travel escapades is heading in a whole new place with even more challenging. I hope I can make it through in ome piece. So goodbye Southeast Asia I may be back cause Burma calls but no matter what I will return cause t
I have not written in a long time, so preoccupied with the journey I forgot to write everything down. I remember moments and already have a waterfall flow of stories, sights ans people that have made the road worth the effort and occassional head banging point of frustration.
I can say that I know more about how life flows in Southeast Asia than I ever thought possible. Thailand is the gateway to this far off world, Cambodia home of wonder in Aknor and the trama of Pol Pot. Vietnam shows the recovery from war with Laos being the backpacker place to calm doen and chill. Burma is awakening, Malaysia is coming into her own. Singapore combines elements from east and west with both the best and worst representing and Indonesia nature raw beauty and danger live next to the swarm of humanity that sit in her glades.
You can’t explian a region but you can give a glimpse, one view of a region that welcomes the world for all the good and bad that mass tourism can bring. I’ve travelled the roads, rails and the air. You can walk for a lifetime, experience so much but still have so much to discover.
I am heading out of Southeasy Asia in a few days, heading west. I am going to Sri Lanka and then see whst happens. I’m actually going to write. It wil not bw perfect and it doesn’t have to be. I’ll try to write one moment of experience a day as I run my personal gautlet through thr story crafting circuit to see if I can give my ideas a form in the real world.
I shall return to Southeast Asia to exoerience the wonders I couldn’t my first go around. I want to take more time in Aknor, pierce the veil of Burma before her people’s wonder from their awakening turns to cynicism and the hunt for dollars
So here it goes, whatever may come I hope to be safe but not too safe, be inspired but not so distracted and discover fast friends forged in the experience of it all.
Vang Vieng is a small town surrounded by cliffs. It is the river, the rock and the people that define Vang Vieng. More than 2 years ago the biggest attraction was the no holds bar tubing. Basically you would float down the river in a tube going from bar to bar.
At these bars you could jump off the edge into your tube with no regard for safety. That was until people started dying and the LAOS government had caved to pressure from the Australian government. What was 25 bars became 3 and that’s going to 5 as we get to high season.
The day I arrived there were several vacant spaces but just before I left the place began to take on a whole new character with more restaurants being quickly constructed and soon all the empty spaces were full, this is the prep work for high season.
If you go to a restaurant they will be mostly showing Friends or Family Guy. I didn’t have the courage but if you are they ask if they have anything else besides that. I barely watched Friends when it was on air and I got sick of it after day 2. If anyone is from LAOS we don’t watch only 2 shows.
Vang Vieng is a town built on tourism but many of the locals have a contempt of tourists because of what they observe on a daily basis. I can’t say I didn’t join in the drinking and one night I got very drunk but that was 1 night out of 7. Mostly I liked getting to know the other travelers and the westerns who were working for food, drink and a roof.
I was contemplating doing the same but since I am not the biggest drinker I thought it better not to start down the drinking daily path. What I like about traveling is how you can know a person for a day and become fast friends.
At home wherever that is for each of us it doesn’t happen nearly as much. People have their own groups and there just isn’t that impetus to meet people the same way when you are traveling and even more when you are solo.
Traveling means ignorance on all sides. The people in towns such as Vang Vieng base their entire view of westerns based on what they observe and many travelers are may not be aware of the local curtseys of the area. If someone doesn’t say something how can you change your behavior to respect what you don’t know?
I’d suggest Adam’s because he and his team know all facets of what it takes to climb not just climbing in it of itself but also how to find new routes and maintain them as well. I went with TCK before I knew this and it was a lot of fun but knowing what I do now I would go with Adam’s if and when I go back just to support them and what they do.
Vang Vieng is a great base to explore the area, I didn’t do nearly as much as other people because I’m on a tight budget but the list is long on what I could have done. If I wasn’t alone I would have taken a mountain bike out and explored the country side away from the paved roads and out into the wilds.
I visited the Blue Lagoon which was brown because of the rainy season but the real sight was the cave. You go up an uneven set of stairs and enter a big wet cave. There is a Buddha a little ways in and then you have to climb your way until you reach a large dark cavern on the other end but it’s worth it to try, just don’t be stupid and you’ll be good.
I met many people that were only supposed to stay in Vang Vieng for a few days and ended up staying for weeks. I’m writing this in Bangkok cause I had to get out. I loved the people I met. There was a few times when I could feel the cynicism the locals had for foreigners and there was one time where a tuk tuk driver was outright vile but that comes with the territory.
Never take it personally, respect their customs, stay alert, stay aware and when drinking make sure to have some backup in case a good time becomes a shit show.