■■■■■■ oath BG, we were talking about it today, what if we had left it on the train from Naples to Sorrento, would have been gone in a flash. Napoli centrale is one scary station, very intimidating
From 4 years ago when we were in Italy last, much more homelessness, graffiti, beggars, etc. many more immigrants from other countries etc I’ve noticed, all looking to make a living in Italy. As I’ve said, Naples was very intimidating, on the platforms people just wandering up and down checking your baggage etc, asking you for money. Just not used to it I suppose
Paris train stations are still the dodgiest I’ve ever seen. Pick pockets and grifters everywhere and the foulest stench imaginable. It was not uncommon to see guys get off the train and urinate against the wall. Pigalle station was easily the worst of a bad lot, just groups of youths roaming around waiting for prey, we were in a group of 8 luckily but wouldn’t go solo after dark there
We came out of the gates of a Metro station near Sacre Couer and walked to the elevators. I hit the button and suddenly realised three youths hanging around nearby for no reason. The elevator took ages and I was getting nervous, with a baby strapped to my chest and my wife. I said let’s go for the stairs. Halfway up I felt a hand on my wrist and one of the three was trying to rip my watch off. I swung my hand free and he made a motion like “relax dude” and backed back down the stairs. I told my wife hurry lets get to the street. Thank god the elevator didn’t come, they would’ve had us cornered for sure.
Most of my day today consisted of lounging around surfing the net and knocking back vodkas
Novotel Kuta Lombok is a pretty chilled out place
Get back on the phone and finish off those trades, slackarse!
Last night here and then off to Bali tomorrow before flying out tomorrow night. As always it’s been too short but need to get back to work and earn some money. Off to the Philippines on Nov 6th for just under 3 weeks so the countdown is on
Japan, Dec & January. Silly idea being so cold or still worthwhile?
Not a snow bunny so not too interested in that. Snow and hotsprings though, yes please.
Climbing up the belltower of the cathedral in Split…
… near the top, I stopped to give way to someone going down the precariously rickety ladder. He said (with an Australian accent) “How about that European Health and Safety?”
The only clue he would have had that I was not a European was my BomberBlitz cap…
Any of you guys in Croatia last weekend?
Just back from a few weeks in Laos. Lovely people, sweaty weather, decent food options for non meat eaters and visual delights everywhere. Some pics.
Balcony view from Vang Vieng
On the road to Luang Prabang. Uncomfortable bus but great view.
Hmmm - sign in a monastery no less.
The bear rescue centre.
And a few more.
Mainly Chinese tourists feeding the monks in the famous Luang Prabang morning ceremony.
If you want a girlfriend you better get a bike
Gorgeous view from the bridge in Nong Khiaw.
Weaver’s village at Muang Ngoi
Hey GRR, its been a while between posts I think?
Interested in your Laos pics - did you take a boat up river from LP to Nong Khiaw?
One day I’ll do the loop from Bangkok to N Thailand, slow boat along the Mekong to LP, Vang Vieng, Vientiene & train back to Bangkok.
Unfortunately they’ve built a dam between LP and NK. You can get out half way get a bus round the dam and get the boat again but that seemed like too much hard work. So we did it sardine style with a lead footed driver in a mini bus with bald tyres (not recommended incidentally).
However we did do the day trip from NK to Muang Ngoi . A lovely river trip. Might go back one day and see more of the North. Cheap as chips too.
Timely, I’m doing Bangkok to Vientiane via upper Mekong (then Vietnam and Cambodia) in December/January
So as I described but from Vientiane to Vietnam instead of back to Bangkok? How are you getting to Vietnam?
Flying. There are some pretty good horror stories about the loooong bus trip down to Vietnam.
We did thailand, vientiane, vietnam, cambodia back in 2014. We wanted to go to luang prabang but had read bad things about the bus trip, so flew from vientiane to Hanoi instead.
But you can fly from bkk to lp direct now which l dont think you used to be able to do, so we are planning to do that next year as part of a china trip.
We flew into Vientiane and out of LP, although the latter entailed an 8 hour stopover in BK before catching the red eye special back.
You can fly from Vientiane to LP, I think 3 flights a day, but even though the minibus ride to LP is around 5 hours on the packed public mini buses it goes through some impressive countryside that wouldn’t otherwise be seen, and the trip from LP to NK is even more spectacular. The roads were made the whole way, if a bit potholed in parts, but I know they get rougher if you head further north - a friend of ours who did this complained people kept throwing up around her.
On the way back from NK to LP we tagged along with 4 Kiwis who had hired a private mini bus which had a sane driver who happily stopped for photo ops and dunny breaks, air con and operational seat belts- did it in under 3 hours and dropped us at our hotel. If we do it again we’ll definitely go with the private mini bus idea. Still pretty cheap by our standards-e.g. 100 US split 6 ways for a 12 seater for the 3 hour trip from NK to LP.
River transport is a great idea but it ain’t as easy as it used to be thanks to the proliferation of Chinese financed dams in Laos, I think around 7 are either in place or in construction on the Mekong in Laos alone, much to the annoyance of Vietnam.
In the ancient capital of the country of more than 1200 million people, I found myself sitting next to none other than @Bomb_Doe! How is that for a coincidence.
We later enjoyed some good reds (though sans the company of the great man, Sheeds).