Listening to the body

Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
Trip End Jan 22, 2013

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, Louangphabang,
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I think the constant travel has finally caught up to me. For 3 days, I have been feeling lethargic and weak, and haven't been able to stop sleeping. The first day, my body just ached all over and I could barely move. The second and the third day, the aches disappeared but I still felt weak and my body continued to want to sleep. So I just obliged and listened to my body - I slept and ate when it wanted to, without forcing it to be on a schedule.
On the fourth day today, I feel much better. But being sick is expensive!
I bought an entire season of Revenge for $20 which I am almost done with, having in bed for 4 days! And now that I am hooked I must go buy season 2 :-P.
I also craved comfort food, so I ended up splurging on expensive western food to make myself feel better (psychologically at least). Today was an "egg, ham, and cheese on a bagel" day ;-). It was sooooo good but so expensive at $3.5. That is usually my budget for breakfast AND lunch. I have to get back on a local budget starting with dinner tonight. It's time to hit the street vendors again!

During the months of March - June, the northern regions of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam undergo a Burning Season, whereby the farms in the mountains are burned down in preparation for the new crop season. During these months, the entire northern region across these countries are cloudy and foggy from a dense smog. In Thailand, the smog was evident but not detrimental to my sightseeing agenda. Only once, I was disappointed in Chiang Mai when I made a trip to the top of a mountain but couldn't see the view of the city below.
But here in Luang Prabang, the smog is so much worse.
The sky is so hazy.
What must be some mountain ranges in the horizon is hardly visible.
Yesterday I took a hike up Phousi, where there is supposed to be a panoramic view of the city, wats, and the rivers. The visibility was so poor and the view was disappointing :-(
But there is an amazing effect of the smog on a sunset! The sun appears as a bright, fire-orange ball. I have never seen a sun like that EVER.
I snapped several pictures but unfortunately the color never turned out.
So I just sat by the river bank, drank a local BeerLao and enjoyed the sunset all by myself :)

Speaking of beer, I have never been a fan of beers. But out here, the beers are so cheap I was pretty much forced to convert. In Thailand, Chang beer was a good choice as the alcohol content was 6.5% and I got a good buzz after just one beer. In Laos, the local BeerLao is only 5%2525 but it tastes pretty good, particularly after a hot, humid day! For a $1, who can pass it up!

Another thing I am loving about Laos is that coins do not exist here! All the denominations are in paper form. Isn't this brilliant?! Why hasn't the whole world caught onto this system?? Why do we need coins? I love that I never have to get rid of coins and my wallet is always light.
And for the first time in my life, I withdrew a MILLION in the ATM. A million Kip, that is (equivalent of about $130)...still the experience made me feel so rich!! :-D

Tomorrow I decided to head a bit north about 4 hours from here to a town called Nong Khiaw. It's supposed to be a bit more quaint, with stunning limestone cliff views by the river. Hoping to enjoy one more week in northern Laos before heading back to the beach in Thailand :)
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Oli on

I like you photos but I have to say I always look forward to the photos with people in them. I'm sorry to hear you had a few blue days. Remember what we used to do? Go to a spa and relax.

oshioshi on

Dang you are just so hard to please!
I already dedicated a whole blog entry to you. I will work on a photo album for you next ;-)

Oli on

Babe, I was honored that you did that and I will appreciate anything else. I'm just trying to make your experience more real to us, poor people, who have to sit in the cold, cold New York watching you enjoy yourself and being jealous as hell. :p

Shana on

The reason other countries don't convert to all paper bills is the cost of constant printing. Bills wear faster and need to be printed frequently...

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