I hate insects.

Trip Start Sep 09, 2011
Trip End Jun 29, 2012

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What I did
Insects... a lot of insects.
Laos Karaoke... over the river though

Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, October 21, 2011

Driving up to Chiang Khong allowed us to see some beautiful views of Northern Thailand from the bus, but when we arrived it was to a dusty, one-street kind of a place. It seemed a lot poorer than Chiang Rai, but fortunately had a post office so I was able to send some stuff home. That was kind of the only real highlight of the place.

We stayed in a very traditional dark wood guest house owned by an American guy who looked a little like Clint Eastwood and barely moved his mouth when he spoke. He was called 'Don' and his Thai bride wife had a name that even though she said it about 3 times I still didn't get... and after 3 times it just feels rude to ask again.

The guesthouse was right next to the Mekong River, and Laos looked so close you felt that if you threw a stone hard enough it might hit it.

The room we were staying in however was... ahem... 'rustic' to say the least. There were two beds kind of attached to the wall... and little else. Oh. Except for an ants next next to Rebecca's bed which had to be attacked with a generous showering of Deet. We had to share a bathroom which was outside the rooms a few metres away.

The guesthouse seemed quiet, and we asked Don and whats-her-chops-wifey whether we were the only people there. Turns out that most of the house was occupied by Thailand's Gifted and Talented students, who were out during the day at special classes, but would be back at about 10pm. We were assured they were 'lovely kids' but that they were also 'quite excited about being away from home.' Reading between the lines I assumed that we might be in for a bit of a noisy evening on their return. (This proved to be highly accurate)

The only other person there was Thomas, a lovely Dutch guy that I started chatting to while Bec was on the computer. He was cycling through a lot of South East Asia, and he ended up joining us for dinner. We are hoping to meet up with him again because he was a real sweetie.

While we were getting dinner at the guesthouse, we heard loud karaoke singing drifting across the river from Laos. Don told us that they did this every night from about 8.30 to 11.30, but that of course we couldn't go because we would need a Visa. So, the only entertaining thing for miles around, and it was in another country.

So basically we had no access to karaoke, but no chance of sleeping while the loud singing was going on; teenagers coming back and almost definitely not going to be going to sleep anytime soon... what else could go wrong? BUGS. That is what could go wrong.

I have never seen more insects. We got our mosquito nets out for the first time and I wore tights to bed, while Bec pulled on her thick leggings. It was futile, especially because once I had the idea in my head that I was going to be eaten alive I could not sleep. The mosquito nets also couldn't cover the beds properly because the mattress was too wide. So, I tried to anchor the ends of it with my feet, keeping them as still as possible. At about 2am, after no sleep, the 'anchoring' of my net was seriously jeopardized when my foot cramped up, probably from trying to keep it so still, and I had to fling the net up and jump around on the floor.

At about 4.30am after hours and hours of not sleeping I needed to pee. Putting on my walking boots over my tights, pulling on a cardigan and yanking the sleeves down to cover my hands like mittens, I put on my head torch and rushed outside... thank God no-one was around to see me, because I would have looked ridiculous. We had left a light on in one of the toilets to try and attract all the bugs there so that the other one might be ok. This kind of worked, but the area with the lit toilet was like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where they have to reach through piles of centipedes and spiders to unlock that tunnel.

It was our worst night so far, and we were both covered in bites the next day. Still, we had 2 days on a boat down the river to look forward to!
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