#14 - Last travel days in Laos and Oman

Irene's choice of music this week

This time I want to feature a remix of Ben Böhmer 

 

Way Out West - Lullaby Horizon

 

Enjoyable best with 🎧

👇🏻


My days at 4.000 Islands in Laos: Don Det & Don Khon

18.02.2018 - Don Khon (1 of the 4.000 Islands in Laos)

 

Before moving to Don Khon I stayed in Don Det in a hotel. Some of my neighbours there had a big spider in their bathroom.  As I'm very afraid of big spiders I slept very bad. The next day I decided to look for another place. All I was looking for was a room with an outdoor area with a hammock and hopefully a view at the Mekong. I rented a bike to explore the island of Don Det and to look for another accomadation.  

 

There are no real streets here, no cars, just bicycles and scooters and some self made tuk tuks. The two islands Don Det and Don Khon are connected by a bridge. It got very hot in the afternoon meanwhile exploring the island but the payoff was awesome and I was able to take a few great shoots. 

As it was Chinese New Year almost everything was booked up. To find a new place to stay was a very hard mission to accomplish. When I was about to give up I found a small room on Don Khon with everything I was looking for. My heart made two jumps, finally I could lay down in an hammock and enjoy the beauty and the silence of mother earth.

The days on the 4.000 Islands were very hot and they passed quickly. Going to the ATM was a big adventure as I had to take a boat back to the mainland as there was no ATM on the islands itself. On the boat I could enjoy the breeze and the scenery. 

Later that day I took the bike to one of the waterfalls. I could see not only the waterfall but as well sunset with it - such a great combination! 

Irene walking on a bridge on a very hot day on Don Khon, Laos
Irene walking on a bridge on a very hot day on Don Khon, Laos
Irene greeting a local child in Laos
Irene greeting a local child in Laos


Keep traveling: Pakse (Laos)

19.02.2018 - 12.14 pm This is Laos

 

Again I'm waiting at one of the many bus station and no-one knows what is actually happening. This time I’m trying to stay calm and just to wait. And to use the time I got just as a gift. I get my Mac out of my bags and I start writing a bit. I play some music on my small travel speaker.

 

People are getting out of a bus to board another one. Baggage is getting moved as passengers do. 

My little group is still waiting in the half shade of some leaking cotton roof. 

 

Today or maybe the last days already too I felt some kind of inner awkward feeling but I couldn’t make out what it was or what it could be. So I started to observe and tried not to judge the things I've noticed. 

I think I want to write more often. Specially in the afternoon around 4 pm I’ve noticed a big urge to write. But the last  two months I was mostly out in the wild, somewhere in the world. I need to buy a small notebook which I can take with me meanwhile traveling. I don't take the Mac with me when I'm discovering new places, so until now I wasn't able to write. Back in the days I carried always a small notebook with me, but then I started writing more digitally then in old school style. 

Irene is finally in the van and reading Osho
Irene is finally in the van and reading Osho


Oh My Buddha: Last days in Laos - Pakse

21.02.2018 At the airport in Pakse - Laos

 

Another airport, another flight to catch. This time I'm about to leave Laos and I head to Bangkok, where my next flight will depart: Back to Oman for one night and then to Europe. 

 

The more north I traveled, the hotter it got. First it wasn't an issue but then I started realising, that the heat got to me. Therefore, I didn't do much the last days in Pakse.

 

One day I visited the Golden Buddha which is on the top of a hill next to the city. It was almost sunset time when I started taking the many steps up the hill. It was still very hot. I reached the top and finally the big Golden Buddha. There were many smaller Buddhas as well. Inside a temple I admired the colourful paintings and statues of Buddha. It was very fascinating to me to see such a difference in a holy temple. As I'm from Italy, I'm used to different churches. There was a monk inside the temple and after observing some other people getting blessed by him, I took my chance to get blessed as well. He tied on my wrists two small yellow and orange bands. After this blessing I felt very proud of the situation just happened. There are a lot of firsts during my travel to South East Asia :-)

Sunset, the Big Golden Buddha and Irene in Pakse, Laos
Sunset, the Big Golden Buddha and Irene in Pakse, Laos

Oh a funny story: As i talked with a tour operator in Pakse I could hear her say: Oh my Buddha! I had to think actually 2 seconds before I got what she was saying: "Oh my Buddha" instead of "Oh my God". I find this very very interesting and it brings back my consciousness for things I take granted and normal. But what is normal for me and you, for someone else it can be completely different. 

Irene at the roof top bar of her hotel in Pakse
Irene at the roof top bar of her hotel in Pakse

Last reflections on South East Asia before arriving in Muscat, Oman

South East Asia is different. If I like it? Yes, I do! But I still need to get used to the differences in everything that I got to discover during this journey. It’s another part of the world that I haven’t discovered yet. As just said at the paragraph before it has been a lot of completely new cities, countries, culture and cuisines as well. 

 

What is for sure that is that I will be traveling next time again slower.

 

Happy to board a flight now and not one of the small mini vans where passengers get squeezed in like tuna in a can. The transportation via land in Laos and Cambodia and specially when crossing boarders are sometimes very poorly organised and not many people do actually understand and speak English. It's a very good practice for your patient. 

Irene boarding happy her flight from Pakse to Bangkok
Irene boarding happy her flight from Pakse to Bangkok
Inside the airplane enjoying the organised service and having the last Beerlao
Inside the airplane enjoying the organised service and having the last Beerlao


Hello and Goodbye Muscat, Oman - 1 Night in 1.001 Nights

22.02.2018 - Muscat

 

It's a great feeling to be back in a familiar place. So when i landed in Muscat, I was very happy that I knew already where to go and what to do. First I had to immigrate again and to pay another visa fee. Just today I already departed Laos, had to fly into Bangkok and to immigrate and leave Thailand to be able to take the flight to Oman.  But luckily in Bangkok everything went smooth, I got my language on time. Luckily I didn't had to pay a visa fee there so I could just leave the country after not even 2 hours again. Funny business :-) 

 

Back to the airport in Muscat: Luckily the airport wasn't crowed as last time. I headed to the hotel where I quickly dropped my bags before leaving for dinner. I got lucky again and found a small local fish restaurant. 

 

The next day I woke up early to catch another sunrise but this time I wasn't lucky as there were some clouds covering the sun. 

 

 

Heading to the old part of the city before I had to be back at the airport for my flight to Italy. Waking up early was perfect to be able to see some of Muscat. It was a very welcoming chance of scenery, food, people and weather after almost three weeks in South East Asia. I enjoyed it very much and I got myself even a silk scarf at the local souk. 

Irene going towards the old souk in Muscat, Oman
Irene going towards the old souk in Muscat, Oman
Inside the old souk in Muscat, Oman
Inside the old souk in Muscat, Oman
Dates, dates and more dates at the old souk in Muscat, Oman
Dates, dates and more dates at the old souk in Muscat, Oman


Quote of Mel Robbins

I want to quote Mel Robbins here today, which I find very very much interesting and inspiring. I hope you like it too and click here to check out her own site. 

"It’s tempting to let the wrong numbers interfere with your decisions. 
Numbers like...Your age. Years of experience. Your income. Your GPA or scores on your college boards. Those numbers limit your thinking. Instead, think of the number ONE. You have just ONE life. There will only be ONE you. And, all you have to make in this moment is ONE decision. There will always be a reason not to do something. The secret is finding reasons to trust yourself and do it. The number ONE will give you a little courage to live your life on your terms. What should you study? Whatever makes you happy. What should you do for a living? Whatever interests you. Who should you love? Anyone you want to."


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