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Sunday 4 May 2003
Luang Prabang, Laos

Biking Luang Prabang

Tried to rent a motorbike today but a new law announced by the government (in Luang Prabang anyway) means that falang are no longer allowed to rent motorbikes because of the number of accidents. IDIOTS!!! Grrrrrr!!!

Instead I was stuck with renting a bicycle for a dollar, which sort of ruined my plans to tour Luang Prabang extensively on two-wheels. I *DID* attempt the 35 km cycle to the waterfalls but gave up after 6km since the heat was unbearable!

Most of today was spent in the streets of Luang Prabang, taking photos of shiny old temples and chatting to various monks! I also met a load of people today that I had encountered at various stages of my travels. I must have met about 6 people... all on the same street and all within 1 hour. The couple from Vietnam, the guys I was with on the 28 hour bus journey from Hanoi, and a few people from Don Det in Laos!... Heading out tonight to meet up with a few of em.

Tommorrow Im going to be checking out some caves and hopefully will get a chance to visit the waterfalls (the two main things to do in Luang Prabang!)

One other thing... the bruises on my back (from the massage in Vientiane) are still quite prevalent... they resemble circular love-bites with a 2-inch diameter... reckon I is gonna have to wear a t-shirt at the waterfall tommorrow!

later...

Went out later this night and bought a tribal shirt in the market from a little 7 year old who was "holding the fort". The kid asked for 5 dollars, but I (not really being serious) offered 2. After a few mins the kid finally gave in and offered me the shirt for 2 dollars so I decided to try it on. Blimey it looked cool, well worth 5 dollars. I still paid only 2 dollars, but can imagine the beating the kid would have gotten when his parents found out the price he had let the shirt go for!

Walked out the shop chatting away to a girl from Singapore when suddenly I was stopped by a guy asking if I was Irish. As soon as I saw his face I knew Id seen him before? In DCU? No. In a band? No. In Castleknock? Yes! Aye that was it: His name was Fergus, hes a friend of Andys (the guy who sang in my band and went on to join the Irish boyband "6") and Id met him a few times before in days gone by! MAD COINCIDENCE NON?

I soon found out that Fergus was in Laos because he was forced to take a "holiday" from his English-teaching job in Beijing on account of the SARS outbreak...

So, me, the guys from Don Det and Vietnam, and this lad from Castleknock all went out for cheap Indian food and beers till the sun rose later the next morning...

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