Thailand and also Laos seemed to have passed by quickly. We had a relaxing and uneventful time in Laos. It feels like there is not much to write about. We have spent our days cycling and adapting to the everchanging surroundings and situations.

Before following the Mekong river and crossing the hills on our way to Vietnam we had spent a couple of days in the Laotian capital Vientiane. Thank you very much, Jimmy, who was our Couchsurfing host there! Aside from us he also hosted a stranded couple from Russia and another one from France and Morocco. Together we spent a few laid-back evenings and it was nice to have a group of people to chat with and to share some good food. During the days we enjoyed the comforts which Vientiane offered. Especially baguettes and sandwiches were a highlight for us since it seemed to be ages ago since we last had European bread. What a pleasure!
Similar to most of our rest days of the bicycles there were many organisational things to do. We tried to find a spare tire for me (Juli) since after roughly 14,000km they started to show their age and I ripped the side on a curb for which we only could come up with a makeshift solution. Unfortunately it was rather difficult to find tires with a decent quality and we’ll have to try again in Bangkok. Alongside we applied for our Vietnamese visas and also had to invest a lot of time in trying to organize a US visa for me…

On the way we slowly notice the changing climate. To our surprise it stayed quite dry for a long time and even pleasantly cool at least in the evenings. However when we reached Thailand that changed and quickly it became rather unpleasant to camp because the temperatures would only rarely drop below 25° Celsius. In order to not sweat through the whole night we started sleeping in our mosquito net. One method is to put it inbetween our bicycles but we preferred to look for an open shelter. Both in Thailand and in Laos there are many of these at the edge or in the middle of fields and they are probably used by the farmers as protection from rain or the intense heat of the sun. Even though it felt slightly (or very) cheeky we always tried to occupy such a shelter for the night since after a long period of very dry weather we now had to anticipate rain every once in a while.

A true highlight of our short time in Laos was the Konglor cave. We decided to visit it since we both are more and more fascinated by caves and we were passing through the area anyways. We went into the dark cave with a boatman and his wooden boat and traversed the whole mountain. After a few metres the only source of light which remained were our torches which made the whole experience mysterious and it felt like an adventure. It added to that feeling that at one point we had to drag the boat across a boulder. Fortunately there were only few other tourists around and we enjoyed the peace.

In the meantime we have reached Vietnam and will need some time here as well to adapt to the new country around us…

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