Asia trip Feb 2024

On our way to Laos we decided to spend a few days in Indonesia, on Gili Meno. The “Gili Islands” are north-east of Bali, 3+ hours by ferry or about the same via a short hop-flight to Lombok and 1.5 hour drive + speedboat. We took the 2nd option and were delivered to the beach outside our hotel.

All three of the Gilis have different characteristics, from the party-island to the quiet island. We of course choose the quiet option. It was the end of the rainy season but apart from some rain a couple of hours on our 1st day, it was basically hot and dry the whole trip.

The snorkeling off the beach at our hotel was not exciting, except for the fact that area is a turtle area and Andrew saw a massive turtle there. To get to the good stuff we walked each day around to the beaches facing Gili T and there was much better underwater life and lots of turtles. And also plenty of boats dropping waves snorkeling of snorkeling tourists off to see the turtles.

The Gilis are also car-free islands, so the heavy lifting was done via horse carts and electric scooters. And while our hotel had a restaurant, we ended up eating at the beach bar a few minutes walk away every evening.

From Indonesia we overnighted in Kuala Lumpur before flying through to Vientiane. It was good to be back.

This trip we visited the new area my company is working in. Boualapha district, in Kammuan province is a long way from anywhere. The roads are the most basic I have seen in Laos and I have seen some roads over the years! There was so much dust, scoured out roads and so so so many mining trucks. I couldn’t help be impressed by my colleague’s ability to drive in those challenging conditions.

We took a small detour to visit the nearby Xe Bang Fai caves. They are one of the biggest cave systems in the world. We didn’t have time to go inside, as there was hours of driving to complete, but the size from the outside was amazing, the national forest beautiful and it is always pleasing to see water buffalo relaxing in water.

From Vientiane, it was down to Bangkok for a couple of night, before finishing off in Saigon for another couple of nights. As usual the Vietnamese food was a highlight. Andrew even folded himself up onto the small stools to partake in some particularly good spring rolls.

And THE hat, made a regular reappearance. Yes it was just worn plonked on top of the head – just like this.

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