Leaving Thailand was not without its own challenges. But first me let loose with a couple of insights gained during the long bus ride north.

The liberal use of straws could be a south east Asian epidemic or be just local to Thailand. Invariably you will gain a straw with any liquid purchase. In fact 7-11 operators are so used to dishing out straws I wager you could purchase a box of straws and get a free straw.

On the bus journey I watched a crazy DVD concert. Clash Army was the name of the group. The theater was formidable; think a well groomed Linkin park with even more makeup add 100% unintelligible lyrics and you are halfway there. One point during some of the more theatrical of the proceedings included a very showy love song where the lead singer shot his girl friend on stage. They were reunited in heaven but like all good murder stories she was unmasked as a corpse. Ozzy was never so bold.

It was at the Thai immigration check point we were declared Aliens. With some skill we had managed to overstay our visa in Thailand by two days. We were liberated from some of our currency and duly flagged as aliens. I was quite chuffed! I have been trying for years to assert my otherworldliness and now I have a receipt to prove it.

Laos has been a different world. At our first stop down the river I was met at the top of a very slippery slope by a gentleman who was hailed himself as Marco Polo. He was a very helpful chap but seemed quite pressing on his ability to fit me out with all manner of herbal remedies. I gracefully declined and he grew cold on me. Money on the other hand was a true gentleman. True to his name he let loose with a wise proverb “no money no honey”

Todays river ride was incredibly taxing but we are now settled for at least four days and will do some exploring of Luang Prabang.

Writing this after three days of non stop travel has been a herculean effort I might add but I hope your mondays are all the more better for reading it.