philsquest

the adventure I find myself in / das Abenteuer in dem ich mich finde

Category: on the road

Monkey business

Today I went up to Prao. This is a town about an hour and a half North of Chiang Mai. Actually it is a whole Ampoe, or district hidden behind mountains. Driving from Chiang Mai I pass Mae Jo and then later drive over some hills that leads to Prao. It is mainly a farming district and has also some ethnic minority groups in the Northern mountain ranges. I go up there to see how the boarding home is doing and to bring them their monthly support. This time I also brought them some money for the Christmas dinner. Unfortunately I won’t be able to go to their big event. I will be up in the mountains around Fang at that time
This morning when I passed the hills I went into a long curve and in the distant I saw some animals crossing the street. My first thought was cats. But they all had the same color and there were so many. As I got closer I saw that about 30 monkeys wanted to cross the street. As fast as they came out of the jungle, they vanished on the other side.
On the road in Thailand I came across herds of water buffaloes, elephants and of course cats and dogs, but I have never seen a group of monkeys cross the road. So still after all this years driving the roads I get surprises.

Legoland

"Have I shrunk in the kids play room?" No we made the trip to the Legoland in Germany near Ulm. We were visiting friends in Stuttgart the day before.
As a child it was my dream to go to Legoland. It took twenty years to finally see this dream fulfilled. Even better I could fulfill it for my three children as well. We all had the day of our lives, going on rides and looking at all the cool stuff they build from Lego. It definitely was the high of the week.

Legoland_train

Laupen

We are in Switzerland for a week now. It is just beautyful here. The air is so clean and the landscape is like a piece of art. The other day we went to Laupen. A little town half an hour from Berne. My father grew up there and I used to visit my Grandparents when I was till they passed away when I was ten.
We also got married in the little town (the civil wedding). Here are some pictures I took on our trip:

P1010011_2

P1010012

"Schloss Laupen" the castle of Laupen, where they once held off an invasion.

P1010038

P1010017_1

This used to be my grand parents house. I used to visit and stay in the top room with direct view of the castle. I would draw the castle for hours. The house is renovated and painted very nice. Back then it was realy old and run down. There was no proper toilet and only one shower for the entire house. Heating was done with wood and there were those heavy ovens in every room.

P1010018_2

This is house is on the opposite site. There we got married 14 years ago for the civil wedding. There is a small room behind those windows where we sat and said yes to each other. Two days later we then got married in church. It seems like Yesterday…. except that we are here with three children running up to the castle.

Back in Chiang Mai

I came back from Laos last Sunday. I can’t believe that another week has past. We were so busy with moving and painting the new office that I didn’t get to write on the blog.
Yes we moved from a room 2×3 meters to a little two story townhouse. Thomas has his own office for the media production. It was hard to fit the guitar and another person in the old office. Now there is enough room for small productions.
We have now room to actually invite people to our office for a coffee. There is still some work to do. We painted the two big rooms and the bathroom. The smallest room and the the staircase have to be painted as well.

Luang Pabang

We arrived in Luang Prabang after a six hour bus ride over uncounted mountains. We passed many hill tribe villages and soldiers with their AK 47’s. David told me that some Swiss got shot on his bicycle a view years ago by Rebels. Very comforting. My mind went into imagining mode. I see ourselves being held at gunpoint by some kidnappers taking me for ransom. After a year in the jungle surviving on insects and Mekong water I would miraculously escape to Thailand where I would then write a biography on my amazing experience and the revival breaking out among the Mong tribe. I put the thoughts aside as absurd and wonder why I’m so hot. Then I realize I’m riding in an air con bus without the air con. I mean it was there but not functioning. I don’t know if I’m getting too old for this. I opened the window an the less hot air blows into my face while I’m listening to Jack Johnson on my ishuffle. Six hours is a long time and there is time to think, kind of sleep, listening to music. Talking is hard because of the noise. Reading is really hard without getting sick. Too many curves on that road. I jocked with David that the Swiss would have built tunnels through the mountains. We just went over them. We could look back and still see the road where we went 10 minutes ago. Winding our way a sudden surge of happiness came to may heart. One of those feelings that make you jump up and down. I’m very self-controlled so I only let my heart jump and raise my pulse a bit. I was just suddenly so happy about God loving me and me being part of him. I felt fulfilled, privileged and happy.

I wish Lillian could have been there with me. I imagined us traveling from Thailand over Laos to Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Burma back to Chiang Mai. Of course without the kids, taking about three month, staying at the places we feel most interesting or relaxing. Luang Prabang would be one of these places. It is definitely one of the prettiest towns I have seen in SEAsia. It is build on a peninsula. On one side is the Mekong an on the other side another river. It is build on a hill, just like Bern in Switzerland. The Government preserved the small town character. The buildings are small an cute. Many coffee shops to go to(I love it) There is no traffic compared to Thailand. The main roads are connected by little pathways all one with red bricks. A great place to relax and just be. I could fall in love with the place.

Tomorrow we are going to fly back to Chiang Mai. I miss my family. Still have a view presence to shop.

Tubing in Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is crowded with back packers. There are a view things you
can do. Like kayaking, river rafting climbing and trekking. The most
cherished for the travelers seems to be tubing. With a tractor tube
they are dropped of five kilometers up river. The tubers the jump into
the water and float down for four hours minimum. At the river bank are
bars with loud western music and "catcher" shouting: "come, beer Lao". They throw a bamboo pole on a string towards the tubers and they let themselves be pulled in for another beer Lao. A lot of the tubers are more or less drunk when they arrive back in Vang Vieng. It was rather bizarre to see hundreds of Westerners coming down the rivers on tubes with beers in their hands in the middle of the Lao mountains.

Vang Vieng

We arrived in Vang Vieng after four hours. The bus ride from Vientiane was alright. Even the air con worked.
The county looks quite poor, but clean. There are barely any beggars. Very similar to Thailand except less developed.
The bus drove into the yard of a guest hose in Vang Vieng and I thought this is pretty strange. We then had to walk through the guest house into the street behind where the back packer mecca unfolds. There are many guesthouses and restaurants. We walked down the road it was already dark and the places were filled with young travelers watching "Friends" on TV while eating. Two restaurants showed one episode after the other. Another restaurant showed the Simpson’s. It was kind of strange and amusing. We found a guesthouse and settled in before we went for some delicious Indian food and my first Lao beer.
The next day we went climbing. We rented some gear and got two guides with us. The morning we spent in a cave climbing the walls. It was a beautiful spot. After lunch we went to another wall and climbed several routes up to 6b+.
Today we catch the bus to Luang Prabang. Another six hour drive. Our trip is soon coming to an end.

Vientienne

Yesterday I and David (a friend from Switzerland) arrived in Vientiane Laos. We got picked up by mark who works here. Laos is in big contrast to Thailand and reminds me a lot of Cambodia. At least when I was there in 1992. Vientiane is the Capitol of Laos. We flew over the rice fields touching down at the airport that seemed to be quite big. There was only one other airplane at the airport and some military machines.
Mark brought us to the halfway house where they have eight young people getting off drugs and being discipled. At the moment Sukhit and his family is here with a team from the Vineard in Bangkok , teaching and ministering to the small group of believers. We spent the evening with Mark and his family. We had a great time. They doing a great job here in Laos.
This morning we went into town to get a real croissant and coffee. I love the french flair here. There are coffee shops all over the place. The bakeries are just so much better then in Thailand.
The other thing is having police sitting at every corner reminds me that we are in a communist country. Even though there are so many backpackers and there are all the western goods and shops the one wouldn’t expect.
Today we will take the three hour bus ride up to Vang Vieng. Looking forward to that  place.

© 2017 philsquest

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑