Monday, November 20, 2017

Luang Prabang via Bangkoochie

Mekong Charm Hotel

All of our flights have connections thru Don Maung International Airport in Bangkok. It’s beginning to feel like a home away from home. Don Maung is the home of the famous “pop-top coconuts.”
Groovy Nightspots abound
We must spend the night in Bangkoochie to connect to Luang Prabang, Laos. We could have had a 5- hour layover, but neither one of us was up for it. Monkey Man found us an inexpensive room for the night at Guesthouse 23 (20 Sukhumvit 23 Road Klongtoey Nue Wattana Bangkok 10110, Thailand) located in the notorious Sukhumvit area of Bangkok. I call it notorious; the web will list it as the center of shopping, nightclubs, fancy hotels and apartments. Traffic is horrendous in Sukhumvit. it’s crowded and loud and I don’t recommend it, but Guesthouse 23 was an oasis; with a bathroom located across the hall from our room and Soi Cowboy just down the street.
Obama drinks coconuts-you drink coconuts
Soi Cowboy is a short street full of clubs that feature “go-go girls” and “ladyboys”. As a result, on Soi 23 (where the guesthouse is located) one must be careful when choosing a massage establishment. We quickly decided not to trust the massage places where the workers wore 6-inch spiked heels and miniskirts. Maybe trust is not the right word: we decided we didn’t want that kind of massage. At least I didn’t and Harvey decided to be a good boy.

Not a Soi Cowboy
Leaving the next day, we ran into a Chinese traveler who had ridden his bike from Paris to Bangkok and was on his way to Malaysia. We didn’t have much time to talk to him and are still wondering what route he took.

Spicy on the streets
Traveling thru Don Maung Airport again, we made it to Laos as dusk. While waiting in the Visa line, we struck up a friendship with Mike and Cassandra, travelers from Brevard, NC, who had just come from Bali. The taxi was a shared taxi and we met a father/daughter combo, who were traveling for a month together before she started her job, back home in Germany. We were the last to be dropped off. Our poor, poor driver was new, and could not find our hotel.  As we had used Agoda for booking and we had no sim card for internet, there was no number to call and contact the hotel for directions. We got a free tour of the town (mostly the waterfront.) In the end, found the lovely Mekong Charm Hotel. Both Monkey Man, myself and without a doubt the driver, were happy to find the place.
Bitey the hotel puppy. He's in Vietnam now.

On the Mekong River

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