Thursday, March 26, 2009

那么大一个太阳


Location: Luang Prabang, Laos

失策

26/03/09

昨天从丽江过来时忘了提钱,结果香格里拉没有中国银行,只有中国银行有'Plus'的服务,显掉。

在想着应该回丽江取钱吗?我实在不喜欢丽江这个地方;还是回大理?似乎回头路走得太远了;或是到昆明?自己对昆明实在兴致缺缺;最后决定了或许应该到四川取钱。但如果是到四川的话,我剩下的1200元就得用得非常谨慎了。

首先我想到飞来寺看梅里雪山,然后徒步雨崩。从雨崩回到香格里拉后再到四川的路上,还想停在乡城,稻城,理塘,雅江,康定,还想买件保暖内衣。我的妈,真的不晓得够不够资金抵达四川!怪就怪自己太过善忘,千吩咐万吩咐自己记得提款了,最后还是忘记,失策。

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

测验

24/03/09

今天租了自行车跑到白沙束河去。白沙是纳西文化的发源地,后传到束河及丽江。目前的白沙只剩一条小街,有个白沙画壁,听说就和敦煌的画壁同出一策。我把自行车寄放在白沙的一间餐厅,沿着白沙镇小路走到最后,朝玉龙雪山走去。没想到玉龙雪山,倒是想到雪山底下那座从远处看来悠远庄严的村庄。

我路过一大片湿地,两个牧羊的妇女躺在草地上放牛,闲得不得了。牧羊狗看着我在吠,我悄悄的绕过他们,登山鞋踩进湿地里,立刻被沾湿。我在湿地上朝着村庄走,没看见有路,脚步在地上踩出或深或浅的印迹。看着远处的山庄,不停在转,绕过一个小湖,绕过几片地,村庄就像海市蜃楼,一直在那边,距离却和一个小时前的没有差别。

下午两点钟,我打消了到村庄吃午餐的念头往回走。回的路上到束河转了一圈。束河像小丽江一样,还是比丽江有气度了许多,小桥流水,悠悠闲闲的,美得不得了。

今天的行程是我给自己的测验,测验自己是不是可以往香格里拉去了,看来肚子医好后一切都没问题了。昨天从早到晚拉了一整天,软啪啪躺在床上起不来,后来客栈老板给我吃了药,简直是神药,一吃就好,但吃药的时候已经太阳西下了,冤枉的痛了一整天。

虎跳峡是不去了,没有为什么,一路上都没有不可不做的事情,但梅里雨崩却还是想去的,香格里拉过后吧。有期待。

无言的湄公河

每逢三到六月,郎布拉邦的湄公河宽度缩减三分之二,将大部份河床暴露在阳光下,周围农闲的农民三五成群携小带老到湄公河床挖掘鹅卵石,那天我正好路过。








Refer to Another in Luang Prabang

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

日夜丽江

22/03/09 Day 230 Week 33

昨天下午抵达丽江。丽江古城是个漂亮的地方,窄窄的巷子矮矮的楼房,小溪流过这巷那巷,溪里有鱼儿,小桥流水,游客和游客肩并肩接踵着走。

晚上的丽江变成另一个样子,大红灯笼,人潮汹涌,彷佛大伙都在赶集。整个四方街附近闹哄哄的,小桥流水旁的店面易装成了酒巴迪士哥,间间门口站着穿着民族服装的姑娘,各个被冷风冻得脸青青手指发抖。店里传出的音响震耳欲聋,我站在一家叫做青鸟的民歌餐厅楼下,心才在想歌手的民歌唱得挺好,隔壁就传来了另一支歌,此起彼落,耳根不能清静。

走过两排灯红酒绿,在城门外听见悠然歌声,抬头一看是间叫做渔人码头的民歌餐厅,曲目都是我们逝去的情怀。我于是坐在楼下的休闲凳子上听歌,一首一首,童年,lemon tree,当爱已成往事,时光的故事,。。直到夜深。

丽江也好,是个可以轻松几天的地方,只是气度不比大理,座位不比大理,大理座依洱海苍山,原本就是幅风水地。如果丽江比大理好,那就只有一个原因,游者是皆伴来的。丽江是个有朋友就能尽兴的地方,和朋友一起喝酒吃肉的地方。一个人的丽江孤单膨涨,我连走路都有困难。

Saturday, March 21, 2009

白忙

21/03/09

昨晚做了个梦,于是决定今早不上苍山,也不到云龙,就直接到丽江了。

我要去美国,我妈给我买了张车票。
我是个最后一分钟的人,最后一分钟匆匆忙忙将之前借了人的东西退还。因为是最后一分钟,自己没有时间亲自去办,还交代弟弟代办。
我急急地去到了车站,才发现有一属于一个好朋友的墨镜放在家里忘了退还。因为是好朋友,我打电话回家要母亲打电话到车站要巴士等我五分钟,我回家还东西。
那巴士是八点钟的。

我打了摩多德士回家还了墨镜再返回车站,来回车程四百块,心痛但没办法。
回到车站时已经是八点十分,我急急地走向柜抬寻问车已经发了吗,柜抬那个男人说还早呢,才没几个人,车是八点三十分的。

我呆在那里,醒了过来。

Friday, March 20, 2009

背后的故事

在元江的宾馆看了谢霆锋背后的故事,要是你是女的,无法不爱上他。




大理人的大理

20/03/09 Day228 Week33

早上七点之前的大理是大理人的大理。今天起得早,走在大理古城的路上,没有旅人。大理古城街上的缅玉店,普洱电,手饰店,银器店,染布店,水果档,花档,超市,反正是所有街上两旁的店都大门深锁。突然,有扇小门打开了,我道是早上是时候开店了,看见门内窜出一个小脑袋,然后接二连三的这扇那扇门都纷纷有高矮不一的小脑袋打开店门后又关上,街上都是走路上学的学生!

我疾步往西边的苍山门走,在老挝时有个大理人告诉我八点前上苍山不要票,但要走小道。没敢名正言顺地问人小道在哪儿,半路看见一对老夫妇样子看似晨运,我于是尾随在后。那条路没有指示牌,如果不是跟着当地人,恐怕自己也不会走到那里,但怪就怪在没有指示牌的景点在入口处竟然还有收费站。八点零一分,我路过苍山收费站,负责人还没上班。

上山的是一条山坡上的小路,没有人明指还不会察觉,那对老夫妇没有上山的打算,只在入口处做做早操。我找来找去没看见上山的路,只看到前人的m墓陵和一条此路不通的死巷,唯有硬着头皮问路。路后来是知道了,但今天没上着苍山,因为老夫妇说要走上两个小时的路,我没吃早餐,也没带水,就决定明早再来。

回古城的路上一辆辆的旅游巴士往天龙八部城开去,那么早,我情愿爬爬山,散散步,喝喝咖啡,看看人,或躲在被里睡觉。

古城内的店铺都已开门营业了,那些兜售者又穿上了少数民族的服装开始一天的招徕,路上稀稀落落拿着领队旗子的导游,街上满是游客,照相照相,大理又还给了旅客。

Thursday, March 19, 2009

闲游

19/03/09 Day226 Week33

我在靠窗的吧台前写字,三友的附带餐厅在一年前已经收挡,吧台也只成了写字上网的地方。今天天气好,阳光普照,大理的天气预报是多云,7-17度。

还是闲着的一天,今早原想进城去照相,后来呆在院里吃面包喝咖啡,一个早上也就这样过去了。

同房的以色列人今早离开大理到丽江去,常住多人间就发现不管天气多冷,佬外总爱光着身子睡觉,我还穿着毛衣袜子手套,不然跟本睡不了。

这个下午要到城里去买伞,有个德国人要骑自行车到缅甸,听我说缅甸漂亮得不得了,开心到半死。那个说好一块儿去看帐蓬的女生后来又说不去了,所以下午也许会自个儿去看看。

一个天津来的游客问要不要一块儿骑自行车绕洱海,两天的行程。他问得太迟了,若他是昨天问也许我是去的,不过那路程看起来吸引,也许过几天会去也不一定。

午餐时间,三友有得免费上网,在网上的时间自然多了。冲凉吃饭去,之后还想步行到洱海,晃晃。

救命!!



地点:Luang Prabang的早市

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

起大风的晚上

18/03/09

1。昨晚闹肚子痛。昨天一早已经头痛,睡了整个下午,晚上早睡,半夜就闹肚子痛。心想该不会是高山反应吧,才两千米的海拔。

2。一直吃不定食,食物又过于油腻,于是昨晚跑了一趟超市。出发前给吴韦材大哥在网上发了封留言,他当然不认识我,我却很小就知道他了,我生平买的第一本书是庄灵子的另一种声音,第二本书就是吴韦材写的,书名好像叫泥土记,在网上也搜寻不到了。当时会买只是因为拥书的欲望和书的价格正成正比,而吴韦材大哥的形象会在我脑海里形成轮廓,自然是因为他的背包文字。几年前我们在小岛的书局有过一面之缘,我是读者,他是主角。那次留言他有回复,说一个人在外,最重要是吃得健康。昨日在超市我不停在想,怎么才叫吃得健康。离开超市时我手里多了面包,果酱,麦片,奶粉。听起来还可以吗?每天早上吃面包果酱当早餐,每个晚上喝麦片奶粉当晚餐,午餐随便外吃些什么,多吃水果。

4。除了饮食,这儿的天气也过于干燥,海拔高紫外线强,昨天还买了防晒霜什么的,好像第一次那么讲究,但当地的人都会告诉你:都是必要的。

5。昨晚同房的两个以色列人说他们没有付费就进了三塔崇圣寺,还给我指了方向。今天下午跑到三塔崇圣寺去,好不容易找到了他们说的方向,其实是三塔崇圣寺的出口,朝出口走去,却看见远处有个亭,亭外有公安。因为心虚又懂中文字,既使是看在一百二十一元的入门票上,也始终鼓不起勇气若无其事地走进去。倒是在游客服务处看了三塔的历史,里头各个建筑的意义,后来觉得进不进去也无所谓了,又慢慢地走了回古城。搞笑的是在介绍三塔的小册子上还写说三塔崇圣寺符合ISO9001-14001的标准,又何必?

6。更多时间,我只是坐在三友客栈里无所事事,看晴天变阴阴天变晴,看外头起风,还有冲热水澡,像温泉般温度的热水,在家要是这么冲法肯定要烫伤入院,可是在这儿就舒服无比。

7。脚跟的伤已逐渐痊愈,敷了一些抗裂的药,虽然离好还有一段距离,至少没之前那么疼了。

8。大理是个好地方。还会在这儿多呆几天,明天会跟客栈的一个姑娘去看帐篷,她要去新疆的沙漠,我去学学东西,也许自己也会买上一个。

9。回来的路上在市场买了八元一斤的芒果,走多两步,才发现草霉竟然两元一斤。

10。那些在大理城门外招徕游客穿上少数民族服装照相的人从早忙到晚,没有停过。太阳下山后,他们手中会多了盏桌灯。在旅店里工作的小妹也一样,从早忙到晚。

11。黄昏的苍山很美很美,中国有大江山河,要有多美就多美。

12。在起大风的晚上跑到大理古城的南门外吃芒果,手冻得动不了。也爽。

捐血

Luang Prabang的红十字会,三月七号,捐了一包350cc的血.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

抵达大理

17/03/09

今早抵达大理,昨日离开那诺时做的决定。那诺就在哀牢山上,整片整片广袤的梯田,前人维持了多久的锄地姿势,多少代的时光,终于将整大片哀牢山凿成了今日浩翰的惊叹声,惊叹声才从喉中出来,就咕噜一声沉进了心口,重得呼不出来。

大理是个好地方,我几乎是一到下关就感觉如此。从南到北,改变的除了地貌人情,还包括不同民族的建筑风俗,大理白族居多,古城内外风景非常美丽,有些花都开了,这么漂亮的景色看起来就像是假的,还以为只有在电影内才看得见。

会在这儿多晃几天,等脚跟的裂伤好了再走。脚跟因为天气干燥而裂开,之前一直在走,疼得不得了,这回要呆下休息几天再说。

再说。

Don Det的早晨



老外就为了这个在这小岛上住了一天又一天.天堂.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Champasak的风光

大家都为了占巴萨的Vat Phou而来,而Vat Phou又确实有他的风景明媚.






1.Vat Phou的壮观
2.信徒的奉献
3.吴哥或更早年代的寺庙
4.山顶下的景色壮阔
5.走一条深深的入口

Friday, March 13, 2009

左右两难

13/03/09

在中国背包让人左右两难举棋不定,这几天一直在为下一站烦,原本想到孟连去看傣族古镇,但孟连在西边,而我一路往北,不顺路;后来想到景东的哀劳山去,景东离景洪远着呢,于是决定在元江停上一停,元江挨着哀劳山的西边,听说也有元阳似的梯田,到元阳是太远了,就到元江再说吧.

这样的踌躇,让游走失去了许多乐趣,失去了自然,也少了逍遥的味道,要学会庄子的一成功力,恐怕要先白了半边头,

也图劳无功.

今天一整天还是在景洪镇上晃悠,景洪市几乎每条马路都在铺上新的洋灰泥土,为当地人制造了不少工作机会,不晓得是不是政府振兴经济的计划之一;也因为如此,城市总是笼罩在一片灰黄的尘沙之中.我从这条街走过去,从那条街晃过来,在南北之间的两个客远站间奔走,查班车出发的时间,问价钱,看人,无所事事.

还吃了1/3个波萝,才人民币一块钱,香甜多汁.

景洪没有什么让人惊喜的,美丽的西双版纳没有想像中那般美丽,却也没有催促人离开的理由,所以我住了三个晚上.

晚安.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

抵达西双版纳

12/03/09
Day 220 Week 32

已经在云南的西双版纳景洪市了,离开了赤道,白天夜里开始凉了起来.

抵达中国才一过边界,一切都和老挝不同,笔直的高速公路,四处播起的中文歌曲,不绝于耳的起车鸣笛声,四处有树.这里的空气比赤道上的大马来得干燥,空气中总有一层薄雾,应该是污染过重.

版纳是好地方,从老挝来的车上当地人都这么说.地方是不错,只是每个景点都需要付上昂贵的入门费,所以这两天来我也只在城里晃悠,到书局买了本中国地图和于丹的庄子,付四十元人民币到花卉公园,我是不舍得的.倒是花了一些时间在外围找看有哪个入口忘了围起来或者可以钻进去.没有.

明天会到孟连县的娜允镇去,是中国最后一座傣族古镇,有整七百多年历史,虽说如此,并不出名.不出名的地方才不要入门票,我是希望如此.那本昨天买的中国地图上的地名给我无限想像的空间,像之后要去的哀劳山,只听名字都已经让人心痛.

旅舍的服务员问,你没有带本孤独星球,老外都带?我笑笑说没有.昨晚恰好遇见个老外要离开云南到老挝去,他有本西南部的中国孤独星球,随口说今天用完可以留下给我,是真是假今晚才会揭晓.那本书是正本,买的时候肯定不便宜,他说后反悔并不是不可能的事.

午餐时间到,这几天吃不定时,要注易注易,身体不好进高原可不是闹着玩的事,所以我应该吃饭了,再续.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another day in Luang Prabang

09/03/09

Another day in Luang Prabang, surprisingly.

Woke up early this morning to witness the spectacular alm giving ceremony holds every morning in Luang Prabang town center, had my breakfast and waiting for time to go to bus station, supposed to go to Udomxai today. Before the departure, met an old Chinese couple who told me there is a direct bus from Luang Prabang to Mengla (small town further up China border), it departs at 7am everyday, and that time was already 10am, so it makes another day in Luang Prabang.

Since this morning alm giving ceremony gave me some thoughts, most of the people giving are foreigners and there must be some new choices of food offer to the monks with the increased of tourist in the town, I wonder if the monk will look forward to whatever given to them. I wish there is monk chat in town where I can find out more on how tourism has affected monks' life. So I headed to Tourist Information Center to check out the details..

Well, not much the center can help but to direct me to some of the famous wats in town, they don't have a monk chat session but yes, you can chat with the monk if you want. So I headed back to my guesthouse, wanted to take a shower then go to Wat Xieng Thong at 2pm, the time where the monks are relaxing.

Passed Mekong River on my way back to the guesthouse, noticed that due to dry seaon, the river has shrinked 2/3 of its width, and there are some people working on the river bed far far away. Due to curiosity, I walked down the riverside.. and there is another world..

What else can it be other than a poor world, a contrast with the touristy Luang Prabang, and it is just within the town, if you ever look down to the shore. Families are digging stones from the river bed, old and young, a lorry of stone paid 200,000kips, around 20 dollar. Sometimes they dig 5 lorries of stones, the most 7 lorries, the amount they get needs to be divided among 10-20 families. I saw a girl filtering the sand out from the stones, so young, her mother told me she is 5 years old. This 25 years old mum has 8 children, the eldest is 12, so she must have been a mum since she was 13.

These people welcome camera, shy, friendly, and happy. But they have no money. I ended up spent the whole afternoon there, so this is why I have to stay for another day. No monk chat today.

***********************

Walking on the night market (again), I overheard some gong music from a building. Followed the music and ended up in a Laos traditional performance theatre. The show has started and the door keeper just let me in without ticket. It was an okie show, the dances performed are similar to Balinese Legong dance, I wonder if there are some interaction of culture in the history.

Was the first one to leave the hall when the show ended, there is a huge mirror there where the performers make up, it is the back door. I saw my face on the mirror, I stopped for a while, I smile to myself, myself smile back, I think I have lost weight, and I wonder what a pretty girl I am. I walked down the staircase and my new slipper slipped, I slipped down the staircase, pong pong pong pong!!

Alright, I stood up and check, nothing broken, I am fine :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Luang Prabang

06/03/09

Reached Luang Prabang this evening. Don't intend to visit this place but there is no direct bus from Phonsavan to Udomxay or Phongsali, so I need to stop-by this UNESCO Heritage Site again, and needless to say, it changed equally much as Vientiane or any other places in Laos.

Met a retired museum director later in the evening when I was having my dinner in the small alley, a knowledgeable person and we talked a little bit about the history and traveling. He is now taking care of a castle in France, together with his wife, very intersting (boring) job, but he has plenty of time to read and do whatever he likes.

So it ends up a meaningful day although the prices of guesthouses in Luang Prabang are so expensive (~7$ for a room), I nearly rent a tent with the same money I paid for a room at other places (3.5$), but the the lady is kind enough to make the room nearly 5$. But talking to someone who can share knowledge is always by chance, and if it happened, it is already considered a good day.

I am good, a bit lost but still doing okie. Bitten by mosquitoes/ bed bugs few days ago when I was in the dormitory in Vientiane, and the itchyness spread all over the body, I hope it will be okie in a day time.

Take care,
tham

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Don Det, the paradise

'It is paradise to me. In the morning, the sunrise penetrate through the Mekong river, just like it is walking on the river. It is so nice, like a paradise'
The switaerland girl staying in the same guesthouse as mine, in hut #4 told me this last night when we met on the dirt path connecting the whole island.

Paradise?!

Later of the day when we met again the girl asked me, aren't you like the sunrise this morning?

I smile, I think I will be in paradise if it is Switzerland instead of Don Det, I said.

No no, in Switzerland, you need to work.

*******

Don Det is another Pai to me. Readily setup for tourist, relaxed atmosphere, a few small attractions around, lots of guesthouses and restaurants, and hardly any local food stall; Pai is inside the hilly paddy fields, and Don Det is on Mekong river. But Don Det is worse because you need to pay 2 dollar for the less than 10 minutes boat trip to get out of the island; while local pay only 0.4 dollar.

People stay for months here (including a Malay guy from KL), but sorry, Don Det is too far to call it a paradise, at least to me.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Shocked

2 Mar 09
7:34pm

What the hell is going on? I whispered to myself.

It was only a stall selling papaya salad serving local students 5 years ago along Mekong river in Vientiane, you are free to sit wherever you want and enjoy the evening breeze, but..

Today, after having my dinner, I walked to Mekong, and shocked when saw the whole stretch of the river has turned into a long stretch of restaurants, like Boat Quay in Singapore! and they occupied the riverside :|
Similar to Boat Quay where everyone selling seafood, here everyone sells barbecue seafood, including chicken, and I only see foreigners.

It was so sad. Along the way people approached and greet 'Sabai dee...', before they continue I answer 'Sabai dee, I have eaten.' My goodness, what had happened?

Before that, when I had my dinner at the same grill chicken stall I ate years ago, I met a Laotian who has migrated to Australia. He asked, 'Do you like Laos?'I answered, I prefer Laos which I visited 5 years ago. He said,'Yea, it is getting busy isn't it, I came back last year and it is not yet that busy.'

'The restaurants along Mekong river started last year, but a Korean has bought over the whole stretch of land along the riverside, they planned to build shops and restaurant, standardized them, so these restaurants will soon gone', someone told me. It reminded me on the Singaporean who asked if I would like to invest to bought over the whole stretch of shops in Vang Vieng few years go, not sure how is he doing now.

The only thing remained the same is, I met a black guy from Nigeria, similar to 5 years ago and he wants to accompany me for a walk back my guesthouse, similar to 5 years ago. The only difference is I rejected him right on the spot this time rather than make an excuse half way back, which happened 5 years ago.

In a rush

2 Mar 09 Day210 Week30

Rushed to Vientiane.

Although it is sad to say, but Laos is no longer what it has stayed in my memory for years since my last visit. I rushed through Southern Laos (in specific Champasak and Don Det) in few days, everything is so organised and set, just nice to grab and go.

Laos is highly polluted by tourism, it has changed so much in the past few years, more tourist, or traveler if you want to call it, VIP buses, new migrants from China and Vietnam (so many of them nowadays), the increased entrance fee (Champasak Vat Phou was USD0.69 in my 2002 guidebook but I paid USD3.5 in Feb 09), people are no longer honest, etc etc...

Some one sitting next to me is talking using skype with his friend and saying Laos is damn damn cheap, but it is easily more expensive than Malaysia! A bowl of roadside noodle costs 10000-12000Kips, around RM5! (the portion is small) A trip from the bus terminal to town easily costs you 15000-20000Kips (RM6-8) on a squeezed sangtheaw (small truck with 2 benches behind).

The only thing that stays the same from my last visit is the dirt road, and the yellowish impression of the whole country..

The best is always in the memory, I want to go China.