This is a sort of travelogue, experiences and observations combined with random contemplations,
of a trip through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in Jan-March 2011. This blog is now closed.

How are we traveling?

We have been using various means of transport, during our travels. A summary (you have seen many of them already in the different posts).
Longhaul from Europe to Asia - and back, in a few days time - is by (1) plane, of course, and we also have flown some shorter legs.
The first 2/3rd of our travels was dominated by rivers, and we moved on the slow (2) large river barges, on the lower Mekong, and on (3) narrow and shallow river boats, further upstream and in the tributaries. The difference is that on the one it doesn’t matter if you move, on the other you need to watch your steps to avoid capsizing. Obviously, there was also a whole range in between these two extremes. Then there was the fast (4) hydrofoil, which we reluctantly boarded to get to Vietnam. In Cambodia we got into (5) a fishing boat that brought us to an offshore island. We also took (6) a motorized canoe, and on one of the narrower canals, we had (7) a sampan with rowing power. In Laos we got onto (8) a regular car ferry (see Champasak).

(photos) narrow boats in Luang Prabang, and the lady who single-handedly rowed us out of a jungle channel near My Tho.
Off the water, on land, we used (9) modern touring car busses, (10) regular intercity busses – the open window a/c variant -, and even a spotless clean (11) city bus (admittedly, so that I could include it in this list). You have read about (12) our minibus experience, once we had (13) a truck, and we got into (14) taxis and (15) private cars – rented or otherwise. In the category less than four wheels we used two types of (16) tuktuks, we got on the back of (17) a motorcycle, and we got into (18) a cyclo, a kind of bicycle rickshaw. We also got on to our (19) rented bicycles, again of variable design and quality (but all too small).
(photos) no further comment needed, the King of Bus.

(photos) we didn’t use an umbrella with our bicycle, mind you, and we also didn’t prepare as well as this team from China, doing long-distance cycling.
We recently added (20) the train to the list of means of transport. Of course the more eccentric types of transport included a train, too, (21) the bamboo train (see Batambang2), as well as (22) a horse-drawn cart and (23) an elevator – to get to the base of the waterfall, and back. Or do you think that is pushing it?
(photo) just to prove that we did get onto a horse-drawn cart, part of the tour, I am afraid. The elevator shaft you have seen in the post Dambri.

(The three types of transport that could easily have been added to the list, but weren’t, are a river speedboat – too dangerous, and too wet -, a cable car – judged poor value for money, or in plain English, too expensive – and an elephant ride – too colonial, even for our taste. We could also have had our picture taken on a horse, but didn’t.)