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Posts Tagged ‘Forest Retreat’

Botan Revisted – Things Have Changed

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 16, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

Today it was time to move, but it looks like the weather was going to thwart my attempt to leave this crab pot of a town 😦 There was no way I was riding down the road like the locals do!!

I met up with Chris again after breakfast and we had a chat for a while. I decided to make a decision at midday, the checkout time, and I was in luck, the rain cleared up a bit. I booked out of the hotel and decided to have lunch at the Manychan place across the road, very nice tucker here by the way and after lunch headed away. Finally after nearly 2 weeks in this town I have escaped, although it was a very relaxed and cheap place to wait out the bike dramas. My first port of call today was going to be a return to Boten, the north east China border town with the casino resort ghost town.

The ride up was OK but having been there before, it was the reason for the detour that counted. In this case I wanted to identify the food items in that display case inside the casino. As luck would have it the person who worked there was there and he let me in to take some more photos. 🙂 But, this frikkin camera does NOT have a ‘behind glass’ option in the settings, so they came out a bit crook, unhappy about that as the camera was trying to focus on the dust and marks in the glass. Anyway, I managed to identify the items, with the help of the chap working here 🙂

Whole Swallow Nest

Sliced Deer Antler

Whole Deer Antler

After that I was heading out when I noticed that the Palms Club had some gone through some changed since I was here last week. The front fascia which had all the lights falling off and hanging down had been cleaned up and a new banner placed over it, here are the before and after shots:

I also noticed that the front door was unchained and open, with nobody around even though I called out, so being a sticky beak, I went in for a Dorrie 😉 It turns out this section I was in was a restaurant and from the fish tanks in the kitchen area, a fish restaurant 🙂 There was a fish tank with goldfish in it in the main reception area which was very dirty and low on water, it needed a clean I reckon. Upstairs were rooms for rent, but I am unsure whether they are for overnight stay or ‘shorter’ periods of time 🙂

Just as I was leaving I noticed movement inside and there was a Chinese lady, dressed like a hotel worker and I tried to ask if it was opening, but we could not communicate, but she showed me crossed arms, like an X to show it was closed, so who knows what if anything is going to happen here.

Further down the road was the Boten Special Economic Zone main building, which was under construction(or renovation) last week, it was now decked out like it was having a grand opening 🙂

Well, it was time to leave as it was nearly 3pm. I did not have far to go, basically I was heading to a crossroad area and a town called Oudomxai. Between there and another crossroad toward Luang Prabang was supposed to be real rough and potholes with roadworks, so I decided to do this short section first and do the crap in the morning. With all the roadworks and construction happening around here in Boten, there was a whole lot of mud on the road, dragged on by the trucks which made it interesting to say the least! But after that it was just a matter of backtracking to the junction and then heading south east, it was only a short distance of 100km, but I had left myself 3 hours before dark to do it, which should be heaps.

These ladies were guarding their rice harvest, the bags have been brought up from the valley below, that must be hard work, she was smiling at me until she saw the camera, then turned around!

It was a very pleasant ride for the next few hours, not fast in any way because it was a very winding road, just how I like them but also there are villages every 5 minutes or so which means slowing down a bit. Also the scenery was great and as the sun had come out and the rain having stopped, the opportunities of taking photos increased.

It was just after 5pm when I arrived in town and it was a crap yucky place too 😦 The guest house I had lined up was full, so were the few other nice ones around. I tried a couple, all the while walking back and forth with all my clobber on, and eventually took a cheap room at the Vilavong Guets House, and yes that is how it is spelt 🙂 But my bike was hidden by that ute and the room was clean, so that is all I needed, and some WiFi of course 🙂

I found a place to have a beer and some fried chook and chips, but I had an early night as tomorrow I wanted to get away early.

Soakdee from Oudomxai

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