When we were young and free

Had the sudden desire to reminisce about my first backpacking trip in Laos after bumping into one of my friends who went to Laos with me. Just saw PY yesterday and it was the first time the three of us saw each other again since our trip six years ago. Gosh! Still pretty much the same. The three of us were still laughing over the classic hilarious moments of our trips. It’s amazing how we could still remember those ten days when we were most rugged and adventurous.

How I miss that trip. A very significant turning point of my life. A trip that made me love travelling and yearn to travel to other parts of the world. To explore the world out there and get to meet other people of different culture. I vividly remember myself getting excited after hearing their travel plans and spontaneously telling them that I did not mind backpacking with them just about three weeks before the actual trip! A decision that surprised others as I did not even know PY very well before this trip. However, this last minute decision was one that I did not regret at all even though I was more of a follower for this trip. The two of them gamely planned everything and all they needed to do was to order an extra air ticket for me. πŸ˜€

Loved the way how we didn’t bother to look for accommodation before the trip and confidently searched for local budget accommodation only upon arrival. We actually love the small cosy guesthouse with Hello Kitty bedsheets we found in Laos. Not forgetting the other dark shaky “bungalow” on stilts with only a simple queen size wooden bed and a candle in Don Det that only cost us US$1 per night. How I love to wake up early and lay on the hammock all day while watching the sunrise in Don Det. Kayaking to find dolphins out in the Mekong, tubing slowly, eating a fresh fish from the night market everyday… the list of interesting things we did goes on and on.

As much as I love to share about my lovely experience in Europe, I think I would love to slowly share my experiences in Laos when it was less commercialised and touristy back then. Ten days from Kratie in Cambodia to Don Det, then to Vientienne, followed by Luang Prabang and last but not least to Bangkok. Rather than to squeeze everything in a blog entry, I shall take my time to describe my experiences while I can still can vividly remember the stuff. Starting from next weekend then. I’m trying very hard to commit to blooging at least once a week. πŸ˜‰

Cheers to the start of another week. 3 more weeks to the March holidays!

Not just any tower

Had been dreaming to go to visit this landmark one day ever since I was awestruck by my schoolmate, M’s boyfriend’s romantic proposal at this place ,which was shown on video years ago. Finally, my lovely dream was fulfilled in December 2010.

On the way to the Eiffel Tower. A beautiful walk down the streets of Paris where I walked slower than usual just to admire the lovely surroundings around me.

My first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. I can still recall the sheer excitement within me upon recognising the majestic tower that was slowly appearing clearly before me. Wow! πŸ˜€

A close up photo of the famous Eiffel Tower standing proudly in Paris for the past 122 years.

We had to buy tickets to take the lift up the tower and to our horror, the queue was extremely long. It didn’t help when it was freezing cold. The wind was extremely strong. We were shivering in the cold and fervently hoping that we could get the tickets quickly. Even buying some hot drinks and food from the nearby stall didn’t help at all. I think we queued for an hour or more. Meanwhile, the only thing that made us laugh were the police suddenly coming to chase away the large group of people who gathered at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower selling the souvenirs and how quickly they all dispersed to hide from the police. Actually there were already some sellers along the streets who were eagerly selling their souvenirs to the tourists even before we had reached Eiffel Tower. Β Within minutes, they happily returned and began their illegal business all over again.

Up, up and up we went! So lucky to stand at the side of the elevator where we could admire the city as the lift ascended. The Eiffel Tower is about 81 storeys high and thank goodness they build an elevator to bring us to the second and third level of the tower. Yay!

At the second level of the Eiffel Tower. Behold the gorgeous view of the city below us. πŸ™‚

Another view of the city at the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower. Think that's the Seine River if I'm not wrong.

Ready to go all the way up to the 3rd level. Had to squeeze into the crowded elevator again.

Finally at the 3rd level of the Eiffel Tower. You can see the lovely Jardins du Trocadero and Palais de Chaillot.

Love how the streets in Paris intersect nicely as shown in this photo from the top. Brrrr. It got so cold as the net hardly sheltered us from the strong wind that we had no choice but to walk one round and quickly admire the panoramic view of Paris before going down again. Very memorable visit indeed.

The cruise along River Seine that we didn't get the chance to take.

Just as we thought we would say goodbye to the Eiffel Tower and move on to another place to have our lunch...

Love's all around in Paris. A romantic place indeed.

For those who have a dilemma deciding whether to visit the Eiffel Tower in the day or night, I would suggest going there around noon and then going for lunch in one of the nearby restaurants after the visit. As the day was short and passed by very quickly during winter, we walked around after lunch and to our surprise, we actually got to see the Eiffel Tower in the evening again. How mesmerising!

Eiffel Tower in the evening. We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw it. How lucky! πŸ˜€

There you see it up close. The Eiffel Tower shining and exuding its alluring charm in the evening. Lovely!