27 November 2010 - 2 February 2011

After months of deserts, sandstorms, snow and eating dog we finally arrived in the tropical paradise of Southeast Asia. Hello to fruitshakes and hammocks! Our road took us through the massive mountains of Vietnam, through the plains of Laos, along the mighty Mekong river of Cambodia, and into the crazy streets of Bangkok. Bangkok? Yes BANGKOK! We made it! And how?

In extreme luxury...
In Vietnam we met up with Anouk's father Fred who cycled with us for three weeks. It was an era of previously unknown luxury: daily showers and flea-free beds. However, after too many hotel nights we started to miss the local mothers, so we ordered Fred to hide in the bushes, while we practised our usual tactic of looking like two helpless girls in need of a mother. A mountain tribe family invited us in, we whistled, and like a jack in a box Fred jumped out of the bushes and into the house. After a tasty chicken was slaughtered in honour of our visit and a whole group of schoolkids came to stare at us, we went off to bed. Just as Fred is falling asleep in the flea-infested double bed the father of the family crawls into bed next to him and starts making a wall of blankets between himself and Fred. You never know with these funny white men…

In extreme evil…
Laos is an extremely evil country. A kind looking mother invited us to sleep in her home, but when it got dark evilness took over. All of a sudden the woman demanded a ridiculous amount of money. She had cleverly waited with her claim till we had bought food for the whole family. It was too late to leave and find a new place to sleep, so we accepted the defeat and paid. Worst of all the money didn’t go to the children. The mother handed it over to the men who immediately ran off to the local bar...

To soften the blow we had received from the treacherous mother we spent a week chilling on a beautiful island in the Mekong River. Just as we started to believe that Laos wasn't so evil after all, a vicious dirt road threw Anouk's cell phone out of her front bag, and a malicious Laotian truck drove over it. Thankfully there was only 10 km left to the Cambodian border. 

In extreme cheapness… 
To recover from the financial loss in Laos, we had no choice but to live as cheaply as possible. In Cambodia we mainly ate rice with bananas and to avoid buying clean drinking water we filled up all our bottles in hospitals and police stations. We washed ourselves and our clothes in the Mekong River and slept outside in bushes, in backyards, on the beach and in bars.

Not only did we sleep on the Cambodian beach, but we also made friends there! Needless to say our cheapness rubbed off on them. On New Years Eve our friend Hans was treated to a luxurious buffet dinner and he made a clever plan. In the chique restaurant he secretly dropped lobster, fish and pastries off his plate into tupperware containers in his lap. On his return he proudly surprised us with the stolen dinner. Yay! For once no rice and bananas! With our bottle of $0,50 Mekong Whisky our New Years feast was complete.

In extreme hitchhiking…
Ok we admit it. In Thailand we hitchhiked more than that we cycled. Actually, we hitchhiked a LOT more than that we cycled, but we still had so many important things to do! Our bicycles enjoyed their well-deserved rest on the back of pick-up trucks and we went scuba diving in tropical oceans, dancing at hippy festivals in the mountains, eating coconut ice-cream, having karaoke parties with locals, lying in hammocks and of course drinking fruit shakes. 

Before we knew it we were standing at Bangkok airport, with only Anouk´s bicycle packed in a box. Arianne was staying, the moment of separation was intense. A crazy and beautiful adventure has come to an end. Thanks everybody for following our stories and for all your sweet messages. Stay tuned for our next cycling trip!