BANGKOK seems completely bonkers: a sprawling confusion of towering high rise blocks and ominously low slung cables, overflowing roadside bars and clusters of street vendors, glittering temples and cris-crossing markets. Bustling and bewildering, chaotic and crazy, its smoggy humidity and non-stop buzz sapped my energy but left me wanting to explore more.
LAOS seems ridiculously lethargic: the drink and drug addled Vang Viene aside, Laos was relaxed to the max and the Laos people were so laid back they were horizontal - literally, given their penchant for Thai soap operas and hammocks. Bottom-bruising, horn-happy bus rides and unrelenting temperatures were alleviated by hammock-happy days that rolled into lazy evenings (curtailed by the strict 11pm curfew). Although we didn't get much refreshment from the steamy heat in the murky waters of the Mekong, the scattering of breathtaking waterfalls and surrounding jungles were an oasis amid the scorched earth.