Tuesday, September 18, 2018

My Route through Thailand, Laos & Vietnam as of 16th Sept 2018

My Route through Thailand, Laos & Vietnam as of 16th Sept 2018

I have just crossed my old route in Vietnam when I was heading to Australia over a year ago!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

My world walk blog - Vietnam #8 - "Will you marry me?" 😂

My world walk blog - Vietnam #8 - "Will you marry me?" 😂

Will you marry me?" 😂
Hi everyone! Thanks for all of your lovely messages on reaching my 25,000th kilometre 😂 That happened when I reached km marker 34 on route QL 10.
Each one of your messages is special and much appreciated. I am so lucky to have so many loyal and great friends which I cherish from the bottom of my heart 💚😍❤
I also stopped at a dressmaker office to get some pockets sewn onto my walking shirt. The lovely woman there spoke some 'kinda English' Her vocab was from phrases she had learnt off or read from her notebook. "Are you married? And " Why not you are very handsome!" Lol 😂 "I have no husband" and " What about me? Will you marry me?" 😂
"No thank you, It's not on my agenda!"
Needless to say, a stitch in time so I grabbed my shirt and hot-footed it down the road!
Then she comes down five kilometres down the road on her motorbike and thankfully she had forgotten her notebook but managed to say: "Do you remember me?"
"Will I ever forget you!' Hopefully, I didn't leave a broken heart on Friday!
That day I walked 38 kilometres and finished at a lovely hotel in Uong Bj. I took a rest day yesterday and today Sunday to catch up on some projects that I'm working on. It's always nice to have a quality place to stay for rest days. Believe me, I have woken up in places where ants were crawling all over the room and not relishing my rest day. So for the sake of a few euro, it's always a good idea to check into a quality place when I take a break. This is all possible due to the kind sponsorship of my great friend Richard Donovan the race director of the North Pole marathon and other extreme races like seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, The Volcano Marathon, The Antarctic Ice marathon and 100 km, etc. Richard is the worlds most renown organiser of extreme races. So if you are looking for a challenging race or a lifetime experience please check out his events. 
Sorry for the lack of updates here. Sometimes I need to turn off Facebook and have a little 'Tony Time'
On Friday I was walking through a large town and a park ranger called Kien offered me tea at his office which was just ten kilometres up the road. So, I stopped and we had a nice chat. The previous day I bought a new lightweight high-viz vest and gave my old one to Kien as a keepsake. It just that bit too warm for here. Thanks to Mike Hamiora for that kind gift at a roadhouse (?which one Mike) in Australias Northern Territory. It served me well, but alas, just too warm 😂
A little later I went into a cafe and had lunch and the owner strongly resisted my payment. I was about 500 metres down the road and I realise that I had forgotten to give him my card. Even though he probably isn't on Facebook and doesn't speak English I felt his generosity deserved my card. '500 meters and then back again!' I frowned. What the heck, I have all the time in the world so why not? And that's what I did, I went back and he was delighted with it.
I have ten days left on my Vietnam visa and I'm 192 kilometres from China, so about six or seven standard days walking. I'm not really in a hurry, so expect another couple of lazin' in days next week 😂
I have passed the line of latitude from where I stopped at the Sea of China in Vietnam in April 2017 to walk Australia and New Zealand. That was at the ocean near Haiphong. As you can see from the map this time I bypassed that large city. So, though not technically, I'm pretty much back on my old route. I will cross the exact spot of previous footsteps in a couple of days. 
Thanks to Benjamin in Berlin for providing his unusual fabulously-detailed map which depicts my route here pre-Australia and Nz and ultimately my return to Asia. That is, from the ocean south of Bangkok to here for the last two months.
Have a great, fun-filled and positive day wherever you are in the world 😂

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

My World Walk Blog - Vietnam #7 - A day of laughs

My World Walk Blog - Vietnam #7 - A day of laughs

A day of laughs.

A 36-kilometre fun-filled day followed. That day I walked from near Nam Dinh to Cau Vat. The first twenty were on delightful backroads and I continued walking past people busy working in the fields, shops and on construction sites. I had my fair share of offers to stop for a cup of tea. I took up one of those offers at a house which was under construction. However, before I made my exit I did my 'Brucie Wobble' party piece. Anyone that doesn't know what that is please check it out on You Tube here

 A former Liverpool goalkeeper called Bruce Grobbelaar put a penalty taker off his kick in the 1984 European cup final against Roma when he threw a wobbly legs routine! I sometimes do this to garner a smile when people are staring intently at me. It never fails for they crack up with laughter. I did it a lot in Myanmar on my world run. There I was under a police escort for two weeks and there were villages where over a hundred people lined up with emotionless stares. I just ran right up to them, did my wobble and we all laughed. As you can imagine I was soon surrounded but I always loved to stop and chat as best as I could with the language barrier. 

Back here I stopped at a grocery store for a snack. Inside the people were asking if I was travelling alone. No, I have my girlfriend waiting outside I joked as I pointed to Karma. I had left a small wireless speaker on top of her and when I went outside and was bidding my farewells. The Bluetooth connection with the GPS which I had been using that morning was still connected. Suddenly the GPS cranked into operation and a loud female command came from Karmas direction "Turn Left!" 

You should have seen the peoples faces. Their expressions were priceless, and then we had a good laugh before I walked on. 

For my meal break, I went into a cafe for a bowl of phoh. I took a huge swig of what I thought was my water bottle. It was, in fact, a similar bottle to mine which someone had filled with vodka and was placed on my table by accident! That nearly took the head off me and I slat it out!

So I walked on and through Dong Hung where I was befriended by a great character, an outgoing man who looked more like he was on a bicycle tour. I'm not sure exactly what he was doing but he was walking along the road and occasionally picking something up off the road. We met several times as I walked through the spread out city. Even though I had enough water he insisted on giving me a bottle and then kindly gave me a better hat than mine. Once when he was busy with his collecting and left his bicycle unattended I pretended I was swiping it! He responded by grabbing Karma!

Ah, what a laugh and what a day, all 36 kilometres, a barrel of laughs from start to finish. 

Tuesday 12th I took the day off to recover!

24,969 kilometres for 716 road days. I need just 31 for my 25,000th of this global walk. Web: www.myworldwalk.com

My World Walk Blog - Vietnam #6/ A different sort of half-day.

My World Walk Blog - Vietnam #6/ A different sort of half-day.

A different sort of half-day.
Just beyond a large city called Nam Dinh, I was stopped by a young man called Khoa VÅ©. He was riding a small motorcycle When he departed I gave him one of my world walk cards.  A half hour later we were Facebook friends. Then when I stopped for a lunch break he came out to offer me a bed in the family home that night. I had only walked 20 kilometres and readily agreed as I have a lot of days to spare on my Vietnam visa. It's always nice to receive an invitation to a home, for me that's the ultimate travel experience. However, I had already passed his house so we hastily made an arrangement for a small garage owner to mind Karma and I made the five-kilometre commute back to his house on his motorcycle.
The city of Nam Dinh's population is about 2 million Vietnams 95 million. 
He knew people in a clinic and suggested I have a routine check-up. So I did and a doctor gave me a precautionary hydration drip, which was no harm and I agreed. We had much mirth there and I was cared for by a 39-year-old Doctor Gum! I was told that many of the people had converted from Buddhism to Christianity and she herself is a nun. Interestingly she speaks Chinese as it was necessary to learn the language to study medicine. All medicines are labelled in Chinese and when I asked for something she would recommend for my cough she couldn't as she didn't know the English name.
Then we rushed off to his English Club - as they prefer to call it - and not a school. I addressed three classes of English language students who are all tutored by volunteer Vietnamese teachers. Students pay about the equivalent of ten euro a month to cover the cost of the upkeep of the building. For that, they get two English language lessons a week.
While there I passed around my Vietnam translation of my cancer awareness message. Peter is one of the teachers and during a chat about cancer he mentioned that about 170,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed last year. This is in a country with a population of 95 million. Ireland with a population of under five million has about 40,000 a year.
In the end, what I thought was going to be a half day ended up being a long one. I was shattered by the time it all ended at 9:15!

Monday, September 10, 2018

My world walk blog - Vietnam #5 - The heat is on.

My world walk blog - Vietnam #5 - The heat is on.

I walked for two more days and once again my battle against the intense Vietnamese heat continued. Humidity which was in the region of 90% also became an issue. To walk for a single hour and cover close to four-kilometres was tough going. Instead those two days I just made extra stops and indeed some of them were prolonged. I plastered myself with sunscreen but the sun rays continued to burn down on me through my clothing causing discomfort to my neck and chest. I even had to buy a new rugged shirt with long sleeves and a zip-up hood. This made a huge difference even if it was a warmer garment to wear. Another problem which I have been having is that I'm getting a lot of mosquito bites, especially at night. So I will definitely get another one and wear it more often, my new pyjamas lol. Dust from the road and even sweat underneath my cover up garments caused me irritation and an irresistible urge to scratch. I noticed that once I sprinkled on some cooling powder that I got instant relief. I bought that stuff in Thailand and haven't seen it since.

 I mentioned before that it seems to me that bizarrely the further north I walk away from the equator the hotter it seems to get. Five-years ago and almost at the same time of year, I was running fifty and sixty-kilometre days at a similar latitude in Thailand and I was comfortable for the most part.  I just don't understand this, but it's my experience, climate change I guess. 

It would be a good idea if I started walking early in the day, but I'm hopeless in the mornings and it's already hot at 7 am. Both of these days I walked through spread out towns about ten-kilometres apart that ran into each other so there was the occasional bit of welcome shade. Once I came across a tub of ice cream and demolished it in a heartbeat. One thing I have noticed is that there is not much junk food in the shops. I rarely see any biscuits and chocolate doesn't exist, perhaps because of the heat. Having said that there is no shortage of chocolate in Australia. Interestingly since leaving Bangkok seven weeks ago, I have only seen two or three obese people. 

Those two days I walked 36 and 35-kilometres and finished walking at 8 pm and 9 pm respectively. They were long twelve and thirteen hour days. Once the evening rush hour is finished the chaotic traffic becomes less intense as is the heat. I walked in a two-metre shoulder and I was well lit up with a powerful flashlight and a flashing red light and my hi-viz vest. 

Upon reaching town I took a rest day not because I needed it. More because why not? I have about a week to spare on my visa and its also no harm giving my skin a rest away from the highway. Despite being well covered up I've had to plaster on the moisturiser lately. These last couple of weeks I probably used more than Kim Kardashian!
Latest: 24,880 myworldwalk.com kilometres walked in 713 road days.

My world walk blog - Vietnam 4 - No Mien-Ngan for Mangan!

My world walk blog - Vietnam 4 - No Mien-Ngan for Mangan!

No Mien-Ngan for Mangan!

I was really tired tonight and planned to give just a brief update of today and yesterdays walks and then do a full report tomorrow. In the end, I churned out this one. Sorry for any typos.

Monday after my two-day break I was feeling as lifeless as a mushy pea being picked up by a boxing glove.  I even walked into a herd of cows walking down the middle of the busy highway. It was almost as though the cows took a wrong turn in India.  
I ended up walking twenty-kilometres and stopped at a hotel just north of Quynh Thien. Thankfully it had a welcome chicken and chips stand outside. That was dinner sorted but unfortunately, it wasn't open for breakfast. 

Next morning, and an hour up the road I stopped for a sandwich and a few young lads came into the shop and wanted to chat via Google Translate. 

For those of you that don't know this is such a wonderful app. It does as it says. You just type in a message or question in your language and select the other person language and press the translate button and hey presto! It's not perfect but as you can see from the question that this non-English speaking lad pulled up. He typed in Vietnamese: "Do you know much about football." Please see photo. So, in theory, you could have a person from say Brazil sitting in a Mongolian yurt and having a decent conversation with a shepherd. Other Translate possibilities are speaking apps, that way you don't have to type. Each person just speaks in and the selected language translates the audio. I have had only limited success with this one. To my mind, this is something which still needs a bit of work. 

It was a hot mushy 33C day and I was having a tough time. Even with sunblock on and covered up well I had problems with sweat that tormented any cuts or scratches I had. Several times I had to stop to apply some wonderful Protex cooling powder and Vaseline. I walked through a couple of small towns and by this stage I was near the ocean where I hot brief respite with a cool crosswind. But it was short lived. I was hungry and all the cafes were closed. Then I saw a restaurant sign with a dish that sounds like Mangan, my name, called 'Mien-Ngan'

Unfortunately, this restaurant was another tease for the place was closed. Not sure what this man-eating dish tastes like, I must try and get some. 

 Indeed I was saved from starvation when I stumbled upon a bakery with hot fresh bread. So I took a break there and it was just as well I bought extra as there was nowhere else. So it was bread and water at the hotel I found that night. Seven Euro a night seems to be the cost of these half decent places.

 On the way, children and their parents continued to cheer and wave over to me. At one stage a group of about ten were cheering from across the road and I could even see them over the concrete lane separation bollards. Sometimes I think they know I'm on my way and watch out and wait for me. 

36-kilometres were walked that brutally hot day. I finished just west of Nam Cham. Surely it makes more sense to start early? I will see what I can do. I stopped for sugar cane juice and also at a grocery store for a soft drink. Towards the end of the day, I crossed over and walked on the opposite side. I walked the last hour in the coolness of the evening. That enabled me to pick up my pace. I'm enjoying this world walk so much. So much to look forward in the coming months. I'm just 425 kilometres from China and so much looking forward to it, feeling groovy. I walked in the hard-shoulder and towards the traffic. After such a brutally hot day a cool period like this is almost orgasmic.

Song for the day Paul Simon, 'Crazy Love'

A good song you may ask? As Paul would say.. "I have no opinion."

Hear for yourself by pressing this link

24,809 kilometres in 711 myworldwalk.com days. 

Walking around the world for cancer awareness. Early cancer screening saves lives.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

My world walk blog - Vietnam #3

My world walk blog - Vietnam #3

My world walk blog - Vietnam #3
I was walking north-east along Vietnam's route 1. It's a busy highway, bustling with impatient truck and car drivers and constant motorcycle riders popping along on the hard shoulder that I was walking on. The highway goes all the way to the Hanoi, the capital. I'm not going that far. I'm more or less going to hug the east coast all the way to China.
Here as in many other Asian countries, it's the law that pedestrians are obliged to walk with the traffic to their backs. It's astonishing how this is considered safer and how so many people are brainwashed into thinking it to be. I never tell people what to do in their own country but when I explain that while walking towards traffic that I can see a bad or inattentive driver who could be talking or texting on their mobile phone. Then I would have time to jump out of the way. Instead of them coming up behind me and on the same side of the road when I can't see the drivers face. I always get the same answer. "But the driver can see you and you have to trust them!"  (lol)
To be honest when the driver coming up behind he may see me. To my mind, the real danger is with overtaking drivers behind them.
A lot of these bikes travel on the hard shoulder and when its pretty busy people are surprised to see me walking towards them. As I don't want to cause any accidents I feel in that situation it's best for me to walk on the other side with the traffic at my back but just to keep checking over my shoulder every few seconds.
Being a pedestrian I sometimes attract unfair attention from the police too. Sometimes I get stopped and I suspect that had I been riding a bicycle they wouldn't have stopped me.
Actually only last week in Laos I was stopped. I was about 18km before Lak Sao and about fifty from the Vietnam border. I didn't want to write about what happened until I left the country.
A police car pulled up and one of the four officers asked me to walk on other side of the road with the traffic to my back. Fair enough and I obliged. What he attempted to do next was bizarre. Upon spotting my Irish tricolour flag he tried to rip it off my cart. So I stopped him and just pushed the flagpole down. Then he tried to rip it again so I decided to take it completely down and put it away. I walked for my two days without it in Laos and if you check the photos at the border you will see it missing from Karma, my cart.  How crazy is that and the name of the province is fittingly called Bolikhamxay, What a load of bolix! I'm not sure if it is because Laos is a communist country.. Normally I fly the host's countries flag too but I didn't have one. It's usually difficult to find one.
By the way for those that may be interested. By far the most police stops I have encountered in my lifetime of travels was in the USA. There it was constant and they usually run a background check too. Its the only part of America I don't look forward to. On my walk and in almost six months in Russia I had only two stops and not too many either on the road in China. In China, it was usually in hotels.
Anyway, back to nicer things.
Back here and on the road, I stopped to take some photos of some talented sculptures who were busy carving out some amazing Virgin Mary and other religious statues. I was in awe of their expert work. When I finished my 32-kilometre days walk I couldn't find a hotel as it was the holiday weekend. I walked further on down the highway and a worker who worked in a late night restaurant/petrol station said that I could lay my sleeping bag there for the night and have a shower. Thanks to these wonderful workers. 
Back out on the road and towards the town of Cau Giat, I stopped to chat to some workers who were hanging up some Ho Chi Minh pictures for the independence weekend.
Following the end of the war, on 2 September 1945 and then the 'August Revolution', Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) which eventually joined up with South Vietnam.
Eventually, after 29 kilometers I reached Cau Giat town. As I planned to chill out for a couple of days I got a really nice hotel at a great rate and went across the road for a pizza. I was excited by this luxury after so many meals of rice and noodles. Can you imagine my face when a tiny six-inch ham and cheese pizza arrived on a small side plate! Problem solved as it only cost two euro! "I'll have two more please!"
I had the whole restaurant to myself and then a huge group of parents and their children walked in and I was surrounded by curious children all pointing and waving. A great afternoon. Now to watch the All-Ireland football final which kicks off in a few minutes. My team Dublin and the defending champions take on Tyrone. Dublin has won it the last three years. Come on the Dubs 😂
Update: Dublin won their fourth title in a row!
24,753 kilometers for 709 road days.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Walk Map

Just to explain this map to my new followers and also to those who may have forgotten 😂
In April 2017 I finished off walking Europe and Asia when I touched the South China Sea in Vietnam. Please see that portion at the top of the map. From there I flew to Perth, Australia for fifteen-months walking around Oz and also in New Zealand. While I was in northern Australia I decided to return to South-East Asia and walk towards Japan. So from Darwin I flew to Bangkok, Thailand and s...
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Thanks Benjamin for the updated map!

My world walk blog - Vietnam #2

My world walk blog - Vietnam #2

Two more rain-dodging days walking in Vietnam. The first produced 32 and then today 24 kilometres when I stopped early at a nice cheap hotel.
People continue to greet me as I walk through villages. I was even beckoned over to an all-female construction crew and for a joke, I picked up a shovel and shovelled some sand. That went down well and we all had a great laugh!
That day I got to a small called Thanh Long and went into a restaurant for dinner. There seemed to be a party going on and next thing I'm told that my meal and drinks were on the house. Then a man called Thuc and Luu, his twelve-year-old son who speaks decent English kindly invited me back to their place for a shower and a bed. 
Actually, they own a karaoke bar and a visit was made! 
There were not too many songs in English, mostly the Beatles and I couldn't keep a straight face when singing Help! Actually, I laughed my head off as my plea for someone "To please Help me" went on deaf ears. They did have Crocodile Rock, my party-piece, so I enjoyed that one. 
Then today I noticed that there were a lot of Vietnam flags being flown and for sale in shops. A quick Google search told that Vietnam Day is this Sunday, September 2nd.
This Vietnamese public holiday is celebrated on 2 September.
If the holiday falls on a weekend, the following Monday may be observed as a public holiday.
National Day marks Vietnam's declaration of independence from France.

History of Vietnamese National Day

In 1887 Vietnam became part of French Indochina. During World War II, Vietnam was occupied by the Japanese.
Following the end of the war, on 2 September 1945, following the 'August Revolution', Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam).
Despite the differences that grew between Vietnam and the USA, the Vietnamese declaration of Independence itself drew heavily from the American version
In 1976, the two halves of Vietnam were finally united into one country, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, but 2 September remains as the key date in Vietnam's road to independence."
24,692 kilometres walked in 707 road days

My world walk blog - Vietnam #1

My world walk blog - Vietnam #1

After crossing from Laos to Vietnam I walked 33 kilometres that first day. The first 24 of those were almost all downhill, what joy! 😅
There was no atm at the border and I was stuck for cash and didn't have my Vietnamese sim card but I still managed to log on at a petrol stations wifi and ate some reserve food washed down with coffee. I boiled the water using my beverage heater. 
Just as I was getting ready to walk on it started raining heavily so I waited for a while as I was pretty comfortable and dry at the petrol station.
Wildlife had been interesting on the road. Grazing water buffaloes and a tarantula!
There is a small town called Ha Tan which is about three-hours down the road. Eventually, I got to a small town and an atm and was then able to get my sim, a feed and a cheap hotel.
That day, August 27th I celebrated being on the road for two-and-a-half years.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Vietnam country profile

BBC News:


Vietnam country profile

  • - 22 April 2018h Facebook

Map of Vietnam

Vietnam, a one-party Communist state, has one of south-east Asia's fastest-growing economies and has set its sights on becoming a developed nation by 2020.
It became a unified country once more in 1975 when the armed forces of the Communist north seized the south.
This followed three decades of bitter wars, in which the Communists fought first against the colonial power France, then against South Vietnam and its US backers. In its latter stages, the conflict held the attention of the world.
The US joined the hostilities in order to stem the "domino effect" of successive countries falling to Communism.


Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Capital: Hanoi

  • Population 92 million
  • Area 329,247 sq km (127,123 sq miles)
  • Major languageVietnamese
  • Major religion Buddhism
  • Life expectancy 73 years (men), 81 years (women)
  • Currency dong
Getty Images


President: Tran Dai Quang

Vietnamese President Tran Dai QuangImage copyrightEPA

Tran Dai Quang was elected to the largely ceremonial post of president in January 2016.
Secretary-general of the Communist Party: Nguyen Phu Trong

Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu TrongImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The Communist Party holds the real power in Vietnam. It appointed Nguyen Phu Trong as its secretary-general in January 2011, replacing Nong Duc Manh, who retired after 10 years in the post.
He took over as Vietnam faced mounting economic problems, including rising inflation, a growing trade deficit and a weakening currency.
Born in 1944, he also previously served the Communist Party's chief political theorist.
Nguyen Phu Trong is seen as a conservative.
Prime minister: Nguyen Xuan Phuc

Vietnamese Prime minister Nguyen Xuan PhucImage copyrightAFP/GETTY IMAGES

Nguyen Xuan Phuc was elected to the post of prime minister by parliament in April 2016, after being picked to succeed outgoing leader Nguyen Tan Dung at the Communist Party's congress in January.
Mr Phuc, 61, pledged to improve the business climate and crack down on corruption.
Unlike his charismatic predecessor, he is seen as a team player and a technocrat ready to stick to the party line.


Newspaper vendor in VietnamImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The Communist Party has a strong grip on the media.
Media outlets and journalists risk sanctions for broaching sensitive topics and for criticising the government. But some press titles and online outlets do report on corruption in official circles.
There were 41 million internet users by the end of 2013, out of a population of 94 million (Internetworldstats.com)


1859-83 - France slowly colonises Indochina.
1940 - Japan takes control of Indochina.
1945 - Ho Chi Minh proclaims independence and establishes the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
1946 - French seek to regain control. Anti-French resistance war - or the First Indochina War - spreads across country.
1954 - Vietnam is partitioned between North and South. Conflict between the two rival states rages for the next two decades, in what is known as the Vietnam War or the Second Indochina War. The US is heavily involved in support of the South.
1975 - Southern cities fall one by one until communist forces seize Saigon.
1976 - Vietnam is reunified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Hundreds of thousands flee abroad, including many "boat people".
1979 - Vietnam invades Cambodia and ousts the Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot.

Read the full BBC News Story here... https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-16567315 

Image caption

Sunday, August 26, 2018

My world walk blog - Laos # 8 - Thank you Laos

Now I'm at the Laos/Vietnam border in the village of Nam Phao. I was caught by surprise as there is no hotel here. I could have found a field and pitched my tent. But hey crap, it's always raining at night and the fields are muddy and flooded.
Thanks to the nice immigration officers who are allowing me to sleep in a waiting area. I was a day ahead of my plan to arrive at the border. I allowed that day because of the possibility of bad weather and in the end, it wasn't too bad. I had to give an arrival date for my Vietnam visa. I hate the 'when will you' question but sometimes I have to transit through 'Whenistan' and confirm as the two most frequent questions in the other world seem to me to be... 'When and what time will you..'  lol 😂

 So, it's just as well that I took my rest day back in Lak Sao and not here as I initially planned. I couldn't have crossed early either as my visa for Vietnam doesn't kick in until tomorrow.

 I'm not sure what the man with the rifle was doing on the road 😂
Just like every other day people gave me a great welcome to just about every village. 
Thank you, Laos for a lovely time and lots of smiles. Here are the photos from today's 32-kilometre walk from Lak Sao.
Sitting at the border I got talking to a Laos environmental engineer who spoke decent English. He asked me why I'm doing this world walk. He though that perhaps I was looking for publicity for myself.  I explained about the cancer awareness message... I get many interview requests and turn most down. I wilk only do them if they can promote my message. Many people also ask me why I rarely feature in my photos.I say my world walk is not about me its about my messages and the people I meet. Perhaps you have to go back a hundred pictures to find one of me. Thats the way I want it. I dont do the ego thing, After breaking four world records in my competitive career I set out to run around the world and called that 50,000 km expedition 'the world jog.com ' Not many serious runners want to be called a  jogger. To me it was a bit of tongue in cheek and hoping that the average  Sunday  runners would be able to relate and join me. 
Back here at the border: But then he wanted to know a bit more about 'the why' so I said to him to take a look at today's Facebook posting, or any other day
That's why. This is not a collage of my eighteen days in the country.this is just today and there are many photos that didn't make the cut as Facebook only allows thirty photos per post. Yes, I left many more out. This surely, is the best way to see the world. I have a video of my comprehensive world walk route embedded in my mind. It was the same on my world run. From village to village and because I'm travelling in a slow mode of transport people view me in a non-threatening manner and reach out to me. They are curious, just look at their faces in the photos and especially the children. I'm curious too. This is the best fun anyone can have with their clothes on, believe me 😂
 It's almost as if every day is my birthday, I'm so thankful and grateful to be able to do this..And people listen to my early cancer screening message which I translate on Google Translate. 
There are so many people in the western world who are too busy and with so much money and no time for anything. I have all of the time in the world and little money. I never think of looking at the time of day when I take my phone out, or when I'm on my rest breaks, it's crazy! Time doesn't rule me. Who is happiest I asked.. I think he understood..
Even Buddhist monks who have dedicated their lives to a life of minimalist existence are ruled by the clock. They get up at five, bathe, collect food from their village folk and are back for breakfast at seven.

My world walk blog - Laos #7

I came across a sign on the road in a village called Khoun Kham and wondered what it was about. Thanks to Chris Seymour for the following explanation. 
"Australian Embassy thanks Ban Khoun Kham for rescuing Australian tourist lost in jungle
The Australian Ambassador handed over more than 15,000,000 kip to the Hinboun Tourist Office, in Khammoune province to thank the local community for rescuing an Australian tourist, Hayden Adcock, after he was lost in the forests of Ban Khoun Kham for 11 days. 

The Hinboun Tourist Office will use the 15,000,000 kip grant, provided by the Australian Embassy’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) to develop and erect signs at several tourist sites in Ban Khoun Kham, including the Tad Sanam waterfall where the Australian tourist was lost. 

During the handover, the Australian Ambassador, Dr Michele Forster, said “In such a beautiful area as this, eco-tourism offers great opportunities for economic development and poverty eradication. I was very pleased to hear that some of the people who were involved in Mr Adcock’s rescue have already volunteered to become local tour guides and that the skills of all guides are being upgraded through training. This will further encourage tourists to enjoy the natural beauty of this village, with the benefit of villagers’ local knowledge – and in safety. Guides, tourists, the tourism office, Ban Khoun Kham and the district as a whole stands to benefit from this program”. 

Head of the Hinboun Tourist Office, Mr Keoyotkham said, “I promise that my staff and I will use this grant to promote safe and enjoyable tours in Ban Khoun Kham as well as all over Hinboun district. We will put clear signs, in Lao and English languages at several tourist places to make sure that visitors will not get lost in the future”. 

Australian Ambassador also took the opportunity to thank the villagers for their efforts in searching for Mr Adcock, “Today I want also to thank you all for your energetic contributions to local search efforts in the first several days of Mr Adcock’s disappearance. It was very pleasing to hear of the considerable efforts at village, district and provincial levels to locate him – and to ensure relevant ministries at the central level were informed”. 

The handover ceremony was attended by the Hinboun District Governor, Thongkhoun Manivanh, Khoun Kham village head, president of the Khoun Kham’s Lao Women’s Union, villagers and students on 2 October 2008. 

The Australian Ambassador also visited Khammoune Governor, Mr Khambai Damlad, to express special thanks to him and his staff, the district and the village for the considerable assistance provided to the Australian Embassy during the search and rescue – in the village, in the air and in the forest."

Thanks also to Shannon Pipkins for digging out this newspaper article.