Thursday, February 8th, 2007

OK so here is the Official Contest: Be the first to email to this site (in the Comments to this post) the city, country and place name of any of the three following photos, and we’ll send you — at our expense! — a nifty souvenir from the country in question. Could be a sandalwood elephant, could be an opium pipe. (Probably won’t be an opium pipe: customs and whatnot.) As an exciting bonus, if you email the exact GPS location where the photo was taken, we’ll make the prize extra special.

We’re off on our peregrinations north, into the mountains. We’ll survey the responses and notify the winner(s) in five days when we get back. Sabaai-dii!

1. Mystery Photo 1

2. Mystery Photo 2

3. Mystery Photo 3

Still working on that contest. It’s gonna be a doozy! In the meantime we are in north-central Laos, enjoying the cool mornings. We’re researching a good long trek in the hills — this is hilly country — so for just the second time since leaving Australia we’ll be visiting and staying in a rural area. Laos is something like 85 percent unmanaged forest.

It’s been a whirlwind. Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos. Kind of a blur. Now, though, for the first time we’ve had time to put together an itinerary for the rest of SE Asia: We leave Laos for Hanoi on Feb. 17, then hunker down for Chinese New Year. A week in northern Vietnam and a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Overland back to Bangkok, then northern Thailand for the last two weeks or so.

We want to write more about Singapore, including some “musts” in Little India, and Kuala Lumpur. And of course Bangkok. But it will have to wait for a future post.