Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia: if you’re balkin’, don’t be!

I recently got back from a trip to the Balkans and it was pretty great! My girlfriend and I were going to the south of France for her friend’s wedding, so we decided to make a mini vacation out of it. We chose the area because it has awesome hiking, it’s real cheap, and she wanted to go someplace she wouldn’t go to on vacation with her parents (she’s been to most of Western Europe already).

I arrived to Paris before she did, so I went to a modern art museum I really liked last time, Palais de Tokyo. I didn’t like the exhibit as much this time, but there were a few cools parts. One part was this funny mashup of a Seaworld/capitalism critique, so it had all these horrifying mockeries of pop icons made out of clay, like this derpy Marxist Donkey Kong: read more

Vientiane to the 4000 Islands, the La(o)st of Laos

Hey there again! I guess last time I left off, I was about to leave Vang Vieng to head farther south in Laos, by way of Vientiane, first. The main goal was to do two motorbike loops in central and south Laos, but I’ll get to that later. If you want to go south, especially by common bus routes, you’ll almost certainly end up going through the capital, Vientiane. I had heard pretty dismal stuff about it, but figured I’d give it about a day’s worth of attention, which I think was a good choice.

The bus ride from VV to Vientiane was uneventful, and my friend and I who were both heading there decided to check into a hostel a few friends of ours from VV were already at and said good stuff about. The bus depot we got dropped off at was annoyingly far outside of the city proper, which is an unfortunate pattern I’ve noticed (though I’m sure the tuk tuk drivers aren’t complaining). read more