sábado, 31 de mayo de 2014

T.I.A. THIS IS ASIA


El sur de Laos, tierra de cascadas. Tat Lo y las 4000 islas. Ambos lugares tienen un encanto especial, aunque el del primero lo fuimos conociendo poco a poco. 

South Laos, land of waterfalls. Tat Lo and the 4000 islands. Both places have something special. But it was Tat Lo's magic that took us some time to discover.



Los últimos días de Songkaran (el año nuevo budista) fueron un auténtico festival, pero lo que no sabíamos es que el pequeño y tranquilo pueblo al que nos dirigíamos, rugía durante estos dos últimos días. Lamentablemente, todo quedo cubierto de basura, y el pueblo y sus cascadas no lucían lo mismo. 

La ausencia de un sistema de recogida de basura, como en muchos otros lugares asiáticos, hizo que Tat Lo se convirtiera en un estercolero. A los locales parecía no importarles mucho. Los niños se bañaban entre botellas, bolsas de plástico y envases de poliestireno, y los mayores que siempre usaban el río para su aseo personal, apartaban la basura con la mano y continuaban su rutina.

The last days of Songkaran (buddhist new year) were indeed an authentic festival. What we did not know was that we were heading towards the tiny and tranquil village of Tat Lo which seemed to be in a thriving party till the very last moment. Filled with people from the surrounding area, the village ended up a huge dump, full of trash, as were its waterfalls and rivers. A shame to be honest.

With no garbage disposal system in the area, like many other areas in Asia, this made Tat Lo loose all of its beauty. Even the locals didn't seem to mind much, something that was difficult to comprehend. Children swam next to polystyrene chunks, plastic bottles and plastic bags. The older people went about their usual bussiness in the river washing their cloths and themselves with no problem whatsoever.

The amazing thing was after the "party". How every guesthouse cleaned up the mess in front of their bussiness. Children would pile up the rubbish lying around and proceed to burn them, in small toxic plastic fires, while the huge pigs did their thing by cleaning the rest of the organic waist. Somehow, the whole community managed to make the place regain its magic. Bless the Tat Lo and Lao community.





Las 4000 islas fueron un soplo de aire fresco y tranquilidad para nosotros. Paseos en bicicleta, baños en el río, delfines, y por supuesto, muchas más cascadas. Allí el tiempo voló sin que nos diéramos cuenta...

The 4000 islands on the other hand were a breath of fresh air for us. Bicycle rides along the riverside, swimming in the Mekong river, dolphins and of course, loads of amazing waterfalls. In good company, time seemed to fly by without noticing.















Laos, qué gran país. Próxima parada… Camboya.

Laos, what an amazing country. Next stop… Cambodia.

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