Louis Cooper in Asia: Week 1

For the next five months or so, Brightons Louis Cooper is traveling around various parts of Asia on a skate and general tourism trip. So long as the internet cafes of Asia are allowing, Louis will be providing us with updates of photos and writing every Saturday, with the possibility of footage on the odd occasion too!

To start with, Louis has already been in Thailand, with him picking up the proverbial story-telling baton in the jungles of Laos, with photos from his time and Thailand up until his arrival in Nha Trang…

Chang Mai (Thailand) – Trying to blag the Tuk Tuk drivers to give me a skitch but they wouldn’t budge, even with money involved!

We arrived from Thailand to Laos on the Huay Xai border and went straight into the jungle for three days to stay in tree houses and use the zipwire complex, it was unbelievable. Flying 400 ft above the jungle floor for up to 1 km. From there, we got the long boat down the mekong to Loang Probang where there were turquoise waterfalls with rope swings.

Chang Mai (Thailand) – Nollie bs Tailslide on this huge square outside one of the ancient walls that had hundreds of these ledges.

The next stop was Vang Vieng where its famous for ‘tubing’, which is were you float down the Mekong on inner tubes and there are loads of floating bamboo bars with massive rope swings into the river, one of the best activities ever.

Chang Mai (Thailand) – Fs Blunt on the same perfect ledges with the hectic traffic and best bar in the background, THC bar.

From here we got a 28 hour coach ride up to Hanoi which really wasn’t as bad as we thought. When we arrived in Hanoi got straight into the street skating and met lots of locals who said there was only 28 skaters in Hanoi! We found a skateshop there but it had really limited supplies and whenever a new batch of product would come in it would be snapped up immediately. The clothes were so cheap though, 1/5 of the price in the UK.

Chang Mai (Thailand) – Befriending one of the ‘dodgy’ police who turned out to be alright but didn’t have it in him to let us skate.

The spots in hanoi were all made of marble and really nice manny pads and ledges around statue areas. We were taking photos on this Pier 7 look alike spot and my board shot out and smashed one of the sacred vases at this war memorial. I was fully bricking it and the whole square looked around. The security ran over and started hassling us obviously, they told us to get out of there so we shot off but then one of the soldiers came over and was like “MONEY! MONEY!” so I gave him about 8 quid and a pat on the back and he seemed satisfied!

Vang Vieng (Laos) – Flying off one of the sketchy rope swings half way down the Mekong river after floating down it on inner tubes with buckets of Lao whiskey. They know how to have a good time.

Hanoi roads are mental, you literally have to just close your eyes and walk out and the motor bikes will dodge you. When you skate anywhere, it turns into a demo in about 5 minutes with loads of fascinated Vietnamese locals.

Loang Probang (Laos) – Waterfall jump into lush tourquise water, watching out for those lurking black bears.

In Hanoi we went to this back-street snake place where you pay 15 dollars and they kill a snake in front of you and you eat it like snake nuggets with ketchup. Then you get a shot of the snakes blood and it gives you a little buzz.

Bokeo Forest (Laos) – The gibbon experience – 400ft high zipwires above the forest floor, best feeling ever!

From Hanoi we went down to Hoi An where there were perfect beaches and you can get loads of designer clothes made for cheap as. We went to this beach party and decided to go swimming in the sea at about 2am and played a game called Gataca where you swim out as far as you can. When we got pretty deep we were looking about and saw this outline of a black fin but it was sort of thicker than usual so we blitzed it into shore.

Hanoi (Vietnam) – Necking some freshly manufacture snake blood in some backstreet ghetto snake place.

We just arrived to Nha Trang today after a 16 hour bus and its absolutly baking with really wide roads and a sort of Miami feel to the place. Its famous for its nightlife and surfing but the promenade is littered with spots and looks like Venice Beach. When it gets cooler tonight were gonna go for a photo session so ill keep you updated…

Photos by Jack Taylor and Matthew Johnson.

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