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Old 03-02-2009, 05:56 PM   #1
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Default Backpackers in Lao - documentary

A Journeyman Pictures documentary slightly critical of backpackers in Lao....

To each their own, but personally - while I love getting trashed and having a good time - I absolutely hatteeee these types of backpackers: the fratpacker

Vincent: "So what you gonna do?"
Jules: "Well, basically, I'm just gonna walk the earth."
Vincent: "What you mean 'walk the earth'?"
Jules: "You know, like Kane in 'Kung Fu'...go people...get in adventures."

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FIRST TRIP (2005): FIRST EUROTRIP EVER! UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland
SECOND TRIP (2007): First Solo Trip! Greece, Turkey, Syria, Spain
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2011: India (Goa), Jordan, Jerusalem, San Sebastian (Spain), Amsterdam (again), London, Driving from Vancouver to L.A. (stopping in Portland, Seattle, San Fran and all the little stops), Montpellier (France), Geneva and Lausanne (Switzerland)

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Old 03-03-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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Hmmm, did see some of those in Laos and Thailand. They pollute the place - sorry had to say it that way.

people are people

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Old 03-04-2009, 03:10 PM   #3
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I think that is fantastic.

How is that any different, besides being regulates?

I can see how this might "pollute" the local culture. But the locals seem to be benifiting, and it seems peaceful, so who am I to argue?
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:13 AM   #4
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I love the part of the vid when they answer the question of why they travel (between slugs from their beer bottles), "Culture."
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:22 PM   #5
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I also want to edit that I won't go there unless by accident... not my thing.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:48 PM   #6
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the video isn't playing.

people travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long course of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering. -St. Augustine
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:59 AM   #7
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Wink The video is not playing here also.

Originally Posted by ScarlotteDorian View Post
the video isn't playing.
The video is not playing here also. But who cares but I was hoping to see that since i have never been to Laos.

Last edited by mooloo; 07-21-2010 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:50 AM   #8
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So I have mixed opinions on this... Of course in my 7 months in Nicaragua, we partied like that a LOT, and it was always the best time, and making friends from all over the world for life...
But my travels through Europe, the parties werent the "same"....
I think it depends on what part of the world you are in, and what the backpacker scene there is like....
Now with that said... I also dont think that travel should just be about getting wasted every single day... Moderation to an extent...
Although, the backpacker culture is notoriosly known for being the party crowd...
So, yeah, ummmm, as soon as I get back to Central America, there will indeed be a bottle of Flor de Cana in my hand.....
When an adventure ends you can never go back, never relive it, never hope to feel the same emotion. The secret is to not try and go back but to keep searching for new adventure....
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:21 PM   #9
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I agree, Marc. If you're getting wasted every single day, how are you really seeing the world? There should be a new name for that kind of traveler, who spends their time getting hammered, hits up a pub or bar every single night, and goes through amazing places and never sees a sight. about an Englishman? Just kidding, of course. People of every nationality are guilty of being Party-packers...

Not that I don't like to have a few beers with folks I meet on the road -- the social aspect adds to the experience. However, it should be just that: A spice...something you're ADDING to your travel experience. Not the whole reason for existence.

But then again, I *AM* one of the oldest on this forum....
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:22 PM   #10
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This is one of the many MANY examples of journalism giving only half the story. As most of you well know I'm a big fan of getting off the beaten track, immersing myself in the local culture, spending quality time with local people, and visiting the sights, sounds and smells of the places I’m in.

However, I have been to Vang Vieng (the subject of this film), and I did spend the entire time getting drunk and "tubing" down the river. The thing you need to realise is that that is the entire reason people go to this village. Apart from a few cavers and some kayakers who don’t realise there are better places to go kayaking, the entire reason the town exists there is because of some enterprising locals who created an industry for backpackers to have a party and get drunk without the rules and regulations that govern western countries (imagine jumping from rope swings 6 metres in the air into the river, jumping from platforms the same height, flying from water slides, zip wires etc.).

I went there because I needed an escape from travelling; I needed to meet some westerners, to get drunk, to have a party, and to meet some western girls (I’d been away for a long time on my own at this point). And you know what, I had an absolutely amazing time, I hurt no-one, and I ended spending a fair amount of money in bars owned by locals, who without this industry would be working in farms earnings mere cents per day.

That being said, a guy who says he’s there specifically for the culture is obviously off his rocker.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:06 PM   #11
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^ Agreed.

That actually looks like a damn good time to me, particularly for those who might have been on the road for a long while. You do sort of need these "tourist havens" to go to every once in a while, particularly when you've been in remote areas or on the road for a while.

Why not go somewhere fun simply for the purpose of meeting tons of new people, tubing, jumping off a swing and drink? I'm not saying that should be your entire trip, and I would guess that the majority (if not all) of the backpackers shown in this documentary did NOT do this the entire time. I mean come's the same thing as going on a booze cruise, or even out to a bar for the night. You go there with the expectation of drinking, partying and generally having a good time. I don't see how this is any different...

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