It seems everywhere I go, I come across bed bugs. Those pesky little annoying sons of bitches got this ninja thing down. I usually don’t write tips and tricks, unless I’m writing about a really good or bad experience, that’s just not my blogging style. But this is the 3rd time I’ve come across bed bugs in 3 months. Luckily I caught them right before I was going to lay down in my bed. The hostel seemed so nice, so clean. There were tiny dark spots on the sheets, but I ignored them, checked the mattress, the corners and it all seemed fined. I put on my bed bug sheet, but still right before I was going to sleep, a really big one crawled over my bed. Now if you have never encountered these pesky little shits, you can’t imagine what this does to your sleep and psyche. You become paranoid, you’re afraid to sleep, you think every little dust or dirt on the bed is bed bugs. You become obsessed. It was the middle of the night, people working in the reception had gone home for the day, and there I was at midnight, wondering where the hell do I go, what do I do now. I packed up my stuff, started reading more about how to avoid bed bugs, what to look for etc. Then I walked over to another hotel, and spent the night on top of the duvet, clinging to my silk liner like it was going to save my life. This is night number 3, and I’m still paranoid. I probably got bitten, how much and how many bites I don’t know yet. It usually takes 3-4 days before the bites appear. I might get lucky and caught the bugger right before it did any damage, so fingers crossed.
My bus was picking me up from the first place I was staying in, so I walked over and explained what had happened. The manager apologised, reimbursed me, and explained they had just had pest control 4 days ago to get rid of bed bugs. And now they’re back. Like the pest control said, you can get rid of them, but you can’t avoid them. Because some traveler will bring them with them, and you know the drill. So what can you do to avoid them?
- If you see dark tiny spots on the sheets, don’t stay. Bed bug sheets can only do so much
- Keep your luggage off the floor, preferably in the bathroom
- Check all creeks, corners, mattresses, sheets, pillows and so on
- Trust your instincts
- Sleep with clothes on, inside of a silk liner if possible. Less skin exposed, less skin for the bed bugs to bite
Well this is all I have for tips, so if any of you got any better tips, please do share.
As I said in my previous posts, I only had one day in Vang Vieng. I really wanted to try tubing and the hot air balloon ride, but because of the lack of time, and monsoon season, I did neither. With the little time I had, I rented a bicycle and rode around for a couple of hours doing some sightseeing of my own. This city is so beautiful, I mean just take a look at the picture I posted. The first one was the view from my hotel room. Yes I stayed in a hotel, just couldn’t take the risk of bed bugs again. Even though there is no guarantee that hotels don’t have them, but here in Asia, there is a bigger risk because of all the travellers staying in hostels, they move around so quickly, that symptoms from bites don’t appear until after they’ve moved from 3 or 4 new places. So yeah the hotel was great, slept on top of the duvet again, and kept my backpack in the bathroom. But enough about bed bugs for now. Vang Vieng is such a beautiful, peaceful city with mountains everywhere. Green lush nature with a river that attracts so many travellers every single year. If you need to relax a little, take it easy after hectic traveling around SE Asia, I would say Laos is the place to be. There isn’t much to do, so learn to enjoy the calmness, and go with the flow. Get your cycling on, strap them hiking boots on or trek away through the jungle to find a hidden waterfall. Either way, Laos will have something for everyone.