I have not used shampoo for over three years now, and I’ve loved it…. until now. It took me a while to realize something was wrong, but I just couldn’t seem to get my hair clean with my regular routine. Over time, it seemed to get sticky and tangled and no amount of scrubbing in the shower made any improvement. It wasn’t just my hair, but the girls’ hair, as well. After a little reading online, I figured out that hard water was the problem. We have very hard water here, so much so that it leaves a white layer of mineral deposit anywhere it dries. And from what I read online, that doesn’t work well with my non-shampoo ways. The solution for most people, is to get a water softener or a shower head filter, but since that isn’t an option for me right now, I have resorted to washing my hair once again with shampoo.The cool thing is that there are hair washing shops on every block here. I can think of at least 5 or 6 just within walking distance from my house. So, I decided if I was going to use shampoo, I might as well go all in and have my hair washed professionally. After picking out what type of shampoo you want, you lie down on the “hair washing bed” and they wash and rinse your hair not once, not twice, but three times with as much lather and scrub as you can imagine. They also give you a little head and neck massage in the process. Then they rinse with dipper after dipper of cold water. Then comes the conditioner. When I took Talia in for her wash I asked them to trim Talia’s her hair as well, but that is optional. Then, they’ll blow it dry for you. I opted to skip that part as I’m not too keen on having hot air blown on me when it’s already 99 degrees out!
I have to say, having my hair professionally washed was quite an enjoyable experience. And it only cost $1.50 for Talia’s wash AND a trim! Of course, now my hair is back to it’s frizzy and limp state, but at least it’s clean.
I still have a lot of questions about hair washing practices here…. Who goes to get their hair washed? How often? Is it routine or for special occasions (like no water in the house!)?
The hair washing place also offers an ear cleaning service. Ryan thinks I should give the professional ear cleaning a try but the tools they use look like they could be used for some kind of torture technique so I’m going to take a pass. It would make a great blog post, though.
Would you go to get your hair washed?
I Ryan go for the ear cleaning?
(Talia as a baby in our first set of bins)
When we moved to Southeast Asia 5 years ago, we looked around for a sturdy but inexpensive way to pack our things. We did some research and found these Contico Storage bins and they’ve served us well all these years. They aren’t perfect, but they fit the dimensions for airline check-in bags, are light-weight and at around $30 are WAY cheaper than buying suitcases. With a couple small alterations they can handle a relative amount of abuse during travel. From their website it seems they’ve come out with a newer model, so maybe they’ve improved some things.
Each time we’ve gone back to the US for a short visit (or to have a baby) we’ve picked up a couple more.
They’ve really come in handy when storage in some of our houses has been limited. We’ve used them in place of a kitchen cupboard, extra counter surface and also as a bookshelf.They work great for neatly storing things we aren’t using on a daily basis.
We even built our bed last year to accommodate storing them underneath!
What’s your favorite piece of luggage?
You can now follow us on instagram to catch a glimpse of the interesting things we get to see and experience in daily life. Click here or find the instagram icon in the sidebar. Our username is thelandinbetween.
We’re new to instagram, so let us know if you have any tips!
Ryan is going to be doing some of the writing here now so that we can keep this blog going! So start checking the author if you’re wondering which one of us wrote it.
Tourism is the fastest growing industry in Laos. Wanderlust magazine rates Luang Prabang as the top city to visit in the world! We’ve often missed enjoying the places we’ve lived because we’ve been so focused on life and work. So, this time we’re trying not to let this golden opportunity slip by. We’re living here now, so we might as well figure out what all the fuss is about.
The Kuang Si butterfly garden is listed as one of the top places to see. We’ve been pass it before on the way to the waterfall of the same name but didn’t have time to check it out. With a family full of girls it is bound to be a hit!
The Dutch couple that put this place together did an amazing job in a relatively short amount of time. The grounds of the park are beautifully landscaped and full of butterfly attracting flowers.
At the end of the path is the main attraction – a huge butterfly enclosure. There can be up to 80 species of butterflies in here during rainy season.
One of the best things about the park for the girls were the admission tickets with the butterflies on them.
I decided to just go for it with the closeup butterfly nature shots. Nat Geo will probably be knocking on my door next week.
We’ve got a couple information nerds in our family, so really enjoyed the guide they gave us at the entrance to the park and learned a lot.
A little bonus was the free fish spa. I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of these. They usually have them at a spa. You stick your feet in and the fish nibble off your dead skin. Lucky little devils!
There was a lot of squealing going on from the tickles. Sad to say, I didn’t get to do it, so I guess I’ll be nibbling the dead skin off my own feet. We are having fun taking advantage of where we are living right now as local tourists.
What’s the best thing to do in your area? Have you gone and done it?
On the weekend, we love getting out as a family and getting to know this quaint little town of Luang Prabang. Before returning, I found a Burley bike trailer on craigslist that had never been used, so I bought it and brought it over as one of our check-in bags. I was envisioning being able to get around with the three kids on my own, but that hasn’t really happened here. There are a few too many hills and busy traffic roads for my liking. But, when Ryan comes along, we can use it. You wouldn’t believe the stares we get from some of the locals who have never seen such a thing! I just hope we don’t cause an accident with all the rubberneckers!
The kids love riding in it and taking in the sights. Our favorite spot so far, is down at the end of the peninsula where the Nam Khan River meets the Mekong River. It’s gorgeous and complete with sandy beaches and hand made bamboo bridges.
The girls could play for hours with sticks, rocks, water and sand. There is so much to see and explore, like tadpoles, little fish, and river weed.These are the kinds of experiences I just LOVE giving to my kids. We also found some decent quality bikes and trikes for the girls to ride here at home. They spend hours on them, though it’ll be a long time before I trust them to ride on their own around town. For now, Isla is snug in a baby carrier and usually enjoys a nap on our bike rides.
Do you bike as a family? Where are your favorite places to go?
When Ryan sent me this picture of the kitchen of a rental house he looked at, I was pretty stoked! A kitchen inside the house!! After last year’s kitchen, I was ready to move back to an indoor kitchen. So, we signed the lease and moved in. There really wasn’t much work needed to make it livable, besides cleaning and purchasing a few basic items. But, we didn’t have room to bring our solid wood counter we had built last year, so there wasn’t a lot of counter space in the kitchen.
I make a pretty big mess when I cook, so I don’t do too well with limited counter space.
So, my handy husband decided to make a shelf for the dish rack to sit on, which would extend the counter and free up space to pile the dirty dishes. After measuring the nook where it would sit, as well as the counter height, he brought some boards home on his motorbike and built a frame.
Then he used a piece of leftover plywood to make the top. Finally, he bought some clear plastic and stapled it over the top, protecting the plywood from becoming a mushy rotten board. Start to finish, the project only took part of the afternoon.Now I have a great spot for all those dirty dishes.
And, bonus – the bottom has a little room to hold kitchen towels/rags and plastic bags.
Are you a messy or neat cook? Where do you dry your dishes?