Reborn as an East-Asian Biker Babe

By Perrin

Ever expect a pink bike to be so terrifying?

Anne and I fritter 3 languid days in the postage-stamp sized town of Luang Prabang, Laos. We sample the local brew, which is advertised as, “Any beer you want, as long as it’s Beer Lao!” We experiment with discreet execution of food sickness. We observe locals washing laundry, without success, in the chocolate-colored river.

These activities exhausted, our pores seethe with the suppressed impishness of Doc Brown in Back to the Future. When a motorbike shop materializes in our path, we scurry inside to hire a bike for the following day.

Morning comes. Anne, regretting our impetuous rental, reviews our route to Kuang Si Falls with all 3 bike-shop employees and acquires 3 maps. The map features a single road. Anne finally boards vehicle.

The hot pink Hello Kitty motorbike inspires a quick photo shoot. [Photos to be submitted to Harley Davidson should it develop a Girly line.] We spend 5 minutes attempting to flip on the motor, and another 5 practicing our steering and singing the theme from Top Gun.

The salesman, once cavalier, now sweats and reaches out gingerly as if to say, “Don’t go.”

I turn the handle, which doubles as an accelerator: Blast off!


At 10 minutes, we exhale and switch drivers.

“This is not like a regular bicycle,” I warn as I hand over the wheel. Anne looks like she’d been tasered.

“No shit Sherlock,” she responds.

At 15 minutes, we remember the gas tank and return to town to fill it. Further along our route, we spot 4 gas-deprived drivers sucking their thumbs on the roadside. Apparently, it would be absurd to sell gas on a 100 km road.

Finally Kuang Si Falls rises before us.

Bear hugs greet us at the entrance to Kuang Si Falls.

The main waterfall of Kuang Si.

The falls offer the first clean water we’ve seen in the country. It’s a good thing, because I immediately slip on a muddy patch and brown my bikini in an unfortunate way. The rest of the day, we rope-swing into the natural pools and shower under waterfalls .

A good samaritan helps with the rope swing.

Anne lets me drive the whole way home.  I warm up to the motorbike, it warms up to me, and we take the road at double our original speed (approximately the pace of a sprinting dog).  Two boys whizz by laughing.

I shout, “Here we, here we, here we go!” and light the jets. Anne clutches me like an overly affectionate Kuala bear.

“You’re afraid to swing on a rope, but you’re not afraid to race locals?” she wheezes. But we’re winning.

Another bend in the beautiful road.

Fresh air cools our sun-speckled checks, and the peripheral foliage throws an earthy must into the breeze.  We began the day as cab-hailing yuppies. But Kuang Si Falls – or the road to and from it – baptized us as rural cowgirls. The reigns rumble comfortably in my hands.

At the day’s end, our bike glides gracefully into the shop.

Anne and I tip our helmets, turn on our heels, and strut into the sunset.


About sistersbailey

We are Perrin and Sarah Bailey, collectively known as “The Sisters Bailey”. The moniker was born out of a crazy weekend at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz Fest and it was the first time we had ever been referred to as one unit. We grew up in Alexandria, VA together and then separated for college - Perrin to The University of Pennsylvania and Sarah to Northwestern University – and somehow landed together in New York after graduation. It was in the midst of the hustle of Manhattan that we became friends for the first time in years. Somehow we landed jobs in the same industry - Sarah worked in marketing at HBO and Perrin managed creative digital promotions for her media agency’s main client, Disney - just three blocks from one another. One day we decided to leave our jobs, sell our belongings and travel abroad with a backpack and a collective savings of $10K. The stories of our continuing adventures and those of other fearless travelers are here to inspire you.
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1 Response to Reborn as an East-Asian Biker Babe

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