Champasak, Laos

Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Took a tourist mini-bus from Paksi to Champasak which I booked through a travel agent and I believe the cost was 60,000  kip.  Once in Champasak I had to pay another 10,000 kip for the ferry to get to the town. Check the photo of the ferry. It is basically two or three boats tied together and a series of boards on top.  Yes, these type of water transportations should really help me overcome my fear of water!! Once in town I started my search for a room.  Definitely no mid-range here. All rooms looked alike!! Not the cleanest, not the most sound proof and bathrooms that needed a good scrub and a bit of tuning up!! I do have my mosquito net and my sheet with me so I picked the best available and settled in for a couple of nights. I recall the room being 120,000 Kip (which I felt was too much for it)  Did my usual walk around town and checked out the couple of wats and then planned for the next day which was basically to rent a bike and be at the gates of the Wat Phu Champasak ruins when they opened to avoid the crowds as well as the hot sun (which is very hot -  between 35 and 40) on this 12 klm stretch of open road without shade.  Had a nice bike ride and met quite a few students biking to school. They always seem so excited to see foreigners and practice their english so of course I rode along side and had a few brief conversations with them.  I did arrive at the gates before they opened so I decided to have breakfast at a restaurant close to the gates. Big mistake!!! Although I never have eggs and toast in Canada I just can't get myself to eat noodles and rice porridge for breakfast and whatever else they have so I decided to be safe and order eggs and toast.  Eggs were oozing with grease so I just had the toast and thought I would wait and have a good diner once back in the town of Champassak!!

The Wat Phu Champasak (ancient Khmer religions complex) is one  of the "must see" sights of Laos according to all guides and they are quite impressive but anyone having been to Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia might not think that this is worth a side trip.  I did spend considerable time here visiting the complex as well as walking in the surrounding gardens.  I also took in the small museum at the entrance before biking back to Champasak. (Can't remember what the entrance fees were). Booked the bus for the following morning to continue to Si Phan Don (Four thousand Islands) and specifically Khong Island.
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