Learning Lao in Pakse

Trip Start Mar 18, 2009
Trip End Jan 12, 2010

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Champasak,
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just a short note from Paske as there's not much to say about this little provincial capital. We've stopped here as a base for a couple of day trips (to a temple in Champasak and to the Bolaven Plateau).

Paske is about 3 hours in a minibus north of the 4000 islands and we feel like we're getting to know Laos a bit better. It is very relaxed, when we stepped out of the minibus, instead of the usual crowd of moto-drivers bombarding us as we're used to now from Vietnam and Cambodia, there were just a few guys sitting around. We asked one guy to take us to the Paske Hotel and he pointed the way, no we said, we'll give you a dollar to take us there, oh ok he agreed. And we got onto the side-car attached to his moto. This is the first time we've seen these contraptions and they are fun, although I did wonder if we were going to die at one point.

Paske is a small town on the banks of the Mekong, nestled into the mountains. It's nice to see mountains after the flat landscape of Cambodia. The people are very friendly and chilled out, the streets are cleaner than Vietnam and Cambodia, no piles of rubbish festering in the sun. In the evening the kids play some serious (half-court) basketball and people sit and drink Beerlao and eat grilled chicken kebabs as the sun goes down.

We've even managed to pick up a few Lao phrases and make ourselves understood - thanks to the little phrase book Hay Group gave me when I left. We're trying to learn a phrase or so a day, and it's easier than Vietnamese, Cambodian and Chinese. So here's a Lao lesson:
Hello = Sa Bai Dii
Thank you (very much) = Kawp Jai (Lai Lai)
Where are the toilets = Hawng Nam Yuu Sai
two = Sawng
Hot tea with milk and sugar = saa nom hawn
How much = Thao dai
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Where I stayed
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