Our final Khmer temple at Champasak
Trip Start Mar 18, 2009
134Trip End Jan 12, 2010
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We booked a minibus with a ferry connection to get us to Champasak town, when we arrived we chartered a tuk-tuk to take us there and back for 60,000Kip ($7 ... my brain isn't working in pounds at the mo!), then afterward we had arranged a long-tail boat to take us back up river to Paske, and thankfully all went according to plan.
The little ferries across the Mekong at Champasak are quite funny, 3 boats strapped together with wooden planks for cars to drive up and park for the 10 minute crossing. I wonder how many have sunk ? Our ferry was a mini-version for people and motos, just 2 boats tied together !
Our tuk-tuk ride through the countryside was as always delightful, swerving to miss goats, chickens and cows in the road. Peoples houses seem better constructed here than in Cambodia.
Wat Phu is about 8km out of the little town and is enchanting, what a great way to say goodbye to the Angkorian temples. It takes the same layout and looks similar to some of the temples we saw, with huge ponds out front, balustraded windows and steep steps. It is set into the mountain (known as mount penis!) at it was nestled in the clouds. Like the temples of Angkor it was originally Hindu and is now buddhist, so it has images of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu alongside Buddha statues.
The walk to the top of the complex was rewarded with a great view across the rice paddies. We also saw some rock carvings, including a crocodile rock where some believe human sacrifices once took place - eerie ! Unfortunately the little museum on site was shut, but I don't think anything could beat the national museum in Phnom Penh.
Back in Champasak we had lunch in the Anouxa guesthouse and I had a yummy Lao iced coffee with condensed milk (I am hooked!!). Then we hopped in the boat for a 3 hour ride back to Pakse. We saw more of the countryside, kids playing along the banks, fish traps in the water. At one point we thought something had gone wrong with the motor and turned round to see the boatman taking a leak off the back of the boat !
Back in town we went to Champady for dinner where we ate some of the hottest thai curries ever - our chilli tolerance is up but we're still not up to local standards !! All washed down with two large bottles of Beer Lao - bliss!
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