Lost in Laos

Trip Start Apr 05, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, April 28, 2006

Hello from an internet cafe on Don Det, a small island near the Cambodian boarder in Laos. The computers are powered by a generator and are the first I've seen in 3 days.

Brief recap of past few days (I'll write more when I'm somewhere with better access).

--Crazy bus ride down from Vientiane to Pakse. Definitely chalking it up as my true "backpacker" experience so far. 25 people piled into an openair truck, driving around Vientiane, before we arrive at our bus (thankfully, air con and double decker). Loud loud movies and crazy music played for the first two hours. Thankfully, I sat next to a great Irishman who'd brought along some wine, and we had a chat for a few hours before attempting sleep. We were woken up at 5am and arrived in Pakse around 5:45. In retrospect, I probably should have joined some of the people on the bus for their trip, but I'm just having a different experience (and more costly).

--My tour has been interesting... I am the only person on it, and I definitley paid too much given what things cost down here.... I'm trying to let go of that and just enjoy the experience. My local guide, Boon, is quite nice and it has been nice not to have to deal with logistics on my own. I think it would have been very tough town here. I wasn't sure about the tour place though when I first arrived, and have remained a bit skeptical. It's all fine, but not what I would have expected for the money. I also was hoping to meet a few more people...

--Elephant riding is not all it's cracked up to be. I loved my elephant, but 10 minutes would have sufficed. 2 hours on my own with my elephant and local tribe member was a bit long, especially as it was the middle of the day and ROASTING!

--Champasek is a very cute small village with a beautiful temple ruin. Having a guide was nice to hear more about the temple, and to ride the moto there and back from our guesthouse. Another beautiful evening.

--It is so incredibly hot here, it's hard to do anything! But after 4pm, we bicycled around the island of Don Khong and passed many local people. I love the children shouting Sabadee (hello). Beers watching sunset were nice.

--This has been my Mekong experience. I'm a bit burned after a fairly boring 4 hour kayak trip down the river today. But tomorrow is supposed to be a bit more excited with at least af *few* rapids and hopefully seeing some endangered dolphins!

Back to Pakse tomorrow and then flying to Siem Reap. Might be meeting up with Seth, a guy I met in Vietnam who is in SR right now. It will be good to see a familiar face. As much as this has been an amazing trip, I've decided that I much prefer to have someone to share the experience with (also share costs and decisions).
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