Travelling To Tha Khaek

Trip Start Nov 03, 2008
Trip End Feb 20, 2009

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, November 21, 2008

We waved goodbye to the capital of Laos and its delicious pain au chocolates and wound our way south for Tha Khaek. We took a gamble on another local bus (saving ourselves 2/3 of the price wanted in town) and fortunately the gamble paid off as the journey was really good (Heli retained her lunch this time!). We experienced the in-transit cuisine, as every time we stopped at least 10 people got on the bus and waived various "lunch options", most of which it was hard to tell from which food group they came (fried chicken feet anyone?).
5.5 hours later we arrived in Tha Khaek and checked in at the Travel Lodge (no kidding!). Despite phoning ahead and reserving a room, we somehow ended up having to sleep in the massage room on rather hard massage beds. On the plus side, they did leave various massage oils and "firming slimming cream" in the room for us; on the downside mosquitoes clearly love a good massage as the room was full of them.
We popped in town for dinner at a local restaurant and the whole way there and back people were smiling, staring and greeting us with variations of hello, hi, yo, thank you and good morning. Tha Khaek is the smallest and least touristy place we've been so far and it made a really nice change. We spent the evening sat around the campfire chatting with other backpackers and drinking a few too many Beerlaos. One of the guys we were talking to had cycled all the way from Austria to Bangkok in 7,5 months - oddly enough he spent most of the night standing up.
We spent the next couple of days wandering around the town and chilling out, which was good for mind, body and wallet.
On Monday we decided to explore the amazing scenery further a field and hired a tuk-tuk driver to take us to several caves and a secluded swimming spot (whilst we were swimming, we took a moment to think of you all getting ready for work on Monday morning J See the photos as words will probably not do the caves justice.
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