The Back of Beyond

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Souchitra Guesthouse

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Champasak,
Thursday, October 28, 2010


Day : 167
Temperature : 32 degrees
Weather : Patchy clouds

We left Don Khon at 10.45am with Helen and Nick after a leisurely breakfast and a rest in the hammocks again. Our journey took us back across the Mekong to the mainland where, after much deliberation by the locals, we were directed to a bus which was heading north. After a couple of hours we arrived by the river again and from here we took a small boat across to Champasak.

We realised that it was going to be quiet here as soon as we arrived at the other side. Not a tuk-tuk or tout in sight. Locals sat chatting by the side of the road and dogs lay sunning themselves in the middle of the road. This was one sleepy little town. We asked some locals where our guest house was, and we were directed down the main street. Well, the only street. We walked and walked. And we walked some more. Hardly any vehicles passed us and there was no sign of any guest houses, let alone our one. Eventually a bemo drove past and we hailed him down. We were taken another half a mile or so further on to our accommodation for the evening. For 5 dollars we secured ourselves a fan room with private bathroom and hot water and a bed with the thinnest mattress on earth through which you could feel every sharp edge of the bed boards underneath….well the bed boards that were actually there. The bathroom was interesting. There were no pipes under the plug hole in the sink, which meant that when you turned the tap on the water literally poured through the plug hole and onto the floor. That's certainly a new one for us.

After a rather bland lunch we hired a tuk-tuk and ventured up to see Wat Phu Champasak. These Khmer ruins are apparently some of the most important archaeological ruins in Laos and were built before Angkor Wat. The climb up to the top of the ruins did afford us magnificent sweeping vistas over the surrounding landscape. However, having been to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, we really felt that we would not have missed out if we had passed Champasak up and carried on to Pakse.

In the evening the four of us were debating about where to go for dinner. There didn’t seem to be many options and we didn’t fancy eating in the same place we had lunch. Just when we seemed to have given up hope we came across this little hotel that seemed completely out of place in this back of beyond town. Incredulously, we found pizza, pasta and French wine on the menu, and just when I was about to joke about internet, we discovered they had free WiFi.

Needless to say, it was a late night.
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Holly on

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