Day 71

Trip Start Sep 14, 2006
Trip End ??? ??, 2007

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Where I stayed
tad lo resort

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, November 24, 2006

We left the Tad Lo resort and got the public bus back to Pakse. There was a little drama as the bus dropped us off at the side of the road 5 miles from Pakse - a waiting tuk-tuk was there ready to take us on to the centre. That was annoying as we thought we'd paid to Pakse and this guy would want paying for this part of the trip. He tried to rip us off in the centre but we held our ground and he backed down and charged a more reasonable amount.

Pakse is the last big city before Cambodia so I went into the bank to stock up on US Dollars ready for Cambodia where it is used a lot. I felt like the bank were ripping me off next as in order to buy US Dollars you have to go through two currency changes and therefore two sets of commission. First you have to buy Kip on your Visa card. That transaction is completed electronically but converted into US Dollars at their "buy" rate first. Then you take the Kip to the currency exchange counter and buy the Dollars at their "sell" rate. This is classic currency scamming but when I noticed how close the two rates were (1% different if that) I shut up and let them get on with it.

Bas and Karen had problems with their card and Patrick had to loan them some US so they could relax and make their way to the border worry free. They left for the 4000 islands and the border with Arjen who had been dropped off by a passing tuk-tuk out side the restaurant we were in for a chance reunion. Patrick, Samantha and I were left and we quickly made our way to Champasak - about halfway to the border where we could visit some old Khmer ruins. The town was really quiet on arrival but not without its charm. Basically one street with some guest houses along it. We crossed the Mekong by a car and passenger ferry to get there. On the ferry I was proposed to by a local girl once she'd figured out which one out of me and Patrick was the bachelor. She was nice enough but years of dental neglect ruled her out for me.
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