Laosy Days

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End Mar 29, 2011

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Where I stayed
Xayamongkhul Guest House

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Savannahkhét,
Monday, August 30, 2010

Up at 05:30 to make final arrangements before catching the school bus into Phon Thong at 07:00.  As we arrived at the bus station I spotted a bus to Mukdahan just pulling out and managed to flag it down.  Luckily we were then on our way by 07:40.  Made good time until we reached the small town of Khamchai-i where we were stopped by the police and everyone asked to show ID.  After that we travelled slowly and arrived at Mukdahan at about 09:30.  An International Bus was due to leave for Laos at 09:30 so we rushed to buy tickets and made it to the stand only to find that the bus hadn't turned up.  The 10:30 bus didnt show either and it was 10:45 before we were on the move again.  Arrived at the border bridge about 10 minutes later and cleared Thai immigration without a hitch and rejoined the bus for the run over the bridge with the mighty Mekhong rushing beneath us.  Filled out paperwork, produced photo, paid 35USD fee and then after receiving 30 day visa joined the queue to get passport stamped.  This was slow going as a group of people from Vietnam were passing through at the same time.  By the time I had cleared I found that Jai was stood by the side of the road and that the bus had gone leaving us at the border.  Apparently I had taken too long.  Took a 'skylab' from the bridge to our guesthouse and then straight out for lunch.  In the afternoon we went and changed some money and after parting with 100GBP I instantly became a Kip millionnaire !!  Walked around the town a bit and when the rain started we visited the Dinosaur Museum.  It was not very flash in appearance and its exhibits were hardly impressive but it was a a worthwhile place to pass an hour or so. especially if you add in the enthusiasm and the fun of the two curators who happily showed us around conversing in a mixture of English, French, Thai and Laos, often it seemed all at the same time.  There are many museums around the world where you could be better informed about dinosaurs but to be allowed to handle a 110,000,000 year old bone and have a photo taken with it, well, British Museum, I think not.  As we left the rain miraculously stopped.  We walked along the riverfront past the snack bars that were all empty, past the old home of the first Prime Minister of Laos Kaysone Phomvihane, which was behind a high fence and had the doors locked.  Passed St Theresa's Catholic Church and the old market place.  We have been to Savan a couple of times now so did not dwell on many places having visited them before.  Like Savan lots as it has a very friendly feel and the locals are great.  Although so close to Thailand it hass a very different appearance and the old colonial buildings, although very run down and in need of attention, still make the place quite attractive in its own way.  Took some food back to the room then popped out briefly in the evening for a BeerLao which is compulsory then spent a while unwinding and watching TV.
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