The Great Southern Lao Bike Adventure - Part 1!

Trip Start Nov 26, 2007
Trip End Nov 26, 2008

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So we set off on 19 February to explore the southern part of Lao - quite a gang of us actually! Tom and I on one 110cc, Lisa and Nick from OZ on another 110cc and Sean from Ireland on a 100cc. We spent the first day exploring three waterfalls between Pakse and Tat Lo. Etu waterfall - surrounded by dense jungle, Thamchampee waterfall where we had to climb down a rickety step ladder to a wide waterfall where Nick and Tom had a raft race to the waterfall. The third waterfall, Tad Fan, was amazing (the picture doesnt do it justice so we left it off!). We scrambled down a near vertical dirt track to get a better look, the rock walls curved around almost like a volcano without a top and the powerful waterfall dropped a dizzy 120m to the floor - we only just got level with the top before the path became stupidly steep and we turned back. We passed some very drunk Lao's on there way down...dunno if they were ever heard or seen of again!
That night we stayed in Tat Lo - right next to the waterfall and in the morning climbed to the top as there was an elephant feeding up there. I dont think it was wild - we got far too close and it had paint on its head. But it was nice to see it enjoying itself without any chains or ropes. We got back on the bikes and rode along dusty dirt roads through minority villages where the people dont even speak Lao let alone English! Their curious looks turned to broad smiles and waves when they saw us smiling and waving at them. Three girls were so excited that the hand cart they were pushing ended up in the ditch as they jumped up and down waving at us. It made us feel very humble and made you search wildly for the young child who was at the end of the strained 'helllooo' you could hear coming from the houses. We wound up into the hills and stopped and walked down some steps to the edge of the world - the top of Tat Suong Waterfall. The view was amazing across the valley and plains. The boys took some crazy path down to the waterfall. Lisa and I stayed at the top and discussed what our (and the boys)mothers would make of the whole thing! I better not go into the details of how dodgy the path and step ladder was that they took!! That night we stayed in Sekong - its hard work bike riding we were all in bed very early every night!
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