Champasak & The Sabaidees
Trip Start Dec 26, 2010
40Trip End Feb 03, 2011
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After my late breakfast, the next half an hour was spent scouting for an auto gear scooter for hire but in vain. Desperately tried a crash course on manual gear motorbike and failed miserably. The last option was back on the bicycle again
Wat Phu ruins, set at the base of Mount Penis (literally) struck a chord with me personally, from the long entrance lined with ancient phallic stone posts to the enigmatic ruins of its palaces and the top temple after a steep climb to the face of the mountain. The rewards were splendid views to Champasak and beyond as well as the various cravings of aligator and elephant on stone faces dated as old as 5 AD. Though smaller than the monumental cousin Angkor Wat, this UNESCO World Heritage site is as mystical as its later Angkor legacy in Cambodia. The slow bicycle ride back to town was cruising and frequently stopping for snapshots, absorbing the sights of rice fields and village life.
Caught up with Shogan in the evening at Khamphony where we exchanged travel tips - he was heading up north Laos from Cambodia and I was heading the opposite way - perfect. I remember Shogan vividly - he effortlessly communicated with Laotian folks even with his limited command of Laos language and even drew plenty of laughters and cheers. When he wrote his email on my journal, it was accompanied by a cartoon of him saying "thank you".