Detouring through Laos
Locations in this report:
- Pakse - Show on the map
- Don Khong - Show on the map
- Wat Phou - Show on the map
- Vang Vieng - Show on the map
- Plain of Jars - Show on the map
- Don Kho - Show on the map Show complete route
Written: 16.08.2012 14:00:22
Throughout the whole night it was raining, sometimes just a little bit, sometimes heavy. But at least there was not too much wind and we stayed more or less dry in the tent. Also it was very warm and snug - the tent was constructed for two persons.
Next morning the rain was over and the sun was shining. We went for a bath, laundered our clothes in the Mae Kong (which was probably not too efficient, considering the colour of the water - but at least we got rid of a good part of the sand) and build a construction of bamboo-sticks to dry our clothes (and everything else) in the strong sun. A few kids came around and truly interested and not rude they seduced our equipment and danced to the music we played.
(As always: To see more pictures of the area, click on the image)
The Wat Phou is a huge ancient temple ruin. In the last several years a team of scientists has done great work to reconstruct and partly even rebuild big parts of it.
Returning to the island we had to find out that the villagers decided that we wern't allowed to camp on the beach anymore :( So we had to change to the Community-Lodge (which was actually really nice, but not as good as camping on the beach. And no Robinson-Crusoe-Feeling!).
I finally decided to shave my beard again to a nice Sanchez. Real German.
Also some minor adjustments in hair-length.
We went on to Pakse. There we met the swiss guy from Don Khong again (actually we had a loose date and coordinated via Facebook). But we had different plans. He would go to a waterfall, we would go to another island. So we decided to meet the day after tomorrow in the same place again to go to the Bolaven-Plateau together.
We spent a good day and a half on another island (Don Kho) in the Mae-Kong and learnt about silk weaving and met as planned.
Back in Pakse he thought us how to drive motor-cycles (everybody drives without license in Laos. Even if you had one, it wouldn't be valid - not even international one.) and next day we drove to the Bolaven-Plateau. Because of massive rain and low temperatures we went back the very next day already.
But at least the driving was fun and we saw impressive waterfalls.
So we hung around in Pakse instead. Not a too interesting place - most of the time we smoked, drove around with the cycles, bowled or visited Buddha-statues. But I enjoyed the last days with Anna - she'd go on to Cambodia, we'd go up north again to visit Vang Vieng and the Plain of Jars - to kill the last days till our visas would arrive.
Vang Vieng is a special place. But not the good kind of special. I'm still a little ashamed of going there.
It's hard to describe that place.
The bad thing about that place is not what is happening there, it's how it's happening.
Drunk people drawn while tubing, no contact to any locals, police owning hotels, stuff like that. Flat parties (basically drinking, sitting and tubing).
After that we rented motorcycles and visited the Plain of Jars.
The "jars" are big stones carved and probably used as some kind of jars, though the exact use remains unrevealed.
It was fun and it got really muddy on the way back...
Much more bus driving (more than 48 hours again), we were once again back in Pakse - and our passport really arrived in time - with the right visas (we had massive trouble getting them)!
But we had to hurry, our visas would run out the next day. That meant we had to take the bus to Vietnam next day.