Laos Bumpkin

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August 10th 2010
Published: August 10th 2010
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In the last few days I have just returned from a sojourn to southern Laos, and after hiding in my room during this time I am ready for some timely blogging. Anyway despite the ever increasing Laos tourist rip-offs and the notorious border scams, it was wonderful to be in such beautiful rural zones that were so clean and unpolluted, and the best and last find, the nearly car-less island of Don Khong in Si Phan Don. For me and my cycling habits this was great, no worries and high speeds, as I take in great scenery and pristine environment. The locals seemed fascinated with my gear and general presentation, half super high-tech and half bumpkin like them. I mostly had nice interactions and frequent greetings on the road, with the exception of some kids in one village throwing a stone at my head, something Laos kids are always doing with sling shots to kill birds, and other things, unfortunately. Don Dhet was kind of fun and groovy with bad, expensive food and even worse service. I think that they had a problem with falangs, and thought that we were all the same. I guess the junkies and gap year kids had kind of ruined what could have been a nice thing with the locals. Pakse was the southern city where one could catch up on internet, and get good food, but accommodation was expensive for what you got. I went from them to Tad Lo village on the Bolaven Plateau and stayed in a little bamboo hut with a kitchen and lots of wildlife - mostly in the kitchen that is. The waterfalls were beautiful but a tad polluted I discovered whilst swimming to my disappointment. Pigs and other animals roam freely there, and pigs going into the restaurant and kitchen, to assist with the slow slow cooking is quite the theme. Back to Pakse on a friendly local bus with the rain coming in, despite a high tech sound system on board the bus, everything else was primitive. Then after two days of washing all my filthy things I set off for Champasak and the mystical Wat Phu, a pilgrimage and heritage site dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
I met some interesting people here, and got caught up in other things aside from Wat Phu and Penis mountain. There are some incredible old French colonial houses here that I photographed, and maybe can reveal in a later blog, along with some freaky people stories that are based on fact, although it may be wiser if presented as fiction.

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