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Asia » Laos » South » Don Det February 13th 2019

Donnerstag, den 7. Februar haben Stefan und ich den 13h30 Bus von Vang Vieng zur Hauptstadt von Laos genommen, Vientiane. Die Busfahrt war ganz okay und zum Glück hielt der Bus nicht weit von unserem Hostel an, so dass wir nicht noch einen Tuk Tuk nehmen mussten, sondern ein paar Minuten zu Fuß laufen konnten. :-) Unser Hostel, das Barn 1920, war ein ziemlich cooler Ort : der Empfang, der Gemeinschaftsraum und das Kaffee im Hostel waren alle im Style der 20iger Jahre dekoriert und das Personal trug 20iger Jahre Kleidung. Auch die Zimmer waren super : jedes Bett hatte einen Vorhang und ein Schließfach, die Betten waren gemütlich und es gab genügend Toiletten und Duschen. :-) Als wir gegen 19h ankamen waren wir ziemlich hungrig und so sind wir sofort nach dem einchecken zum Markt ... read more
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Asia » Laos » South » Don Det February 13th 2019

On Thursday, February 7th, Stefan and I took the 1:30PM bus from Vang Vieng to the capital of Laos, Vientiane. The bus ride was quite okay and fortunately the bus stopped close to our hostel so that it was only about 10 minutes walking. After 5h in the bus, we were happy we didn’t have to take a Tuc Tuc to the hostel but could walk a bit. :-) Our hostel, Barn 1920, was a really cool place. The common area and the coffee shop were decorated in 20s style, the staff was dressed in 20s outfits and the rooms were great : curtains and lockers for every bed, comfortable beds and enough showers and toilets. We were quite hungry, so after our check-in we immediately went to the small food market outside our hostel. They ... read more
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Asia » Laos » South » Pakse February 4th 2019

A lay in for us this morning. We just have to get up, take a leisurely breakfast, zip up our bag and wander down to the ferry. Our bus is due to leave the mainland at 11.30am and the boat is due to leave Don Det island at 11am. We were instructed to arrive for the boat 10 minutes before departure so, like true British Citizens, we stupidly turn up at 10.30am. We are not the only ones I might add. We observe the local courier service arriving by ferry - three motorbikes packed with goods which are driven off a wooden punt and up the beach over a boardwalk. We had a bit of a mishap with our ticket when we came to check out loading procedures yesterday...’someone’ let go of it when it was ... read more
Goods arriving by motorbike courier
Vehicle ferry
Spirit House .

Asia » Laos » South February 3rd 2019

We are up early to get breakfast before our bus trip to Si Phan Don - otherwise known as the 4000 islands. Our bus arrives at 8.10am so really not bad as pick ups start at 8am and the bus is half full already. It’s a big bus with reasonable legroom and efficient air con. The last time we did this route we were squeezed on the back of a lorry - things have definitely improved in 16 years. :-) An hour in and we are now passing Champasak. We are not stopping here this trip. Billed as the Laotian ‘Ankor Wat’, all that we can say is that it isn’t! We were here before in a tin roofed shack with a concrete bath which we declined to use. It took us all of half a ... read more
Tubing
Tubing
Rescued by a punt

Asia » Laos » South » Bolaven Plateau February 2nd 2019

This morning we are off on a tour of the Boleven Plateau so we are up early for breakfast and an 8am pickup. The minibus is a pleasant surprise...decent seats and seat belts...which work! We are not the first pick up so our seats are near the back. We decide to move one seat forward sitting separately. We are fed up of bouncy back seats! This turns out to be a smart move as the lady sitting beside me disembarks after 30 minutes, leaving a double seat for us. It appears that she was just being delivered to the bus terminal. Now we are just 11 in a 14 seater bus and we are on our way. We have reached our first stop - Tad Fan. This dual waterfall comes tumbling out of the forest, dropping ... read more
Coffee making
Tad Yuang
Fooling around at Tad Yuang

Asia » Laos » South » Pakse February 1st 2019

We have arrived in Pakse. The bus station is fairly close to our guesthouse so it’s just a short tuk tuk ride and we are there. We check in and leave our bags in the lobby. The room won’t be ready yet but we have a few chores to carry out - first a bag of laundry to be booked in, second bus options for onward travel to investigate, and then to grab some breakfast at the cafe next door. Breakfast demolished, we book various bus, ferry and tour tickets for the next week and then we are all set for a sightseeing trip in Pakse. To be frank, there’s not a lot to do here, so we decide to hire a tuk tuk to take us to Wat Phou Salao with its huge golden Buddha ... read more
Big Buddha
Buddha and views
Dragon staircase

Asia » Laos » South » Pakse November 30th 2018

Pakse is the second largest city in Laos - for visitors it is most known for being close to the Bolaven Plateau (full of waterfalls, traditional villages and coffee plantations), Wat Phu (a temple that pre-dates Angkor Watt), and the 4000 islands (laid back...at the time traditional...islands in the Mekong along the border with Cambodia). I first visited Pakse 8 years ago, and was surprised how much I loved it. At the time, it wasn't on the backpacker/tourist trail - there was one hostel, a couple of big hotels, and not much else - I walked around and saw a lot of temples and folks living normal life, and absolutely no one tried to sell me a thing - it was the best. Fast forward a few years and the backpacker trail has changed - Vang ... read more
Flying into Pakse
Flying into Pakse
Sunset view from a rooftop restaurant

Asia » Laos » South May 31st 2018

After living abroad for such a long time, I thought it was time to really do some solo travel. I have previously travelled around China by myself before like Beijing but it was fairly easy because I had all the right apps, a bank account, Visa so it was essentially as easy as travelling in my own country. So I thought it was time to test myself and find 'me' if you will, so I booked flights to Laos and Thailand for Chinese New Year of 2018. My first destination was Vientiane, Laos. All I knew about Laos was that it was a fairly Buddhist prominent country pretty close to China. So off I went. Luckily, I was blessed enough to have a connection via a friend in Suzhou for someone who lived in Vientiane so ... read more
Buddha Park
Tuk Tuk Adventures
Being a tourist

Asia » Laos » South » Pakse February 9th 2018

Being the journeymen we are, we sign up for another Wat Tour; What's that you say another Wat? Yes, apparently this became a world heritage site in 2008 and was built in 10th century when this area was under Khmer rule. It is a much revered site by Laotians, older than Angkor Wat. It sits at the foot of the holy mountain called Phou Kao and was identified in ancient time with the Linga, the phallic symbol of Shiva, a Hindu God. We are assured by several visitors we have talked to that it is well worth the visit. After breakfast, we take our VIP mini bus for the about 1 hours drive to Champasak, which takes us over the Mekong via the Japanese Friendship bridge and then along the Chinese toll road which is straight ... read more
Mature Frangipani trees
Lake
Calm before the hike

Asia » Laos » South » Pakse February 8th 2018

Anticipating a full day tour by VIP MiniBus, provider Pakse Travel, we are up, breakfasted and outside our hotel by 7.40am. There are 5 of us being picked up for the same tour, an English couple from London, Julie and Alan, and a German lady called Renata, a Scandinavian girl called Sally and a guy whose name we can't recall. So we're all on first name terms and off to a great start. Before long our 12 seater is full to bursting point and a rather strange French lady ends up next to our driver. She turns out to be a pain in the proverbial, but that's another story. Yesterday we changed our travel plans for our onward trip to Savannakhet, mainly because we didn't fancy a 7 hour public bus trip, so opted for a ... read more
Tad Fane - should Leo use the zip Wire?
Tad Fane
Coffee bean roasting oven




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