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February 2nd 2010
Published: February 6th 2010
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Our H to S BusOur H to S BusOur H to S Bus

Left from Hue in the morning and got to Savannakhet in the afternoon.
Ahh, ANOTHER travel day. Sensing a theme here? ☺ We knew when we started this trip that it would consist of lots of hours on probably uncomfortable buses, so we were prepared…but they definitely do get tiring. The amazingness of everything we see on a daily basis quickly makes us forget how exhausting those bus rides can be…until of course, we get on one again.

The café we booked our bus tickets through picked us up at 7:30am in a taxi, along with another couple whom we’d also run into in Ho Chi Minh City. That’s been happening a LOT on our trip- we’ll see someone at our hostel and think ‘hey, weren’t they at the same hostel a few days ago…we’re following each other’. It’s inevitable, with only so many routes through SE Asia. ☺

We had front row seats on the bus, this time giving us LESS leg room than everyone else. Major bummer. We made do, but it wasn’t super comfortable. The 9 hours passed with us sleeping, listening to iPods and ‘watching’ the burned copy of Avatar in Vietnamese that was playing on the bus TV. The border crossing took about an hour, and was
Cafe ViewCafe ViewCafe View

We ate at the cutest cafe in Savannakhet, and the food was crazy good.
pretty easy despite a bit of confusion on our parts about how much it cost and in what currency we could pay- after using 3 different currencies we finally had enough to get the little piece of paper put in our passport. ☺ We had unfortunately wiped out our money though, something we should have planned a little better. The bus made a pit stop about an hour after the border at a tiny restaurant and we had no real money to get anything with, so we just watched wistfully as everyone else got things to eat. Luckily we still had water and Ritz crackers in our bags!

We finally arrived in Savannakhet around 5pm, and got a tuk tuk to a guesthouse in LP. There was a bit of confusion, as the name on the outside of the place was spelled differently than it was in our guide- something we should be used to by now, but in that moment caused a sense of ‘hey, the driver took us to the wrong place!’ We were reassured by a guy getting a beer from the front desk that it was a good place, and after trying to think about

Cute bed at hostel
our other options, decided to go for it. We got a very basic room with private bathroom, no air-con for $6USD- it came with tons of little bugs in the toilet which was of the manual flushing variety. What, you’re not used to scooping up water in a big tub and dumping it in the toilet to flush it? Oh, we are. We just prefer the ones with actual flushers…

It was HOT and it became clear very quickly that Savannakhet wasn’t a place we’d be spending a whole lot of time. It was also clear it wasn’t a place as used to tourists, and made us feel a bit like we were back in China with the stares and yells of ‘Hello!’ We decided to take a walk and find some dinner, just happening upon an adorable place called Café Anakot that boasted ‘veggie and non veggie international and Japanese food’. It seemed completely out of place in the town that had no other ‘tourist’ restaurants. We both had set meals with soup, salad & rice- my main entrée was their ‘chic-tofu’ (fake fried chicken) and Martin’s was these veggie-potato croquettes. Both meals were incredible and we washed

Our not so cute hostel toilet.
em down with some iced Lao coffee.

Exhausted and in a town that didn’t offer much more than crumbling sidewalks and virtually nothing in the way of sights, we headed back to the hotel to enjoy our first bottles of Beer Lao on the outside patio of our guesthouse. The guy from earlier showed up at the same time and we quickly began chatting over our beers. About ten minutes into the conversation, it was discovered that he was from my dad’s small hometown in Morro Bay, CA! What a small, small world. He knew of my Uncle’s restaurant and laughed pretty hard finding out I was a Tognazzini.

We had an enjoyable conversation with our new friend, Gary, for about an hour or so before all of us decided to exchange contact info and retreat to our rooms for bed. Tummies full of delicious vegetarian food and Beer Lao and the fan going full-strength, we were quickly lulled to sleep.


6th February 2010

Hope you truly do contact Gary at some point...such a small world experience! Glad you survived the trip there and the night in the small town...and were able to enjoy such amazing food!

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