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Archive for January, 2006

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Champasak: Give me a V (for visa)

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

The bus stopped, it was 5.30am and still pitch black outside.

“Is this Pakse?” I asked Bec, as though she should know. “Not sure. I’ll go outside and see what’s going on,” she replied drowsily, while I tried hard to keep my eyelids from falling. A few minutes later, she called out to me, now wide awake, “This is our stop, you have to get off!”

I stumbled off, grabbed my bag out of the pile of backpacks forming on the dirty ground next to the bus, and we headed for the nearest tuk-tuk. For we weren’t staying in Pakse, our plan was to head 40km further south to the little town of Champasak, where a millenia-old ruin, like a mini Angkor Wat, sat at the foot of the nearby hills.

[read on]

Pakse: Laos Karaoke Disco…….On Wheels

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

From Vientiane, Bec and I were headed to the very south of Laos, a journey that would take somewhere close to 10 or 11 hours. Our hope was to take a bus during the day; all throughout this trip we’d been trying to avoid night buses where possible, and given that we were skipping over the middle part of the country, to at least be able to see the landscape would have been nice.

But, unfortunately, the only bus going during the day was a local bus (read: rundown, crappy school bus type) that took 14 hours, as opposed to the reasonably comfortable VIP overnight bus, which would take 9 hours to reach the southern town of Pakse. We booked tickets for the overnight bus, scheduled to leave at 8.30pm, and were told we’d be picked up at 7pm from our guesthouse. That’s 7pm Laos time though, folks, which meant we were eventually picked up at 7.45pm by a giant tuk-tuk, basically the back of a truck converted into a tuk-tuk with two long bench seats running along each side. As we were driven to the bus terminal, we stopped to pick up more travellers, each of them saying they’d been waiting since 7 or 7.30pm.

[read on]

Vientiane: Food, Glorious Food

Saturday, January 28th, 2006
We caught an early morning bus from Vang Vieng to Vientiane, arriving in that city around lunch time, and found ourselves a guesthouse. It was a little out of the centre of Vientiane, but Bec and I sometimes refer to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Photos: Vang Vieng

Monday, January 23rd, 2006
Geez, I'm on fire with these entries. Gotta make the most of having days with nothing to do and cheap internet. So, here's some pics from Vang Vieng. None of the snake though, unfortunately, you just have to trust me ... [Continue reading this entry]

Vang Vieng: The Snake Hunter

Monday, January 23rd, 2006
The afternoon had melted away. Our last in Vang Vieng; Bec and I spent the twilight hours of the day sitting in an open bamboo hut by the river, watching the sky turn slowly pink as the sun grew tired, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Photos: Laos, First Go

Saturday, January 21st, 2006
And now, onto the country with everyone's favourite folk tale, Laos! Woo Hoo! Hmmm, left or right. Our choice of slow boats for our two day trip from Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang; the empty one on the right or ... [Continue reading this entry]

Photos: Thailand

Saturday, January 21st, 2006
Gee whiz, it's been a while since I've posted some photos on here. Time to catch up a bit. Of course, all the Lubeck photos are on Flickr. So, here's a couple from Thailand, just to whet the appetite. Tuk Tuk. Our ... [Continue reading this entry]

Vang Vieng: The Hills, They Are Alive

Saturday, January 21st, 2006
After 5 great days in Luang Prabang, it was time for Bec and I to move on. 5 or 6 hours south, on the way to the country's capital, Vientiane, lay the town of Vang Vieng. Seen in the backpacking ... [Continue reading this entry]

Luang Prabang: 9496 Days

Friday, January 20th, 2006
January 12. Normally, if I spoke to my Mum on this date, the majority of her sentences would begin, "X years ago today...." or in this case, "26 years ago today...." Laos. Luang Prabang. This is where I would spend my ... [Continue reading this entry]

Luang Prabang: Are You Marry?

Friday, January 20th, 2006
The thing about Laos is, you never have to rush. And although I'd heard this before from other travellers, it remains a difficult thing to rid yourself of Western habits overnight. That's how we ended up rushing to catch our ... [Continue reading this entry]