Archive for March, 2011

Damn Damn Mosquitos

After Vang Vieng, we spent the rest of our time in two small towns in southern Laos.  First, we went to Pakse, then to Don Det in Si Phan Don.

Pakse is a small town known mostly for its eco-tours in the area, and a few things that are easily seen on a one-day organized trip around town. We bought a new camera on our first trip in Pakse (after losing our old one to a faulty wet bag while tubing in Vang Vieng), and on our second day, we took a whirlwind tour through what the town and surrounding area had to offer.

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A Brave Soldier

We had heard a lot about Vang Vieng before going there.  It’s a town known for three things:

1) its party atmosphere, particularly tubing down the river

2) the endless loop of Friends or Family Guy playing at any number of eating establishments in town

3) its “Special Menu” items, also found at many eating establishments in town

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Ban Lung – “More Than Just Dust and Sweat”

We survived the bus ride from hell, which brought us to Ban Lung, a small town in the north east of Cambodia.  Our first day there, we wandered through the town just to see what we could see.  We checked out the local market, which was very similar to the markets we’ve seen in Laos – dark, dusty mazes with stall after stall of the exact same things.  And the food section smelled of rotting meat.  Par for the course. Continue reading

The Bus Ride From HELL

I’m writing this post from the restaurant/bus station in the middle of nowhere, where we got dropped off at 1 pm.  It’s now 4:17 pm.  We left Don Det Island in the very south of Laos at 8 am, bound for Ban Lung, Cambodia.  The border crossing for a busload of people took a ridiculously long time, then the bus seemed to just wait to be filled with more people.  So we waited.  And waited.

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A Quick Update from Laos – It’s Been Awhile

Wow, you wouldn’t believe how busy I’ve been! So busy, in fact, that I haven’t had time to update the blog.  And today is a designated “Rest Day” to rest up from our adventures before a big travel day tomorrow.  I’ve got a hammock with my name on it at the “Relax Bars” across the river, so I’ll try to cover a lot of ground here…

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Best. Waterfall. Ever.

After a brief but eventful stay in Nong Khiaw, we boarded a slow boat for Luang Prabang.  There were a few options to get down to LP, including a much faster bus ride.  But we had heard nice things about the ride down the Nam Ou, and we managed to find a few other people who were going the same way, so we were able to charter a private boat with 8 people on it for just slightly more than the public boat that had over 20, plus gear.

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Cave 1. Fahrin 0.

Our second stop in northern Laos landed us in Nong Khiaw.  Even smaller than Luang Nam Tha, but a beautiful town nestled along the Nam Ou, in a valley between two mountains.

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Village Balloons

When we got to Luang Nam Tha, we check out the signs in front of all the eco-tour companies and quickly decided that the one we wanted to do was the tour that included 1 day of kayaking down the Nam Ou, an overnight stay at a local village, and one day of jungle trekking. Continue reading