Trip Start Jan 22, 2009
19Trip End Dec 22, 2009
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
We only stayed in Pakse for a day. The perk of this stay was the Indian restaurants! The food was so good and so very cheap we kept going back for more. You can get a huge meal with Nan (bread), jasmine rice, and a tasty dish for $2.00. This was also probably the first city we have been to in SE Asia where we were not harassed by vendors or Tuk-Tuk drivers, or children asking for candy or money. It was refreshing to not have someone in your face at all times of the day. From Paske we took a bus to Tat Lo, a small town along a tributary of the Mekong river that was surrounded by several smaller villages. The bus was ancient and run down but the scenery outside our window was beautiful! During the day we hung out, moseyed around, walked to 2 nearby waterfalls, enjoyed the small town scenery (mostly consisting of bamboo and thatch huts and lots of farm animals) and tried every restaurant in town (5 in total). It was such a relaxing place to chill and we got a kick out of watching the many cow families, large pigs with their piglets, chickens with their chicks, and dogs pass the Ma and Pa restaurants where we ate. The cicadae bugs were unreal here too. We had never heard them to be so loud in our lives! They were a favorite toy among the local village children. One girl sat with us as we played cards at a restaurant and "played" with one. She pulled it's wings off so it wouldn't fly away and giggled as it tickled and clung to her fingers. We also took an elephant adventure ride that took us across the river 3 times, through treacherous terrain, and into a local village. We expected a trail bound, Como Park pony ride type meander but instead got a thrilling ride that kept our hearts pounding as the elephant tried to maneuver through the narrow paths in the woods and the steep, rocky banks of the river. We had to hold on tight a few times for fear of falling off. It was great! We felt a little invasive when trekking through the local village and so, even though there were great photo opportunities, we put our cameras away and just smiled and exchanged "Sabadii" (hello) with the beautiful people. After our elephant trek, it was time for the elephant's bath so we stayed and watched her bathe in the river with the mountains, waterfall and sunset in the backdrop. After her bath, Clint followed the elephant's lead and jumped in the river to cool off too. Shortly after he got out of the river, several locals came with their bathing baskets of soap and shampoo to take their daily baths. Children came, stripped down to nothing and jumped in, playing "king of the rock" , laughing wildly, and dunking each other under. It appears that the river is a large part of the Laos culture (at least in the region) as we have seen many playing, washing clothes, bathing, fishing, and simply hanging out by or in the river.
We are now back in Pakse and are waiting for our night bus to pick us up to take us to Vientiane(the Capital, 10 hours away). We then plan to meet Clint's friend and co-worker, Pao (who travels to Laos to visit his family often) at the airport on Saturday. He had arranged for his cousin to pick him up and asked us to join them in going to a Hmong Village 52 Km north of Vientiane. We are very excited to meet up with him!