Oct 08, 2008
Dec 09, 2008
Where I stayed
In the back yard of the Hotel Paksan, there is an Asian Sun Bear kept in captivity in a two by three meter wire cage and is thought to an attraction. The animal has barely enough room to turn around a just lies there with a glazed look. Truly inhumane and unnecessary treatment. According to our tour leader, GAP Adventures will be boycotting this hotel in the future. I hope that this will be the case.
I was not planning to do a separate entry for Paksan, Laos as it was only a stop for the night in our journey from Hanoi to Vientiane, but we witnessed two very disturbing sights on the way. We travelled for sixteen hours by bus today, through Vietnam and then the beautiful mountainous terrain in Laos. After we finished our exit formalities with the Vietnamese border guards, we had to walk about half a kilometre to the Laos visa offices. Along the way, we came across three large trucks of wire crates stuffed, and I mean stuffed, with hundreds of live dogs. The crates were stacked several high across. It was a hot and stuffy day and the dogs were howling, yelping and whimpering, obviously in much pain. I could not see how they could possibly breathe and could only imagine how long they were in transport and when they last might have had water. A group of men were loading the dogs to different trucks headed for Vietnam. The Vietnamese eat dogs and consider the meat a delicacy. There are restaurants that serve only dogs, and we saw them occasionally. And perhaps there is nothing wrong with eating dog meat, but to see how they were being treated was truly disturbing and something that we will never forget.