Last stop in lovelyy Laos...

Trip Start Jan 07, 2008
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14
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Trip End Jul 22, 2008


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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Sunday, April 6, 2008

I had to wait an extra day in Phonsavan as there wasn't a bus going the day i wanted, just a 'Swongtha' which is a pick-up truck with benches down each side of the box but with a 10 hr long winding ride, i decided to wait for a bus the next day...it was tempting though.

Finally in Sam Neua...no tourist agencies, no tour companies, no english menus, no tourist hoop-la whatsoever..just a true simple Laos town. It was must easier to see the authenticity of Sam Neua cuz it wasn't consumed with any tourism at all so it was lovely for that reason alone. And i bit more challenging with no english basically at all...as i expect traveling to be usually as expected Laos to be. So just a small town with a wee market surrounded with hills. The only sight to see is some caves that were used as housing and offices during the war which im sure were interesting but...i had a debacle getting to them. I couldn't find the right bus station (there's 3 bus stations apparently) or the right bus as the only bus station i could find, wasn't the right one... i walked and walked and asked different peeps using my limited Laos and sign language but to no avail ...so no caves. Hitches like these i expect way more than i have actually experienced in SE asia thusfar..and important tot always find the humour. The next day i finally found my way to that bus station to catch a 'swongtha' for a 3 hr ride to the Laos/Vietnam border.

I knew as i swung in my hammock in Vang Vieng that things were just too easy, too comfortable and things were gonna definiately get more challenging. Apparently i chose to go 'off the beaten track' with the direction i chose to reach Vietnam from... didn't realize how uncommon it is..made perfect sense and logic to me, seemed easiest, most direct route but apparently i don't think like everyone else as i have found out before...haha. So as i expect, things definitely got trickier... once walking across the border to Vietnam. What a difference just a border can make and walking 200m...into a completely differenent country - different culture!!
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