Soulless Pakse

Trip Start Dec 26, 2010
1
15
40
Trip End Feb 03, 2011


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Champasak,
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Got to the bus terminal at 7am in time to board my Pakse bus for a slow 6 hours ride out of Savan. This regular bus was dirt cheap - only 35,000 kip. After a rocky journey, we rocked up to outskirts of Pakse in the afternoon heat. A long 20,000 kip sawngthaew transit took some of us bus passengers into Pakse systematically dropping passengers off. By the time I got off (I was the last), I had more or less explored Pakse on wheels. Disappointingly, Pakse is no stopover town. It is big no doubt but void of character. Quite a soulless town, really. Most travellers use Pakse as a base to venture out to Champasak Province which is the highlands (not Champasak town).
 
The so-called town centre I stayed in did not even have a half decent Laotian food stall. The two most popular eateries were Indian. Surprisingly most guesthouses were full but I managed to check in a 40,000 kip room with half of a door built in the wall - ran by chinese nationals. Paid a 10,000 kip tuktuk ride to Champasak historic museum which was closed (I voiced my displeasure to two sleepy guards - pointing out that the sign printed OPEN DAILY - only to be brushed away) and so decided to treat myself to a proper traditional massage at this Clinic Keo Ou Done, 2 km out of Pakse.
 
Bargained a 6000 kip tuktuk ride to Wat Nam Fai, said to house a footprint of Buddha, which I failed to locate (probably in that ominous looking stupa). A short walk south, I found myself back at the street of my guesthouse. Visited a wat just aound the corner near the French bridge and befriended a couple of novice monks about 16-17 years old. Both genuine and down to earth, always inquisitive about me more than my camera. We took photos and even exchanged emails. One reads wat.luang.1234@xxxxx.com (sorry cannot reveal more details). I asked what made him decided to be a monk - he smoothly replied "I like Buddhism". So sincere, so heart warming, so young. At 6pm the novices gathered for their prayers and I snapped - photographs.
 
I tried my best not to eat at the ever popular Indian restaurents but sat in for supper and beers anyway after a mediocre dinner of flat noodles with chicken at a rather predictable hawker stall. There was absolutely nothing to do in Pakse. You know that meant? Diary time.
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: