Archive for the ‘Laos’ Category

From Don Det in 4000 islands which is the southerly most point of Laos, actually right on the Cambodian border, I headed to one of the most northerly towns inLaos- Vang Vieng.

Nestled beside the Nam Song (Song River) amid stunningly beautiful limestone karst terrain, Vang Vieng… Honeycombed with unexplored tunnels and caverns, the limestone cliffs are a spelunker’s heaven… Several caves are named and play minor roles in local mythology – all are said to be inhabited by spirits.

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A stone cask or column of rock

Out on the road again


The journey started with a brief 10 minute ferry on an incredibly narrow river taxi (which resembles an over size wooden canoe with a giant out board diesel engine strapped to the back) full of fellow travelers. It did not ‘feel’ the most stable of vessels especially when struck on the side by a rapid current from a different direction!

Our bus arrived to take us 100 miles to Pakse where we boarded our overnight sleeper bus toVientianeanother 400+ miles. This was rather fun as previous sleeper buses had had 3 rows of single beds with upper and lower bunks. This was 2 rows of double beds with upper and lower bunks. I am not the smallest person to squeeze into a small ‘double’ bed but at least I was bedded with my travel companion rather than a fat, sweaty unknown! The mattress was also totally flat and pretty comfy although owing to my friends preferred sleeping position I was squished up against a hard arm rest designed to stop you rolling out of bed at night with the roll of the bus. She was unaware of my gripe until she awoke after a great night sleep and I had had the arm rest slowly grave into my back for 10 hours!

In the morning we caught our connection onto Vang Vieng, a father 3.5 hours up a bumpy road, at break neck speed. The driver really did push his luck on these windy roads at speeds that really were not safe but after many close calls, skids, swerves and near misses we arrived outside Pan’s Place,(my pre-booked hostel) for a much needed cold bottle of Laos Beer


Down the Mekong for a spot of dolphin watching


At the widest point along the Mekong River, on the border of Laos and Cambodia, the area known as the 4000 islands are found.  Don Det and Don Khon islands have been a mecca for travelers for over 20 years  but have managed to retain a laid back/under developed feel about them and I stayed in Ban Hua Det the northern most point sat on the banks of the river.