Took a VIP sleeper bus from Vientiane to Pakse, which is on Southern Laos. Very comfortable, the roads in the south are high standard, so travel is three to four times the speed of travel in the north of Laos. But as this was a night trip (10 hours) you don't get to see much of the scenery. And as you get your own flat bed and you're paying VIP prices (USD $18, which is a bargain for me but out of range of the locals) you don't get to mix with the locals - all of the other travellers where foreigners - and asleep. So its efficient and comfortable, but lacking in fun and culture. Hence no photos to show.
I think this sums up travel, particularly in Asia - you can have it the easy, comfortable but boring way on VIP buses, or you can take the local bus, with some (lots of) pain but all the culture you can handle. I much prefer the latter - and in the north you have no choice - there are no VIP buses. So I think that's part of the attraction of the north for me.
Tomorrow will be a day trip to perhaps Laos' most famous Wat - Wat Phu Champasak. Apparently it's a bit like a small scale Ankhor Wat. Will see tomorrow.
The day after that it's off to what are supposedly the tallest waterfalls in Laos, at Tad Fane. Will stay at a resort (bungalows) at the top of the falls, and do some (light) trekking - it's the hot season now, and the afternoon temperatures are brutal. Hopefully there is some water left to go over the falls. Lonely Planet reports that there are two pools around the water falls. One is not used by locals because there are supposedly fish in the pool that will bite a man's most "private part", if you get my drift. I have asked around in Pakse and this is being denied, but I'm not sure I want to put it to the test..... I also wonder which part of a woman's body the fish prefer. Can perhaps test that as well.....