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Jun 30, 2007 - Pakse - Day 3 - Cynthia's 30th Birthday!!

Today is it- the BIG 3-0! We got up early, packed and went out to breakfast. After a quick trip to the mini-mart for the largest Coke available we walked the short distance to Champasak Palace Hotel. We checked into the suite and spent the next several hours just enjoying it. We ordered room service and had lunch on our verandah overlooking the river, which was really very nice. Around 3pm we walked down to the hotel sauna where I got a fantastic aromatherapy massage and then we met up in the sauna for a good steam. It began to rain heavily...

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Jun 26, 2007 - Champasak

We met Danny around 8am and after breakfast we all went together to catch a songthaew to Champasak. We were all headed to Champasak to see the ancient Khmer ruins of Wat Phu and we intended to spend the night in Champasak after seeing the sights. The songthaew ride was typical, maybe more cramped than usual because the locals came to Pakse to stock up at the local market. The ride took about an hour until we reached a river crossing and then the songthaew drove onto a barge which carried us across the Mekong. Once across, it was a short...

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Jun 25, 2007 - Pakse - Day 2

It was hard to get going this morning but we had a lot of chores to do. We went to the bank, worked on the website and then went to scope out a hotel to spend my birthday. The place we were interested in was the Champasak Palace Hotel, originally built for a prince and renovated into a hotel in the 1990s. In particular, we were interested in the presidential suite, which sounded lovely. We went to check it out and it was exactly what we were looking for, no doubt about it. We reserved the room and with that task complete we went to see a...

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Jun 7, 2007 - Lazy Days

Hey all, Since the New Haven peeps returned to the States things have been pretty slow. We spent our last day in Vientiene visiting a non-profit weaving center a few kilos out of town. We got try our hand at dying and now we each have a personally decorated scarf (check out the pics). Ironically, we paid a dollar more to make our own than to buy an already dyed one, but it's more about doing things ourselves. After Vienntiene, we hoped on an overnight bus to Southern Laos. We spent a few days island living in the Mekong Delta. We thought...

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Apr 25, 2007 - Heading south

To start this entry, Tims diahorra progressed to explosive proportions!! It was funny to watch!! 30 sec blog entry - * Got lost on the way to Wat Phu * Bolevan Plateau tour - swam in waterfalls Normal blog entry - Anyway, we decided to tag along with Tims sister nami while she headed to the south of laos to check out her new work place working with an NGO that clears UXO (un-exploded ordinates). While she worked we checked out Pakse and the surrounds. After having to get up at 5 am to get a flight, we arrived in Pakse where we booked...

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Mar 4, 2007 - Pakse

Sunday, 3-4-07 Pakse is a small city, but pretty quiet, not much of anything stirs after about ten. Today I rented a motor-bike and rode about 90 miles to the east up on to the Bolaven Plateau I went to see an incredible waterfall (Tad Fan). It consists of two streams dropping into a canyon, 120 meters deep (that's dropping about a 360 feet). I then went on a bit farther to check out some of the coffee plantations. Some of the best and priciest coffee in the world is grown here. The best is from in and around Paksong at an elevation of 4300...

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Mar 1, 2007 - Paske

We arrived in Paske at around 2:00 pm. We had planned to stop at Champasak to take a look at the temples there, but fate intervened. We thought we would be dropped off in the town but it turned out it would be on the highway. The driver stopped at the intersection with the highway and the road to Champasak. He motioned us to get out, he spoke little English, pointed to the road to the town, and said "tuk tuk that way." There were no tuk tuks in sight, nothing in fact. We didn't relish the thought of standing on a highway, in what seemed the...

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Feb 11, 2007 - Testing my patience

The day after returning from my motorbike adventure, I decided to get warmed up for going to Angkor Wat by going to some Khmer temple ruins of a similar era, at a place called Champusak, about 50km south of Pakse. Since I had a bit of time spare I made a two day trip of it, leaving most of my things in Pakse, and I'm glad that I did because it was a pain in the arse getting there! I started out at about 10am, and tried to got lift to the bus station which involved some strange bartering - I was offered 10,000kip, but refused to pay more...

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Geraint's World Trip

Feb 5, 2007 - Pakse

First overnight bus in a while. I got one of the very front seats which had exactly 5 inches of room to put your legs if you wanted them on the floor - not enough even for a local - but had a bulkhead which I could stretch them out on provided I could curl them around the bags that had been piled there. It was also decorated with soft toys stuck to the windows and frilly curtains. And actually called "King of Bus". Pakse itself isn't much to look at, and there isn't much to do either - it's more of a jumping off point for trips to the...

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Geraint's World Trip

Jan 15, 2007 - A quest for silk

So sure enough the guesthouse manager flagged down the jumbo and I hopped in next to the usual array of boxes, bags of rice, etc. etc. After a careful survey I found to my delight no chickens on board. When I got to Pakse I made my way to a travel agents to book the night bus to Vientiane for tonight and I was also able to stow my backpack there for the day. In the lonely planet it says that there are weaving villages 15km outside of Pakse and all I had to do was find a jumbo to make my way there. We I found a jumbo at the New Market and...

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My World Odyssey

Jan 14, 2007 - Dusty roads and not more chickens

So the guesthouse owner took me in his boat to the mainland where I got in a jumbo for the 3 hour drive to the boat landing where I had to cross the Mekong again to get to the town of Champasak where there are some Khmer ruins which have links to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I squished in next to a few other tourists, many locals, several bags of rice and boxes of all descriptions. Then just before we left what was landed next to my feet only a chicken it's feet tied together.... good at least it can't move. At the other end of the jumbo was...

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My World Odyssey

Dec 24, 2006 - Loafing in Laos (with tour guide ie Alan's input)

Pakse A note from the 'Flashpacker' Our journey down the Mekong by slowboat to Luang Prabang was delightful and our short three-day exploration of this city demands that we include a further exploration deeper into North Laos as part of our itinerary towards the end of our trip. We moved south because the weather in the evening was chilly, (we just missed the freak frosts in the hills of Northern Thailand). Returning here at the end of March will also mean that the wonderful, numerous waterfall 'swimming pools' will be more...

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