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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Champasak, Laos

Dec 9, 2006 - Champasak, Laos

With the smiling faces of Laos people, you would never guess it is renowned for being the most heavily bombed country in the world, much to the fault of the Americans. Luckily for parts of Southern Laos, the bombing saturated the northern territories saving what would come to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of its holiest Buddhist temples -- Wat Phu Champasak. The modern day village of Champasak is unextraordinary, divided simply by one main paved road. Bordered by the Mekong and surrounding hillsides, most tourists stop only long...

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Oct 9, 2006 - LAOS: Pakse

Anne, Julia and I stopped in Pakse for the boat festival. The riverbanks were lined with thousands of people cheering the rowers on and many food vendors selling snacks. Yummy. It reminded me of a carnival at home with games, bouncy castles and small fairground rides for the kids. The atmosphere was very cheery, although the heat vertially unbearable (for us!). We met up with a Seung, a Lao lad from Don Det. He took us out with his friends to celebrate the festival local stylee! The first 30 minutes was quite painful, being totally sober...

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Oct 8, 2006 - LAOS: Champasak

Two boats, two tuk-tuks and a bus later and I finally arrive in Champasak with Anne and Julia, two German girls I met on route. Champasak is a quaint countryside village stretching along the riverside with a beautiful backdrop of mountains and some small village temples to discover. The main draw to Champasak is Wat Phu, a temple with UNESCO World Heritage Status from the Angkor-era. The three of us awoke early and hired bikes to ride the 8km to the temple. It was a pleasant ride especially with Anne whistling us along and some of the kids...

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Aug 16, 2006 - Four Thousand Islands

Near the Cambodian border in southern Laos, the Mekong River gets very wide and a number of islands poke out of the water. Two of the most southern islands are Don Det and Don Khon. It was between these two islands that the French installed a train bridge, the only thing they build when Laos was a colony. Today, the bridge is mainly used by travellers to reach Don Khon to see the waterfalls along the edges of the island. The volume of water is large, particularly during the rainy season, but it doesn't do much falling. Aside from that,...

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Trip Journal


Ed in Asia

Jul 1, 2006 - Champassak - Laos

We caught buses and boats of various sizes on the way. The buses were just a dual cab utes with rows of seats on the back. On one trip there were 32 of us on the back and our boys had to stand on the back bumper and hang on to the roof for the 3 hour trip. A couple of Monks and about 10 other people had the cab seats. Of course the rain came as it is monsoon season so my mates got their clothes washed for free. First we stopped at Champasak which was just a small village and we were just about the only tourists there so had a few nice...

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Karen's Trip 2006

Jun 29, 2006 - War survivor talks to me

29 June bus to Pakse Usual bus ride with the foodies and I was the only tourist on board but an old man took me under his wing while we waited for the bus to leave. He had learnt his English in an American CIA camp during the "Hidden War". He was a child whose father had died fighting against the North Vietnamese and as such he was looked after. As a 6 year old he loaded the planes with bombs and pumped gas from drums. So he was delightful sharing his food with me and telling me about his family and late wife. He asked me to take some...

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Trip Journal


Karen's Trip 2006

Jun 11, 2006 - Champasak - Khmer ruins in Laos

An overnight bus south of Vientiane landed us in Pakse. From here we got a ride in a local pickup (sawngthaew) which was an adventure in itself. We were travelling with 2 american friends we had met in Luang Prabang, Vang Viang and Vientiane, all squeezed onto this truck with about a tonne of sugar, ceramic tiles and fruit and veg plus 25 other people. It was stinking hot but eventually we made it to the mekong, where surprise , surprise we had to load this truck onto a makeshift ferry. Once on the ferry, the driver noticed we had a flat...

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Jun 7, 2006 - Champasac

The trip from Vientane to Champasak was a bit long but we finally arrived there in the early afternoon! It's a tiny little village which is only famous for a temple dating for the Anchor Era! It is a very nice a quiet place, I guess that gave us a good idea of what Anchor Wat will looks like! It is funny in the North of Laos I hardly ever met anyone who could speak french but around here in the South they all at least speak a few words so as soon as I tell them I am french they all try to make conversation! Tomorow we are going even more...

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Apr 25, 2006 - Champasak

Reaching Champasak was an adventure. We transferred onto a bus at Pakse. We asked when the bus would leave - '1130'. That's too long to wait, we thought, and started to look for a 'jumbo' that was going there. As soon as we started to look for alternative transport the driver honked his horn loudly as if the bus was about to leave. We got back onto the bus and waited, and waited. The driver was trying to fill the bus. When ever we tried to find alternative transport several men would madly wave their arms at us, saying "Get Back on the bus...

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Apr 23, 2006 - Pakse

We flew to Pakse early in the morning got a tuk tuk to the bus station to go straight to Tad Lo - a waterfall in the Champasak area, north from Pakse. The tuk tuk ride was ...interesting. He dropped us at a Sawngthaew (small truck/bus) stop which was very chaotic. We were hussled onto another tuk tuk, who then drove madly around the market trying to find more people to take to the southern bus stop. We had to be quite firm with him to get us there on time for the 9am bus to Tad Lo. After all we were paying good money - but he couldn't...

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Mar 31, 2006 - To Pakse (again)

31 March 06 - To Pakse (again) As good as his word, Nyai was at my guesthouse at 0700. I got a 0730 bus for Pakse. It was a pleasant journey as the driver was good-humoured (although they mostly are), and drove slowly (again they mostly do in Laos as there isn't much other traffic here). We had a very brief stop, just long enough for some ladies to rush from stalls with some goodies to sell, one of whome was dangling what looked like a couple of ferrets from one wrist and a baby crocodile from the other. I got my camera out, but she walked...

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Mar 27, 2006 - To Wat Phu Champasak and on to Pakse

27 March 06 - To Wat Phu Champasak and Pakse Had an early breakfast, hired a bicycle and set out on it at 0720 to Wat Phu Champasak, 8km from town, although it seemed further as it took me an hour to get there. It is set on a hillside, so quite a pretty localtion. It is a Uniesco World Heritage site, and an early Khmer templed believed to date from 6th Century and finished about the 12th century. It is the most important temple in Laos, and there is an annual pilgrimage there. Frangipani trees (the national flower) lined the steps up to the...

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