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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Champasak, Laos

Sep 18, 2005 - Pakse brings us south

Spent just a brief overnight in Pakse, the largest metropolis in southern Laos, en route to the Four Thousand Islands. Sometimes a city without much to offer asthetically or culturally (as is Pakse) can offer us some creature comforts that we normally wouldn't be found in rural areas. Western food, and good Indian food, quick internet connections, and a cheap room with a hot shower were welcomed offerings from Pakse. We caught a morning bus (what turned out to be a covered truck) out of the city on Sunday morning towards Si Phon Don, and...

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Aug 11, 2005 - Coffee plantation and morning market

Today we took a break from hectic traveling and stayed put in Pakse. We went to the morning market and looked at the meat section and the textiles. Frogs on a string, strips of pork (with hair) and bags of crickets. Yummy. Picked up nice wraparound pants and skirt that are of a contempary example. Nice thing for weavers to look at to see how to use their handwoven. Wrap around skirt was wrapped, tied and turned at the waist to allow stings of beads to hand down from the waist. Really cool. Picked up skirt that was tailored for me of a...

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Aug 10, 2005 - Wat Phu and ferry ride across Mekong....

Back onto the bus to go to Vat Phu temple. Great transportation journey Lao bus to ferry over the Mekong (see boat construction above) into large tuk tuks over narrow brideges. Vat Pho Museum was nicely marked with narrative. Area was greatly influenced by Khmer in earlier times. Good warm up for the Cambodia trip later this week. Climbed up the stairs to the temples. Stairs were large gray stones shaped to fit togeather. Covered with moss. Fortunately it was not raining so they were "only" a little slippery. Saw my first aspara "gorgeous...

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Jul 17, 2005 - Pakse

Utterly peed off right now. Just came on net to check a photo CD that I burnt in Battambang, only to find out that the CD has JACK ALL on it. Cant believe it, I have lost ALL my photos from Phnom Penh to Battambang, all because the silly bint couldnt burn a CD. Believe it or not, I actually asked her to check the CD after she burnt it, but because all the photos were copied onto a folder on the computer, it must have been that which she was checking, not the new CD. No words can express my sever anger and sadness. For those of you who are...

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Jul 7, 2005 - Pakse

Bus pulled into a wet, dingy, run down looking Pakse with the same old crew of tuk tuk drivers waiting to harrass you to go with them. It was about 7am and to be honest the best nights sleep I had, had on one of these night bus things. Met the guys by chance in the centre of town and got a room in this basic place for one night waitig to go on the boat down to the 4000 islands. The others all went back to bed but Alistar and I went for a butchers round town, not much to see, but strangely they had 8 tennis courts, something I did not expect...

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Jul 1, 2005 - Champasak

On our way back up to Pakse we decided to indulge in a little bit of culture in order to make up for all the loafing we had been doing. With this in mind we paid a visit to Champasak. This Khmer temple site was supposedly built around the same time as Angkor Wat, and is seen as a taster for those who have yet to visit it's big sister in Cambodia. Armed with the guide book we set off round the site, trying to make out what everything was actually supposed to be in relation to what we read. As with many of the apparently important sites in...

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Jun 21, 2005 - Back into Laos - Pakse

And so we arrived in Laos once again ready for another adventure. We arrived at the border, which was the usual half built ramshakle affair, and got charged a 150 baht bribe to get our passports stamped into the country, not a good start, but one which we had been warned about. And they say corruption doesn't pay! Upon seeing our choices of transport - an ox cart, a broken down bus or a tuk tuk we decided to travel in style and hired a tuk tuk to take us to Pakse. For those of you who have not had the joy of travelling in a tuk tuk they are...

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Jun 8, 2005 - transit Pakse and failed updates!

Hello to all those who haven't given up hope that I may update this site one day... You are of noble birth and give hope to those most discouraged. Somehow doing basically nothing eventually eclipses your internet time. That's the only excuse I will offer, as I truly do want this website to be thorough and interesting, but I have failed. Miserably, it seems. So now a fresh start! I will begin with where I am today and slowly work my way backwards and forwards simultaneously, which is actually a huge project even without photos, but I have...

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May 11, 2005 - Pakse - our last stop in Laos

We headed back to Pakse for one more night before heading back to Thailand. We got the mini-van ride from Don Khong straight to the front door of the place we stayed at last time - Hotel Pakse. We relaxed during the day - dropped off our laundry, got a massage (Carrie), read, and talked to fellow travelers. We enjoyed delicious Italian food that night at Delta Coffee; sometimes, we really need to feed the craving for Western food!

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May 8, 2005 - Champasak - Can it get more laid back than this?

Our trusted Lonely Planet guidebook told us that the bus from Pakse to Champasak departed at noon. We wanted to be sure to have seats, so we flagged down a tuk-tuk a bit early and arrived at the Pakse Southern bus station by 11:30. The odd thing about the bus station was the troubling fact that we didn't see any busses there. The "station" is a large dirt field populated with vendors, a bunch of trucks, and a few permanent buildings. It really looks more like a market than a bus station. Our driver dropped us off next to a sawngthaew (a...

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Apr 12, 2005 - On the Knightbus!

To get to southern Laos I took the nightbus to a city called Pakse, which took 11 hours. It was surprisingly luxurious! Most of the 'VIP' buses in Laos say they have A/C but it basically means they can open the windows. Going on this rule I turned up in my vest top and cropped trousers, but lo and behold, it was a real coach with A/C, 2 foot's worth of leg room, seats that tilt to 45 degrees...! Fortunately I wasn't cold because there was also blankets to keep you warm. Lovely. Could have done without the ear-splitting Laos/Thai karoke...

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Mar 30, 2005 - Pakse

Thoroughly exhausted after the hot weather we booked into a guest house with air conditioning and cable TV. After a day or two of A/C, movies and good Indian food we were ready to venture out for a couple more day trips. The first one took us to tea and coffee plantations, a minority community as well as waterfalls. The second one took us to some of the very old ruins of Um Mung and Wat Phu Champasak.

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