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4000 islands can go and …

Posted by | Evil Kristos | March 10, 2010 | No Comments

Let’s stop here for a second and look back at what happened so far. As expected we got ripped of at the border, someone had nicked my camera, some bugger tried to charge us for crossing a bridge that the French had built 100 years ago, it was rather touristy and not all that chilled out and it was hot as hell. The 4000 islands are pretty – fair enough – but not that special. So where does this leave us? We decided to leave and head up north to Pakxe.

We booked with Lutz because he seemed far more competent than Ryan. When it comes to punctuality and getting things done ye can’t beat the Germans. Also; Lutz didn’t not strike us as a complete waster and alcoholic. Better safe and sorry. He got everything organised at once and only minutes later we were good to go.

It was a rather painful journey. The first leg was on a boat up the river. It was one of these tiny little fishing canoes and had no roof. The sun was burning down on us and there was no breeze at all. We were melting.

Our progress was quite slow since there was hardly any water in the river. The skipper had to be careful avoiding the rocks. At some stage we even had to get off the boat. We arrived at the port without an incidence so no complaints. On the next part of the journey we weren’t so lucky.

We got to the bus stop were it was chaos. By the time the busses were supposed to leave they just started to think about the whole thing. Even worse; there weren’t any busses just a bunch of mini vans. We were hot and sweaty and rather pissed off.

Ray was pretty good at expressing his feelings so we got on to the first van. Of course it had no air condition. The ride was overloaded as usual, hot and the drive itself rather boring. We were well in to the dry season so everything was burned, dry and dusty. That’s OK though. If you want to see Laos green and full of life you ought to come in October. So I am not complaining. Laos by all means is prettier than Cambodia. It just doesn’t help.

Suddenly in front of us there was something going on. A bus was parked on the road and another van the other direction. Also there were loads of people. Obviously something had happened. The van slowed down. Once we got closer we saw what it was. It was a rather nasty accident. It looked like a bike had crushed head on in to the bus. The bus must have rolled over them. The dead bodies were still lying on the street and were hardly recognisable as humans. This was something I really did not have to see.

We passed the crash site and drove on. At least our driver took it reasonably easy. It got very quiet in the vehicle. For me it was just another sign that I was in the wrong place.

In a way I was still undecided. I rather enjoyed hanging out with Ray but to go another 800 kilometres up north just to see Vientiane I did not fancy. Luang Prabang I had seen before and Vang Vien simply did not sound right. I’m too old for tubing.

Since I am no fan of rushing things I decided to spend one night in Pakxe. The next day Ray would move on to Luang Prabang and as for myself; I had another one of my brilliant ideas. I decided to check out Pattaya. I know …

The plan more or less stood. We went to a travel agent and asked about busses. He said the busses to the Thailand border go up until 12 AM. That sounded reasonable. I decided to go to the border earl in the morning, then get a bus to Ubon and take it from there. Ray would take an overnight bus to Vientiane. From there it should be easy enough to get to Luang Prabang. From there he wanted to to Vietnam. He had another few months of travelling ahead of him which I shall not comment. Lucky bastard. I hope it sucks.

Pakxe itself had little to offer. It’s not very pretty and there is little to see. Apparently people use it as a base to explore the nearby Bolaven Plateau and other sites but none of it sounded interesting enough to stay.

We went for a couple of beer, dinner and that was it.

4000 islands

4000 islands - up the Mekong


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