Home Alone in Luang Prabang

Vat Xieng Thong temple

Luang Prabang is “tonic for your soul” (source: the Lonely Planet guidebook). Luang Prabang is the jewel of Indochina. And Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What a great finale for the trip through Laos!

This is definitely my preferred town in Southeast Asia. I simply love this city and wish that I had more time to stay. But my airline ticket to Australia now puts serious date constraints in my travel plans.

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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in Vientiane

Buddha Park

Before arriving at capital city of Laos, Vientiane – Rene and I decided to make this our “comfort” layover. Take it easy for a day or two and stretch our legs from the busy trip through the South of Laos. We figured that the capital city would have a lot of Cafes and Bakery shops. We were even fantasizing about indulging some Pizza. After having eaten noodle soup from street side stalls for the past two weeks, we were both craving for Western food. Yes, we managed to eat European food (I actually went for a very tasty ‘Cordon Bleu‘ with ‘Freedom Fries‘ instead of Pizza) – but as for the rest, we managed to keep ourselves so busy that we did leave the place two days later completely tired.

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Tha Khaek and Ban Khoun Kham in a nutshell

Ban Khoun Kham

Exchanging tales of the trade means for backpackers to share secret hints and tips for good and cheap accommodation, great local food – or some fantastic sight off the beaten track. This is where Rene and I heard about the “Loop” near Tha Khaek, which is supposed to be even more natural and raw than the trip we just finished in the Bolaven Plateau. The “Loop” is essentially a 500km motobike ride northeast of Tha Khaek, a city in the south of Laos.

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The Hells Angels of Pakse

Me on the moto

The city of Pakse located in the south of Laos, serves most tourists as a bus interchange only. From here, transport runs further south to the Cambodian border or the region of the 4000 islands – or north to Vientiane. Before arriving here, a drunk Dutch guy insisted that “there is nothing to see in Pakse“. Readers of my blog already know, that I consider this to be a sure indicator that – in fact – there *is* most probably something worth exploring.

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Happy times on Don Det (4000 Islands)

Cambodian / Laos border at Dom Kralor

Crossing the Dom Kralor border from Cambodia to Laos was easy. In fact, all of the guidebooks seem to purposely confuse people and tell tales about how difficult passing this border would be. Just buy a bus ticket to Stung Treng (the last Cambodian city before the border) and once there, get your ticket (from the bus company or a guest house) for onward transport to Don Det (or any other major place in Southern Laos). The whole trip from Phnom Penh across the border to the Island of Don Det will cost 25$.

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