Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Sorry for no picture but we are sitting in an Internet cafe in Pakse, Laos right now. We have had an interesting few days. We took the overnight bus from Bangkok to the border of Thailand/Laos, which is fortunate because we almost missed it. We got an amazing Thai massage and spent way too much time at a cafe overlooking the river (and by way too much I mean just enough) and hadn't planned for Bangkok's massive traffic at rush hour. Our driver told us it would take 1-1.5 hours to get to the train station, and when we told him we only had 50 minutes he finally said "oh, then is highway ok?" This is ridiculous because the highway only costs about $3 more in tolls (which we pay, not him), and took 20 minutes rather than 1.5 hours. I think he wouldn't have even offered the faster route if we hadn't been in a hurry! Anyhoo, crisis averted and we got on the train. Sleep was difficult for me and Isaac because the train was super loud, we had top bunks, and the train was swaying and banging and hopping so much I woke up a few times in the night and literally thought that the train was derailing. Kat slept fine, but she did have to pee a lot (even more than me!), which brings me to my list of new things I now know about Kat:
1. her bladder is really tiny, and like me and Lisa she has to pee RIGHT before bed.
2. she is afraid of cockroaches because she thinks they will crawl in her ear and she will need a doctor to remove them. She said it "wouldn't be a big deal" if one crawled in her mouth. She has been wearing earplugs to sleep because of this.
3. she can drink more booze then me.
4. she is super awesome and chill about traveling like Isaac, and I need to chill out more too. She is being chill about my freak outs too so that's nice.

Oh by the way the malarone is making me a little dizzy. between that and the heat I am riding a boat on choppy seas in the cafe. but I press on! It's been dark for over 2 hours and it is still sweltering. Laos is HOT.
When we arrived in Pakse after a relatively uneventful border crossing (neat Visa for the passport!) this cute old man who had befriended Isaac asked if we wanted to see his home, and we said yes, but it ended up being a wild goose chase because his english wasn't great and he was either mildly scamming us (wanted us to pay for an over priced car to go with him) or he was senile but I think mostly a little senile. Anyway long story short we were hot, tired, and hungry and we promptly got ripped off at the money exchange place, the lunch place, and the hotels we looked at were all way overpriced. Oh and we over packed, again. I know I said I wouldn't but our packs are way too heavy. The place we ended up staying has a cute little porch on the Mekong and is cheap but is pretty grubby. Pakse was feeling like a bit of a border town but we woke up today in better spirits and found a reputable travel agency and we went on a tour of Wat Phou (sp?) part of the ancient Khmer temple sites. It was awesome and our guide is really nice. We had already signed up for another tour with the same agency tomorrow so we asked for the same guide. His English is good so that makes a huge difference. It really lifted our spirits and made us think that maybe heading to southern Laos is a good idea after all. I can't wait to show everyone the photos we took!

So tomorrow we are going to the Bolaven Platue and Paksong. we will ride an elephant into the jungle a bit, and see some minority lowland tribes and stay in a village for the night. The next day we will see a coffee plantation and Tat Fan, a huge waterfall that is very well known. It might rain but we have been lucky so far. There will only be 4 of us taking the tour- the three of us and someone we haven't met. Wild card! so I think we will have a great time no matter what. After that we want to head down to Don Det in the 4,000 islands region for an overnight. we may not blog for several days after this, so our next blog should be a big one! That's what she said.
Peace out,
Isaac wanted me to add that we ate lotus seeds, had an amazing authentic Lao lunch in a restaurant overlooking the mekong, took a homemade car ferry boat over the river, and saw a ton of monks in their orange robes. And waterbuffelo and people picking rice in conical hats, like oldy times. That is all.


zerocrossing said...

CRAZY! Your description reminds me of something I'd watch on late night Travel Channel. After watching it in pure rapt attention I'd exclaim, "I'm sure glad you can't feel humidity via TV."

tawdryman said...

awesome Isaac, it sounds amazing. things back here have been surprizingly rough - and, thus, I would really like you to get in touch with either Serdar or myself. as soon as you can.

Isaac said...

Lol... glad I can keep you entertained ;)