Thursday, 5 December 2013

Bangkok - The End

Last day of my trip today :-( looking forward to the cold dark winter in England: but hey New York for Christmas with Cathy. Failed to get to the forensic science museum in Bangkok where they have the t - shirt exhibit of a man stabbed to death by a dildo.  Did manage to get to the fertility shrine though which took some finding.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Bangkok - reprise

Back in the Big Mango again for two days.  Flew from Ubon this morning with Air Asia.  Managed to avoid the protests and the tear gas it seems to have calmed down a bit, maybe due to the Kings birthday tomorrow. Staying in Thonburi at Focal Local,  it's a good location away from the tourist areas.  Going to find the night market again tonight and tomorrow some surprise destinations.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand

Back in Thailand today.  Took a three hour bus via the Chongmek border crossing to Ubon. T3 Guesthouse is superb and excellent value for money.  Pottered around and had Hot Tod (oyster omelette) for lunch.  Spent the afternoon drinking beer in the laundrette and drinking coffee with starfish.  Going to the  night market tonight if I can find it.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Pakse, Bolaven Plateau

Today I hired a car and driver and visited the Bolaven Plateau. The area is famous for its coffee and tea plantations as well as some outstanding waterfalls. I had a light lunch of papaya salad washed down with a Beer Lao. Tomorrow I'm off across the border to Thailand,  but I am going to make sure I have another of those duck noodle soups before the  bus leaves.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Don Khone and Pakse

Left Don Khone this morning at 11:00 to get the boat and bus to Pakse.  Actually felt quite sad to leave.  The pure unadulterated relaxation of the place got to me in the end.  Uneventful trip to Pakse - bus one hour late,  par for the course.  Have booked a day trip to the Bolaven Plateau tomorrow.  Staying at the Alisa in Pakse - a whole 15USD! On the rooftop terrace of the Pakse Hotel again.  This time Mai Thai in hand.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Don Khone - Day 4

Did very little today. Said goodbye to Hannah,  Lewis,  Gina and Charlotte who were on there way to the north,  it was nice meeting them. Had lunch at the open air restaurant just by the guesthouse. Read my book,  listened to some music.  Cycled to the little waterfall and now just wondering what to have for dinner - it's a hard life

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Don Khone - Day 3

More cycling today.  Went back to the falls this morning with a group of people I met at the guesthouse last night. Then over the French Bridge to Don Det for a look around.  Back at guesthouse for lunch and perhaps another bike ride this afternoon.  Lazy days.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Don Khone - Day 2

Today I cycled the 2.5k to Tat Somphamit falls.  It was here that the French Mekong Exploration Commission realised they would never be able to navigate the Mekong as a trading route from Cambodia to China. Then cycled further 4k to small village on the other side of the island.  Will go for a cycle in the other direction when I have eaten my fish laap and sticky rice and drunk my dark Beer Laos.

Don Kone - Day 1

Took a boat today from Don Khong to Don Kone. 40,000 kip and one and a half hours. Staying at Pakha Guesthouse right in the river for 50,000 kip - that's 3 pounds 80p a night. Not done anything else today but swing in a hammock. Here for four days.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Done Khong, Laos

Spent most of today cycling around this rather large island.  Two main observations.  Only 5% of cats here have a whole tail; 50% no tail at all; the rest somewhere in between.  Secondly none of the bikes have any brakes.
Had two of the best dishes I have had in Laos in the last couple of days - Me Kong river fish soup and chicken curry soup with potatoes.  Off to Don Kone in the morning

Monday, 25 November 2013

Don Khong, Laos

Today I have travelled in a tuk tuk  (journey abandoned due to CAT digging up road),  motorbike,  boat,  minibus and another boat. I finally arrived at Don Khong at about lunchtime. Staying in Pons River Guesthouse with a nice terrace overlooking the Me Kong. To say this place is sleepy is an understatement,  however that is exactly what I want.  I changed some dollars at the bank which involved a very long sighted guy falling out two forms in triplicate using carbon paper.  This was then checked by a colleague who passed it to the cashier who checked it again before giving me 1,267,521 kip... That's just short of 100GBP.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Vatphu , Champasak, Laos

Today I visited the UNESCO World Heritage site of Vatphu. A khmer temple complex originating in the 5th century. Dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva the Hindu gods.   Built up the side of the imposing Phu Kao mountain. It was stunning.  I got there in a shared tuk tuk with Jean Michael a French guy living in Switzerland.  Think I'll just relax  by the side of the Me Kong with a book this afternoon.  Off early to Don Khong tomorrow.

Champasak, Laos

Today has been a quiet one.  I left Liverpool on Wednesday and today is the first day without travel. Left Pakse in a minivan for the one and a half hour trip here.  Hard to believe that this sleepy riverside town used to be the seat of the Laos royal family until relatively recently. Inthira Guest house is a refined bit of luxury (my last  for a while). Lunched at Champasak with Love on the side of the river.  Off to Wat Phu tomorrow to see the extensive kymer temple ruins.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Pakse, Laos

Today was a first for  me  and I imagine probably a last,  but I'll come to that later.  Left Bangkok at 09:15 not the ridiculously early starts that transport on this part of the world usually involves.  It took an hour to get to the airport in rush hour traffic. Flew with Laos Airlines to Savannahket in Laos on an Air Laos turbo prop,  just like the one that crashed in to the Mekong a few weeks ago. Quick 15 minute transfer then back on the plane to Pakse.... I was the ONLY PASSENGER! My own private plane. Two pilots two cabin crew and me. And yes they still acted like the plane was full . Now sitting on the roof terrace of the Pakse Hotel Mojito in hand watching the sun go down

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Arrived in Bangkok

Staying in Samsen Soi 2 at Chillax Resort (horrible name) but a nice place, if a bit ostentatious. Arrived at hotel at about 21:30. Absolutely shattered after an 18 hour journey.  Only managed to have a couple of beers down the Soi (see photo). Early rise tomorrow - Laos bound

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Plan

Leaving Liverpool on the 20th November then flying to Bangkok via Abu Dhabi. Short stay in Bangkok then fly to Laos. Head south via Champasak and Wat Phu to 4000 Islands for some hammock time.

Will keep you posted.