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The Minority Report Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you'll die.

Southern Loa

LAOS | Monday, 3 March 2008 | Views [1038] | Comments [7]

Just so you know the French added a silent 's' to Lao. It was a collection of disparate principalities subject to an ever-revolving cycle of war, invasion, prosperity and decay. Loa is most famous for tragically being one of the most bombed nations on Earth. But everywhere you go there is always someone to greet you with a sweet smile and a gentle "hello" or as they say "sabadee".

We started our tour in Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands), which is nothing more than a lazy maze of shady islands and rocky islets. Also home to the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. Like I said before, when we arrived to the island of Don Det there was no one there to ask us if we wanted a moto ride or buy a bracelet, book, sunglasses, pineapple, massage, etc. It was completely silent. I felt so relieved.

After walking for about 2 kilometers, we found our nice little bungalow along the river, where we crashed for several days. We didn't do much on this day because after eating a nice meal on the porch overlooking the water and taking a short walk, the sun started to set and by then it was pitch black. The next day we chatted with a couple from Austria and a girl from Colorado for a bit before renting bicycles to the dramatic Tat Somphamit waterfall. It was a pretty neat waterfall, too. Too bad I forgot my camera and Mel's ran out of battery. Then we walked a short distance from there to a tiny beach where the water was calm enough to take a cool dip in and boy was that refreshing! Later on we just rode around the island for a bit, admiring the wildlife, the sunset, and the cute little kids playing outside. On the way home we rode back in the dark with my tiny little flashlight. It finally came in handy! We had to leave the next day because we were running short on funds and we had to get to an ATM before it was too late.

We took a "bus", which was nothing more than a truck with an open back attached to it. After they packed produce, live chickens, bags of rice and as much people as they could fit onto this truck, we drove off to the small town of Pakse. We did nothing here but eat at a nice Korean Barbecue restaurant and fart around until the next day when we took a bus, boat, tuk tuk to Wat Phu in Champasak. I really enjoyed this Wat because there was hardly anyone there and it was very peaceful. The stairway leading to the sanctuary was lined with jacaranda (plumeria) trees that gave it a charming aura.

The folllowing afternoon we hopped on another "bus" to the little town of Tad Lo in the Bolaven Plateau. Calm and cool, the broad Tad Lo falls and Seset River are surrounded by forests and villages inhabited by the Katu and Alak people. This is a popular spot for trekking, elephant riding and swimming. We spent most of our time lounging around our bungalow, playing stick ball with the local kiddies and bathing in the river. We hung around here for a couple of days until we finished reading our books and before we completely ran out of energy.

Yesterday we rode on an intense bus ride up to the Savannakhet Province. Not only was the bus driving 30 mile per hour trying to pick people up along the way, but a guy on the bus kept having seizures so we had to pull over twice until he recovered. Their first aid consisted of spitting water in his face, rubbing tiger balm on his legs and lips and squezzing lime juice into his mouth. Although he did survive, the second time we almost thought he wasn't going to make it as he laid there lifeless and blue. Mel was about to administer CPR because no one else on the bus or in the village nearby knew how, which made us awfully nervous God forbid something like that would ever happened to us. Finally they whisked him away in a tuk tuk hopefully to a nearby hospital to get him some help. After that we sort of moved faster, but not fast enough to escape the loud speakers of Loa karaoke being blared on the bus. But we finally made it to this town of nothingness. It was nothing more than a quick rest stop before we endure the 10 hour bus ride to Vientiane.

I thought I would get a good night's sleep in this quiet town, but I was wrong when I woke at 7 am this morning to an obnoxious and repetitive tapping noise. I think it was the hot water pump that just so happened to be outside of our room. I guess we should've forked over the extra dough for some hot water, then I wouldn't have been woken up this morning. The highlight of Savannakhet was when we visited the Dinosaur Museum that consisted of one room with blinking Christmas lights outlining T-Rex's skeleton. It was cool to see the prehistoric fossils, but there wasn't much else to it. We enjoyed riding our bikes along the Mekong River and we tried to get a massage at the Lao Red Cross, but the response to all of our inquiries were followed by a laugh and big fat "No". Damn you Lonely Planet! And here we are in the computer lab wasting time until our 9 pm V.I.P. bus ride to Vientiane, which mean it gets there in 8 hours instead of 12 so that means no stops. And hopefully no karaoke television.

We are looking forward to the north. We hear it's a lot cooler and more to see and do there. I can't wait!

Tags: Lost!



WOW| I'm jealous. You should write a book about your
adventures. It really sound like you are having the
time of your life Take care of yourselves and God
bless you both. Love you,

  Grandpa B Mar 4, 2008 6:51 AM


beats walking.......grandma bryant didn't appreciate that comment either *S*.....ya'll have fun now ya here!

  dad Mar 4, 2008 1:02 PM


Hi ladies. Glad you're alive and well. We love reading about your adventures (except when they involve seizures and turning blue) and looking at your pictures. Please be safe and call us when you can. Miss and love you plenty!

  Tiff,Chris,Keio Mar 7, 2008 1:16 PM


ya´ll rock! been keepin tabs on your adventures. much respect!

  matty Mar 9, 2008 11:36 AM


Great descriptions of your trip, I feel like I'm right there with you, Tennessee seems so boring now!
Love, Mom

  your mother Mar 10, 2008 2:21 PM


Sounds neato. I wish I could be there. I'm psyched to be the only person on this page who was invited.

Oh, snap!

  Amber "Margie" Bryant Mar 13, 2008 4:37 AM


Okay, I invited myself.

*shrugs to self in corner*

  Amber "Baker's Dozen" Bryant Mar 13, 2008 4:41 AM

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