Existing Member?

Running away from Home

Made it to Champasak...where's the wat?

LAOS | Wednesday, 17 March 2010 | Views [397]

I am in Champasak staying in a guesthouse that is right on the river. Even after the sunset, the air is hot and motionless. The restaurant where I have my dinner keeps the fans going, but most of the lights are off. When I look at one of the lit florescent lamps, I understand why. There is a thick cloud of insects crowding around the light. My skin crawls and I feel like they are on me. What was it the website said about malaria? Long pants in the evening, mozzy repellent with Deet, and don’t sleep naked in a swamp. Well, two out of three isn’t bad.

Champasak is a bit off of the beaten path which in SE Asia means that you have an easy time getting a room, but a harder time getting a ride. The draw here is an ancient temple outside of town and the relaxed, river town atmosphere. Although, there is an underlying entrepreneurial vibe. I hadn’t been in town for 45 minutes when I had several people ask me, “where are you going next?” I don’t take offence. They are not trying to get rid of me. They just want the commission on my next bus ride. It has been like this since I crossed the Mekong from Thailand to Laos. Before that, actually. The Thais can be just as entrepreneurial.

The price for a ride in this country has nothing to do with distance. It has everything to do with how many people are going to the destination. Today, I paid 30,000LAK for a 6km cab ride and 20,000LAK for a 30km ride in a sawng thaew. I was alone in the cab while the sawng thaew was so packed that there were people hanging off the back end of it. It was so packed that the circulation in my legs had been cut off by the time I jumped out of the vehicle (which made for a less-than-graceful landing).

My boating experience on the Mekong has been limited to two ferry rides. I may have to stash away a little cash so that I can say that I had a bit of a boat ride on the Mekong.

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About melissa_k

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Laos

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.