4000 islands - Pakse - Vientiane - Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang
25.11.2014 - 13.12.2014
To get to 4000 islands from Cambodia, we needed to go back to Phnom Penh and then take a bus.
$27 for the bus,you leave at 7 am and then you will arrive a while later ... I was in my room at 8.30 pm...
Border : In the bus the guy will say that you have to pay now for the visa and he will do it; you can for 37 dollars.
It is actually less expensive to do it by yourself, $2 when you depart of Cambodia, $30 for the visa, $2 for " .." no one know ! so $34.
If you need money, take some cash out when the bus drop you off, there aren' ATM on the islands,just money exchange.
Our first boat stopped to work after 3 min, we took another one and finally arrived on islands. ( 30 000 Kil)
10 000 KIL = 1 euro , easy
We found my friends at a restaurant when we were looking for a bungalow, we were so exhausted after all this journey.
Now, we are in bungalow for only 4 euro a night with own bathroom ( TENA BUNGALOW)
It is not the luxury but we have such a nice view on the Mekong from here.
At this moment I'm on an hammock just writing and relaxing in the same time... hard life heh lol
I eat Indian for the first time in my life in our first night,it was good so I advise you to go if you like Indian Food.
For the Asian food, the fried rice or noodle are between 15 000 and 20 000.
On our 2nd day, we ve been to a National park ( 25 000 ) to see waterfalls ( but we didn't); we went to the " beach" lol, yes we swam in the Mekong haha even Kat !
The view was wonderful.
To get there you need to rent a bike ( 10 000 ) and then you go around seeing beautiful landscapes.
I eat my first Poutine last night ! Yes when you travel with canadians ... it is one of the thing you must do :P
I wanted to chill in my room with my computer but ... no wifi after 9 PM which is so good isn't it....
Today we went to swim in a swimming pool , yes there is one here.
Just take the same road as to go to see waterfalls and just before the bridge you will see a gueshouse with a pool.
Fees : 25 000 and you can pass all day there.
MUST DO : Today I did kayaking .. haha I was kinda afraid about the idea but actually it is really good and worth it.
We paid 135 000 each ( if you are a group negociate the price; it was 160 000 ).
See slightly dolphins near the Cambodian border.
We ve seen the biggest waterfall ( Khone Phapeng) of South Asia, swim in it and it was such a great experience.
29/11 : This morning, we took the direction of Pakse ( 50 000 for a boat + bus from Don Det).
It's a quiet city,more than Don Det,the price are quiet the same, we found a room for 60 000, food for 20 000.
Kat had an ice cream in " Icy Pooh" lol and it was good.
2 days on the Road :
30/11 : we rented some motorbikes ( scooters weren’t available) and it is actually the best thing to do if you want to see wonderful landscapes and be close to the locals in Plateau des Bolovens.
We left at 10h30 in the morning and then got to the first waterfall (pha suam) at 12ish(15 000 )
Our moto broke on our way and we were really lucky to do not fall off, Charles was a great driver.
After this little misadventure,we needed to repair the tire for 25 000 kip that the insurance refunded us later on.
We felt the freedom of the motorbike, the feeling that we could go wherever we wanted to.
The road was pretty okay, dusty at some moment and gravel on the road but no one had an accident.
We had a local Arabica coffee on our way to get some more energy.
We discovered a local market with live fish, frogs, turtles and chickens; before we found a little paradise in PALAMEI Guest House.
This place is located on the way to “ LAD LO “ waterfall ( on the right just after a bridge)
It is, for me, a little paradise because it is surrounded by nature and animals.
On our way,we could see cows,pigs,dogs,cats and sheep.
Our room was great (Big bed, hot shower, terrace, view of a land) and the feeling of happiness was just good for all of us.
It is hard to explain but I was feeling so happy as soon as I got there and I will remember this sensation for the rest of my life.
We had a dinner with the family at the guesthouse for 35 000, we eat soup,rice,chicken,fish and even desert.
I had the great idea to buy a bottle of apple juice to go with my vodka... yes it was good but the next day when I saw how much I needed to pay for it .. hum ... 32 000 like 2 or 3 meals :/
Our group was about 5 people and we had a lot of fun.
The 2nd day,we eat and the went to two different waterfalls just close by our hostel, no one was there so it was just us and the nature.
Charles lost his phone on our way on the scooter and just stopped 3 sec later to take it back but someone took it during this time ... really annoying.
He tried to deal with 2 shops, offered them some money but nothing... no one said anything.
So we decided, Charles and I, to go back to see our host as he could speak french and Laotian but he was already not there anymore.
During this time my other friends continued their route to finish the loop.
We went back to Pakse and as we didn't want that our journey end up like this we went to WAT PHU temple located in the south of Pakse ( 1 hour drive)
We saw a dead body on the road and it was just remind us how life is precious.
Wat Phu Temple ( Vat Phou ) is a MUST TO SEE, even if the entry is 50 000, it is really worth it.
I have been to Angkor but in this place you can feel something as it is less touristy.
I was thinking to only see the big temple but actually when you are climbing rocks you discover so much more than that : trees from the rocks, a big elephant carving in one of those,other pieces of temple ...
I saw my first snake in the wild btw..
We were glad to have done it.
And even if it was sad that my friend lost his phone, it's thanks to it that we have been there.
It started to rain once we finished and at this moment we were thinking " ok , now we have to go back .... "
Luckily the rains stopped and the road was pretty dry.
We came back to the hostel for a shower ard 6 and then catch the mini bus at 7 which will drop us to the main bus.
The sleeping bus was good,after have tried few different buses, it was the best that I have ever had lol ( not for my friend as apparently one guy tried to sleep with them lol ).
After this experience, I am feeling really good and happy again :D
We arrived in Vientiane at 6h30 AM took a tuk-tuk ( 40 000 to go to the city), had a coffee and catch wi fi,then tried to find a cheap hostel ...
What a mission ! the mimimum that we could find was 90 000 for a double otherwise it is between 100 and 150 even more than that !
We had a coffee in Joma Cafe and then relax all day ...
We found one SAY SOULY but at midnight we needed to move out because of BEDBUGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, we went to a 16 dorm for 40 000 each ... free breakfast which was good.
03/12 : After found another place for tom and I for tonight ( lao youth inn hostel 80 000 ) I have been to ANZ bank trying to deal with the one is Australia.
Then,I went to WAT SI SAKET temple which is something to see if you have time in Vientiane.
Banneton cafe is a real french bakery where the croissant is just amazing and even better than in France.
You also can go see the BUDDHA PARK but you have to know that there is strictly no history behind.
It is just a park with lot of buddhas.
I liked it but I will not do it again.
When you know what is VV, you will obviously think about tubing,but VV is also such a beautiful place with wonderful landscapes,caves and a blue lagoon.
We spent 5 nights there and even if I liked all my trip in Laos, VV is one of my favorite place.
The reason is because it is very easy to meet people,have fun but also relax and just return to the basis of the life.
Other side bungalows are basics bungalow with a panoramic view on the mountains for only 40 000 k with a bar on the river ( to get there,go over the bridge).
Tubing : price : 55000 + 60 000 for the deposit ( that you will have back once you will give back your tube before 6 pm), the best time to go is around 12h30,you take a tuk tuk which is included in the price and you arrive at the first bar where will welcome you with shots.
Then, you leave when you want to go to each different bar,just need to take your tube and stop wherever you want.
Be careful, only 4 bars and you have to get to the last one around 5h30 to get back by tuk tuk to the city center before 6.
Take alcohol with you before leaving the city ( 30 000 kip for one bottle of vodka + 2 cokes).
I got food poison after eat a chicken sandwich in one of the restaurant... 2 days in the bed lol..
you can either go by walk,tuk tuk or scooter.
Scooter could be pretty hard as the way to get there is plenty of rocks.
Caves : one is located right in the same place as the blue lagoon and I know that you can even do tubing in another one.
Party in VV : Sakura bar is the main bar where everybody goes, it closes at 12 though but you have different event every night till 3 or 4 am.
Jungle experience on friday is apparently awesome if you like electro music,for my part it was not worth it : expensive for the entry and drinks, I didn't like the music there and you have to pay a tuk tuk to go back to the city.
We took our mini bus to Luang Prabang at 9 in the morning and get there after 7 hours .....
Luang Prabang :
I said yes too, the night market is nice, the waterfalls are the best that I have ever seen in my life, the city which is surrounded by the mountains make something special to this town.
Same as Vientiane, if you like french pastries go to BANNETON cafe at the end of the main street.
The waterfall is a must do, 30 km from the city, take a scooter ( 100 000; 20 000 for fuel) and ride 40 min.
Then, you will see Bears, swim in the water, climb on the mountains to get up there and enjoy a beautiful view.
At the end of the day, go to Mount Phousi to see the sunset thought the hills and to have a view of the city.
I loved my trip in Laos,every single part and I haven't seen everything so I will go back for sure :P