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Don Khong

I hate to admit it, but we’re tired of traveling. The last week has been especially tough. It started with the day long bus to the Laos border, followed by the 2 days of boat riding, followed by the feelings of queasiness in Luang Prabang, several days of poor quality Laotian food and the horrendous drive to Vang Vieng where K puked three times.

And then Vang Vieng was not really for us. A backpacker crazy strip of “Friends” bars where all the 18-24 year old budget kids come to drink large quantities of beer lao, tube down a river loaded with floating bars and get easy access to mushrooms, opium, weed and whatever else. I’m not saying it wouldn’t have been fun with the right crowd, but it isn’t Laos and not what we were looking for.

So we boarded a bus and headed for Vientiane. Loaded with hungover backpackers trying to forget about the headache pounding their brains, it took about 3 hours and I while I don’t want to sound like a travel snob, I was very happy to get off that bus and away from those people.

And we kept going. We had heard that Vang Vieng wasn’t for us and that there wasn’t much to do in Vientiane either, so after a few hours and a short dinner with a friend of Kelly’s sister, we hopped the glorious sleeping bus to Pakse.

Yea. A Sleeping Bus. I had never heard of such a thing, but for $17.50, you can hop on a bus of BEDS and sleep the entire way to Pakse, some 650kms away. No, the beds aren’t really made for people 6′ tall but they are pretty comfortable nonetheless and with a little Ambien catalyst, you can sleep the entire way. This was another place where it paid to be a couple because if you are solo, you end up sleeping next to the next person in line, which meant the monk in front of us got stuck with an old man. I don’t know if there was any spooning…
Kelly loved the bus. She talked about it more than the business class flight to Korea where they serve you champagne, wine, and some pretty decent meals.

Nope, give kelly a bed, a styrophone box of rice with some sort of meat on top, a small bottle of water and a few pieces of candy and you’ve really made her week. I guess I should count myself lucky…

So after arriving in Pakse and finding a guesthouse to watch the superbowl from with some fellow North Americans, we hopped another, but this time ordinary, bus to Tat Lo. It took a few hours but we arrived in a small little village where we would start to recover and enjoy traveling again. We probably left there too soon as well but we made it to Si Phan Don, 400 Islands and I think we’re just going to chill for a few days and do….nothing. We deserve it.


One Response

  1. Built in “rest” days. Something I’ll have to remember if I ever take a year off to travel. Though, me being, you know, ancient, I tend to need rest days about every third day, so I can use the practice on a week long vacation.

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