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findybear

Southern Laos

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findybear

Hello,

 

By the end of january I visited the southern part of Laos (flew by Nok Air from Suvarnabhumi to Ubon and took the bus to Pakse). Pakse was so called base for the trips around.

 

This report contains more fotos than words. But if there should be some questions, I am happy to answer them.

I stayed in Sang Aroun hotel (for 26$ a night, but I paid in THBs, so all together it made 4500 for 6nights). There definitely cheaper places, but I was in holliday...

 

Pakse:

 

Smoking "is" prohibited inside of buildings

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Wat Luang

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Wat Luang

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Wat Luang

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Wat Luang, Monk Chat

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Wat Luang

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Mekong River, View from Wat Luang

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Mekong River, View from Wat Luang

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To be continued...

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brewster

Great photos. My girl is from near Pakse and I visited there last year. Hopefully I'll be going back again soon. I hope you don't mind, but here's the link to my TR and photos from my trip. Looking forward to seeing the rest of yours!

 

http://www.pattaya-addicts.com/forum/topic/68977-visit-to-pakse-ban-saphai-in-southern-laos/

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findybear

I hope you don't mind, but here's the link to my TR and photos from my trip. Looking forward to seeing the rest of yours!

http://www.pattaya-a...-southern-laos/

 

Thanks, of course I do not mind. I went through your report and I thought I can add some fotos, too.

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findybear

Something more from the river Mekhong. The river was the reason for my trip to that area of Laos. I wanted to have a look on the waterfalls in the most south.

 

Mekhong, Pakse

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Some administration building (I guess)

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...one of many

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This is a bank

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One of the reasons, why Laos is well known :WinkGrin1:

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Again Mekhong

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Pakse in the night. I took the pictures from the terrace "Le Panorama" restaurant, which is situated on the top of the "hotel Pakse". In the front there is the market building

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Night shot

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Last picture from Pakse.

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To be continued...

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brewster

I stayed at the Pakse hotel and the rooftop restaurant/bar is great. Very French! Pakse is a sleepy old place, but the Mekong is fantastic, as is the Beer Lao!

 

Looking forward to more photos.

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findybear

Yes Pakse is a small city. You can reach everything by walking. There are indeed a lot of french people. I do not know if they are expats, especially older people cen be found there and in the sourroundings.

 

In the southern Laos coffee (arrabica and robusta) and tea is grown and the best place for it is the so called Bolaven Plateau. I could see many cashew nuts plantations, as well.

 

I wanted to see as many places as possible here, because I do not know if I will come back or not. So as first I headed to the north-east (not Isaan :WinkGrin1:)

 

Pasuam Waterfall

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Pasuam Waterfall

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Pasuam Waterfall from far

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The adjacent village.

Many (I learned 5) clans built their type of houses, so that you can see their typicall way of living. There are some specialities in each of the houses, but I could not remember all of it. Holes in some of the rooms (private small rooms) can be used for young men to learn the woman and to talk to her. They can hardly see each other, as the holes are not much bigger than a tennis ball. But the man can put the hand through and thus Touch the woman.

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One of the above mentioned houses

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The middle house, where everybody (all clans) are meeting

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One house is built up

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Not far from Pasuam Waterfall there is another one, Tad Soon (Tad = Wasserfall)

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To be continued...

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galifreyvista

Great photos! Do you have any of 10000 Islands? I wanted to make it down there, but unfortunately only had time to do Northern Laos before taking the bus from hell to Vietnam.

 

Next time, I suppose.

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Zizou Z

Very nice photos. Looking forward to more.

 

I also visited Laos and IMO it is the most beautiful country in SEA.

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findybear

Do you have any of 10000 Islands?

 

Yes I have and I will post them.

It is called sii pan don, which means 4000 Islands :FYI1:

 

Great photos!

Very nice photos.

 

Thanks.

Edited by findybear

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findybear

After the Tod Soon waterfall the way lead me to Tad Lo waterfall. It is the highlight of the region. As it was a tour with trekking, this should be the part where trekking started. It was a 1.5hours walk through a field or wild vegetation to a small village, which is built up at the river before the waterfall.

 

Trekking

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Cotton bush

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Look around

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The small village

Well it looked like a clan, some families living together at one place. Maybe one or the other is working in the close situated resort. In comparisson to Thailand, I did not see the men lying aroung...

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Kids looking what the adults are doing

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...like the mother for example

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You can see the waterfall coming

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From the side

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To reach the waterfall you have to go along a ladder made out of bambus set up over the big stones and the river. Sometimes one piece was missing or I had to jump to reach the next piece.

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The glory from the front

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The lunch. It was kind of a picnic on the huge stones in the middle of the vegetation in the front of the smaller waterfall following the Tad Lo. On a side of it there was a resort occupied by some backpackers.

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To be continued...

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ethanmarkovic

great shots

beautiful scenery .. may have to check it out soon!: )

thanks

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galifreyvista

It is called sii pan don, which means 4000 Islands :FYI1:

 

Oh yeah, oops, I do remember that now.

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findybear

The next part of the tour brought us deep into the Bolaven Plateau. The next trek started. Again it was a "simple" walk from a parking place to the (in my mind) one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area, the Tad Yueang waterfall. During the walk the guide explained to me the difference between the robusta and arrabica type of coffee and he showed me some trees, which were (are) still important. In my eyes, I did not see much differences in the trees.

 

Tad Yueang Waterfall

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Along the waterfall there was a path, so from each point there was a good view on to the waterfall.

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2 more fotos from the top

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Nice pictures

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I did not posses a darkening filter so the foto with long exposure is not that perfect.

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From this point there should be another trek to the Tad Fane waterfall which should be more challenging which i refused as I did not have the proper shoes to climb rocks and to fight through a dense jungle. It was already pretty late for an hour trek (4pm). So I wanted to have a look from the front from the other side of the gorge.

Should I come again here, so it will be a duty to climb to the top of Tad Fane. The view from the top must be breathtaking (170 meters into the deep).

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Last foto from Tad Fane

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That was the last picture from the Bolaven Plateau. The area here is very interesting and I would like to see more of the nature here, but infrastructure has to be improved, so that short time visitors will have the possibility to see more.

To be honest, also in Europe there are places which are breathtaking in terms of nature, Switzerland, just to name one of the countries.

 

To be continued...

Edited by findybear

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smithy80

Great report.

 

I've only done Northern Laos-same bus journey from hell the other poster mentions - and want to visit the islands of the south.

 

At the time it can be terrible, but nothing beats 3rd World travel.

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hexhamation

Spectacular, must make a diversion when i am in Cambodia later in the year. Waterfalls would be well worth it?

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CyberPro

findybear: These pictures are spectacular. I've read books about travels on the Mekong. The visuals pale compared to your pictures. Please post more. :)

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THAJEC

Beautiful photos and breathtaking nature. It is good to read and see something else. If I were not so lazy and was not afraid I also went to these places. I also sometimes have to visit Laos. Thank you very much for the nice TR and photos in particular.

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findybear

Beautiful photos and breathtaking nature. It is good to read and see something else. If I were not so lazy and was not afraid I also went to these places. I also sometimes have to visit Laos. Thank you very much for the nice TR and photos in particular.

 

Thanks. Believe me, I am also lazy. Through my round the world trip in 2006/2007 I learned to live as backpacker and experienced many things. Even at that time I rather took the plane from Vientianne to Luang Prabang than to go by bus, so I am afraid as well. By the time I got to used to some luxury. When I think back I never want to stay in 5-10US$ hotels anymore. It can be fun if more people go on a trip, but when I am alone I want to have as much security as I can reasonably get.

 

We can talk about things if you want in November ;)

 

Next trip was to the south. It started with the visit of the tempel "Wat Phou".

 

Wat Phou was not a buddhist temple at the beginning but hindhu. The converted it to a buddhist one and they adjust also the history (and meanings of the statutes) to a buddhist religion. They (the people of curse) add also some buddhist statues to those existing ones. Wat Phou is older than Angkor Wat.

 

They are building new road to the south. After the half of the way to Wat Phou the highway ends and a normal road (in meanings of maintained road) starts.

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The entrance to the Wat Phou area

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The tempel is divided into two parts. One, the right one, is for men only and the left one for women only.

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This is the wagon for gods (although this is situated on the left side of the tempel)

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The way up the steps. There are 77 steps to the "heaven". This is a prime number (known already 500bc !)

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View from the first plateau

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Guards (on both sides)

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The holy spring. The water comes out of the rock, where there is the copy of foot of Buddha. The Thai people drink it, although I think it is not so healthy.

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This is a picture of an elephant. The guide was mentionig the elephant and firstly I thought we will get an elephant ride or will feed elephants, but it was a picture of an elephant in the stone. What it meant I do not remember, but there was also an picture of a crocodile in the stone.

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At those place (where the crocodile is in the stone) some sacrifices were done. First they really sacrified virgins. Those rituals became less strict, as the people did not have enough virgins, the sacrified animals, then even animal became worthy, so it was some rice and water. I did not see any sacrificies when I was there.

 

Nature, there

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View from the top

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To be continued...

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findybear

Next step on the tour was to cross the Mekhong river, which was done with the help of a ferry. When I saw the ferry I was reminded on the wagon which in

 

the greek mythology transported dead people to the land of the deads.

 

On the picture the machine buffalo can be seen (the Lao mothers have nice daughtersas well ;) )

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The engine room

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Exhaust pipe

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We were nearly on the way, as the captain decided to take one more passenger on board

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On the foto you can see a russian guy who go on bicycle from St. Petersburg to here. On that platform people and everything else gets on board.

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After crossing the Mekhong river, it took roghly 2 hours to reach the "harbour" in Nakasang, where boats go to Don Det or Don Khone. It takes about 30

 

minutes to go to Don Khone.

 

Already on the way you can see from far how the islands are already devastaded, before they were even developed. Well where people pay 2US$ per night

 

for housing (nowadays (!)) you can expect that it will go wrong. Everywhere I could see trash, disgusting...

 

In the colonial times the french tried to go up the river. On the waterfalls there was no other way than to change to rail on the small island to

 

overcome the falls and before the waterfall to change again back to ships. It became too expensive for them, because they were not owning the place and

 

the landlords wanted more and more (for oil, storage and so on).

 

Nakasang "harbour"

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Disgusting

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There is TV in Nakasang

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Riding the boat

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This is Don Dhet, the "cheaper" of the both islands. Here you can see how the put the war machinery back to ships...

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The opposite side

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To be continued...

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findybear

You can see the (railway) bridge on the next picture connecting the two islands Don Khone and Don Dhet. In the past times railway tracks went through

 

the bridge. Now soangthews transport people. On Don Khone you have to pay 50000 to enter the "national park".

 

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The bridge

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The nicer road on Don Khone. Everywhere else you have dusty roads.

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Bridge, view from the side

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The bridge itself without railway tracks

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View from the bridge to downstream

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On the following fotos of the Li Phi Waterfalls, one can see that ships are not able to pass upstream.

Good is the situation for the fishermen, who set up traps for the fish.

 

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The waterfalls are very beutiful, but the nature on the island is no more existent (destroyed by the tourism)

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Mirror for the mankind 55555

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To be continued...

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AuxiliaryExit

Very nice pictures.

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findybear

After Li Phi waterfals, there was the time to go to the south of the island Don Khone to get a boat. In the area south from the island to the border of Cambodia, the river is calmed again and sometimes one can see the Irrawadi dolphins. Well I think there were more boats outside than dolphins.

 

I was not lucky to see one of them, but at least it was a relaxed 30min long boat trip on the Mekhong river.

 

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To be continued...

Edited by findybear

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findybear

Not far away from the Li Phi waterfalls and Don Khone there are the Khone PhaPheng waterfalls, actually the main attraction.

 

With this post my report ends. I hope I could offer some nice insight into the Southern Laos. It is definitely a place which should be visited in the same way as Luang Prabang for example.

 

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BR

Edited by findybear

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tallthailover

Beautiful pictures of your trip and I would love to get over to Laos and experience it.....looks just grand.....Thanks for sharing!....

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Edge

Not far away from the Li Phi waterfalls and Don Khone there are the Khone PhaPheng waterfalls, actually the main attraction.

 

With this post my report ends. I hope I could offer some nice insight into the Southern Laos. It is definitely a place which should be visited in the same way as Luang Prabang for example.

...............................

BR

 

Looks like a fantastic trip and thanks for taking the trouble to report it.

.

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