So just wasting time in Pakse in an internet cafe before catching the overnight sleeping bus back to Vientiane. So let me hop back a few days for the round up.
Caught the night sleeping bus down to Pakse. Sleeping bus was a pretty cool experience. It was actually quite comfortable even though the beds were somewhat small – though being shortish it wasn’t too much a problem for me. Oh this bus was totally decorated out as well, with flashing lights down the aisle complete with little rubber duckies under the see through aisle. Also our sleeping bus was one where you had to share the bed (which might have only been with width of a single, or slightly larger only?) So me an Em had 10 hours of rather close confinement. Still was comfortable and I definitely slept well… but then again I can sleep anywhere quite easily.
Arrived in Pakse early morning and had some food, then caught another bus down to Si Phan Don (4000 islands), where we then caught a boat over to Don Det. Don Det is supposed to be the ‘backpacker island’, but you wouldn’t have known. It’s still really quiet and you don’t see many tourists/backpackers around either. We got some bungalows on the ‘sunset’ side of the island and had a look around the first day. Also watched a pretty impressive sunset, though no pics from here on in as it’s internet cafes from now on.
Next day we booked out tickets back to Vientiane and got free bicycle hire, so we cycled around to Don Khon which is connected by a colonial era railroad bridge the French built.
We cycled out to Somphamit falls, then on to some beach where we chartered a boat out to Khone Phapheng Falls. Coincidentally on the way back we saw a irraawaddy dolphin of the Mekong. These are freshwater dolphins and are considered highly endangered. Apparently there are less than 30 left in the Mekong so it’s somewhat extreme luck that we spotted one.
Now it’s back to Vientiane tonight, where we will spend one day/night before heading to Vang Vieng. Perhaps the ‘backpacker place’ in Laos. A slightly oddity where backpackers have perhaps changed the town for worse. Though who can turn down tubing down a river lined with makeshift bars on Christmas Day?