Champasak, Laos
14° 52' N 105° 52' E
Jan 04, 2008 10:34
Distance 28km

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Text written in: English

Diamond In The Rough

I arrived in Champasak after a somewhat dodgy (as hell) river crossing. I wouldn't even get on this 'raft' they drove the bus (and 4 others) onto to cross the Mekong River. We made it however, so maybe I need to have more faith in the Laos transportation system!

I absolutely love Champasak. It's the most glorious little town oozing French history in both the buildings and many of the locals who are fluent. Myself and another Italian girl, Maria, traveling on the bus were greeted my a guest house owner trying to drum up some business and he insisted on taking us to he place. He boasted river views and wasn't lying either.. his place had a fantastic view over the Mekong River that our rooms opened out onto. He only had one left so Maria and I decided to throw ourselves into the making friends deep-end and share. Turns out we're getting on great so it worked out well! The place here is family run and his kids who work as waiting staff are adorable. It has a really lovely feel to it and I wish I was staying longer than 2 nights.

I spent the afternoon lounging on the deck over looking the river reading my book.  The local kids were watering their vegetable and herb patches growing in the garden.. they were also taking a dip at the same time!  

Maria and I hired a couple of bikes (push ones that is) and went to see the famous Vat Phou Temple ruins. On the way we saw children making good use of the over-flowing river and nearby fields.. basically one big mud bath. It took a fair cycle to get there but was worth it. The climb to the top was worth it too although it wasnae half hot. The ruins are stunning yet apparently not a patch on the Angkor Temple ruins I will be seeing in Siem Reap. All the same it was a glorious day out and we got to see lots of Champasak (it's a very small town so I think we saw it all!).

That night Maria and I met a few other Italians, Dutch and British who we shared dinner and a few beers with later on whilst watching the sunset over the river. Beautiful.

Maria and I were up bright and breezy for our trip to the Four Thousand Islands in the far south of Laos.

 

Photos / videos of "Diamond In The Rough":

Ferry crossing The sturdy raft we crossed on View of fishing boat from my guest house View from balcony Family's garden below the guest house balcony kids watering the plants (and swimming) View of the Mekong River from the balcony My guest house Again The beautiful quiet streets of Champasak Outside my guest house Moto-Tuk Tuk Sunshine from balcony View at night Boys being boys Vat Du Temple Vat Du Temple Temple grounds Pathway leading up to Temple Temple grounds Buddah at Vat Du Temple Temple grounds Ladies who lunch A Laos lady carrying food up to the main temple at the top Trees lining the path Path to the temple (spot wee Maria) Vat Du Temple Buddah in the Vat Du Temple View from the top Engraving on the temple Wall carvings Inside Vat Du Temple The beautiful view Chilling out on his hammock Temple ground from Vat Du Temple path Vat Du Temple Luxury hotel and restaurant boat in Champasak Luxury Boat Champasak French architecture Amazing sunset Fishing at sunset [image]