Sunset over the Mekong
Today I took the bus from Savannakhet to Pakse. It was a 5 hour trip south past rice fields, banana trees, forest, scrub land and villages. Lao roads have improved dramatically since I was here last. Maybe some are still dirt tracks full of enormous holes where you end up covered in red dust by the end of the journey but the stretches I’ve been on so far are paved and smooth.
Twice during the journey we stopped for a short break. About 12 women piled on the bus to sell kebabs, drinks, nuts, fruit, sweets and other goodies that I couldn’t work out what they were. You’ll never go hungry on a bus here! The bus arrived at a bus station out of Pakse town so we transferred onto a songthaew for the final 8km. There were 15 of us sitting inside (a little cosy but not squashed) and two standing on the back, luggage on the roof. One of my best journeys when I was here before was spent standing on the back of a songthaew as it went over some mountains. Stunning scenery and more fun than sitting inside. (That one was covered so inside you couldn’t see anything and people were chain smoking. I escaped to stand on the back as soon as I could.)
I arrived at the hotel about 4pm. I’m staying a couple of streets away from the river. I had a short wander around the centre of town and then found a street cafe next to the river to watch the sunset while drinking beerlao. It’s the best (and sometimes the only) thing to do here!