Next morning, I gave the Mekong alongside Pak Lai a last look.
Our tuk-tuk arrived ahead of time and got us back to the Pak Lai bus station where we had begun our time in this town three days before.
Once on the bus and rolling, we discovered we were on a lesser-known bus route on roads that don’t even appear on maps. You can only see them if you ride them or if you zoom in on them using satellite photos or Google Earth.
Amazingly, not only did this Pak Lai to Vientiane ride feature a ferry ride across the Mekong, but took us through pristine Sayabuli province mountains and, later, right along the Mekong, opposite Thailand.
It was a very memorable bus ride; certainly my best one ever. By the end of the ride, our faces had a fine cake of red dust sprayed on them and we were in the Lao capital of
Vientiane which I will have more to write
about in subsequent visits. Right now, we’re itching to get back to The Isaan…