Saturday, May 16, 2015

Lao Trip 10.2 - To Pakxan

On my second day in Lao, the Thai government warned tropical storm was still nowhere in sight. After a continental breakfast at the Duang Deuane, I checked-out and looked for a tuk-tuk to the southern bus station. I’ve learned to negotiate prices for samlors. When I know I’m not offered a good price from one driver, I can usually find another who will.

The bus ride to Pakxan seemed a lot longer than it really was. I must have been on a third class bus; no air-con, only open windows. Unlike most everyone else, I kept mine wide open and my face on the recipient side of the wind. It was a little like being in a wind tunnel for 3-4 hours, but I enjoyed the scenery as I rode southeast of Vientiane, along the Mekong.

Pakxan has potential, but is hopelessly laid out for tourism. I did what I normally do, by locating myself within walking distance of sizeable water.

After checking into the BK Guesthouse, doing laundry, a shower and chillin’ in some air-conditioning, I walked down to the confluence of the Nam Xan and Mekong rivers.

This area would be the logical tourist center should the city decide to make one. The views are good and it’s far enough from Route 13 to seem pretty pastoral. I found a small eatery on the Nam Xan, with a lone teenage girl tending it, listening to some decent Thai pop. Not seening much in the way of food, I ordered a Beer Lao and ice. The girl apologized that she didn’t have any ice, then took off on her motosai and returned shortly afterwards with nam khong. I thanked her very much:

Kawp jai, la-lai.” (thank you, a lot)

After sundown, I walked back to the guesthouse in the hopes of finding a place serving food. Finding none, I went back to my room, availed myself of the WiFi and regretted not buying food from vendors who periodically came on the bus between Vientiane and Pakxan. A hungry lesson learned.

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