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10 Jul 2017 52 views
 
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photoblog image A short visit to Laos #6

A short visit to Laos #6

I manage to convince Tim and Koen that the bicycle trip from Tad Fane back to Pakse, will be a breeze...all down hill...so they disappear off into deepest jungle and recover their vehicles. I am right about this, and don't have to turn the pedals even a single revolution all the way [at least 30km] from resort to city suburb...it is exhilarating, after a momentary panic of discovering at about 60kph that the rear brake is not functional due to incorrect placement of a section of the cable!

 

In almost no time we are back in the city. We return the bikes, neglecting to admit that 66% of our number of intrepid adventurers travelled most of the way up the hill in a fancy, air-conditioned limousine.

 

Our contact drives us into the city centre and assists us in locating a budget hotel where we intend to spend one night. The chosen temporary residence is barely functional, but very cheap! This is no problem as we are not intending to entertain royalty there.

 

We drop our bags then go forth on foot into the fierce cauldron of Summer [40degC at least] in search of cold beer and tasty comestibles. I am looking for a double helping of Beer Laos to complete my recovery after yesterday's unplanned drought.

 

Pakse is the largest city in Southern Laos, and probably 2nd largest in all of Laos. It was much developed in colonial times by the French, and there are still many French-influenced buildings all over the city. It is an attractive city, and is well positioned on the banks of the mighty Mekong River at its junction with Sedon River. Pakse is presently undergoing a building boom...renovating old buildings, and erecting new ones somewhat in the style of the old ones. With a rare river bridge across the mile-wide Mekong to Thailand, and a short hop over the mountains to Vietnam and Ho Chi Min City [Saigon], it is well-placed to be a major node in the SE Asian road network being developed.

 

Frequent stops under shady trees to chat about the World's problems whilst tasting the Beer Laos keeps us busy until its time to sleep. Tomorrow we will take a car part-way back up the hill, where we are to visit a Village School.

 

A short visit to Laos #6

I manage to convince Tim and Koen that the bicycle trip from Tad Fane back to Pakse, will be a breeze...all down hill...so they disappear off into deepest jungle and recover their vehicles. I am right about this, and don't have to turn the pedals even a single revolution all the way [at least 30km] from resort to city suburb...it is exhilarating, after a momentary panic of discovering at about 60kph that the rear brake is not functional due to incorrect placement of a section of the cable!

 

In almost no time we are back in the city. We return the bikes, neglecting to admit that 66% of our number of intrepid adventurers travelled most of the way up the hill in a fancy, air-conditioned limousine.

 

Our contact drives us into the city centre and assists us in locating a budget hotel where we intend to spend one night. The chosen temporary residence is barely functional, but very cheap! This is no problem as we are not intending to entertain royalty there.

 

We drop our bags then go forth on foot into the fierce cauldron of Summer [40degC at least] in search of cold beer and tasty comestibles. I am looking for a double helping of Beer Laos to complete my recovery after yesterday's unplanned drought.

 

Pakse is the largest city in Southern Laos, and probably 2nd largest in all of Laos. It was much developed in colonial times by the French, and there are still many French-influenced buildings all over the city. It is an attractive city, and is well positioned on the banks of the mighty Mekong River at its junction with Sedon River. Pakse is presently undergoing a building boom...renovating old buildings, and erecting new ones somewhat in the style of the old ones. With a rare river bridge across the mile-wide Mekong to Thailand, and a short hop over the mountains to Vietnam and Ho Chi Min City [Saigon], it is well-placed to be a major node in the SE Asian road network being developed.

 

Frequent stops under shady trees to chat about the World's problems whilst tasting the Beer Laos keeps us busy until its time to sleep. Tomorrow we will take a car part-way back up the hill, where we are to visit a Village School.

 

comments (14)

I really like the old building that is the main image - but the story is even better!
Ray: You are very kind, Elizabeth.

I really like this French Colonial building style.
  • Lisl
  • Bath, England
  • 10 Jul 2017, 05:36
Thanks for taking the time to write such a long commentary on your day. What was "True Manhood" Scotch like?
Ray: I was not game to try the whisky, Lisl, but wonder if it might be a cheap blend with Viagra dissolved in it. sad

I am enjoying the challenge of recalling and documenting the trip, which took place about 16 months ago.
It definitely reminds me of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Ray! I really like how you tell us about your adventures. smile
Ray: The building style is common in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia [all former French Colonies], and is known as French Colonial! It is quite attractive, and appropriate for the weather conditions.

I enjoy describing these short holiday adventures, and will probably take you to North India or Nepal next. I love this style of traveling, and am fortunate to have found wonderful traveling companions.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 10 Jul 2017, 06:35
There is some glory of past days - I love the long balconies. Thank you very much for your detailed description.
Ray: In the region the building style is known as French Colonial, Philine, and these long balconies/verandahs are a distinct feature.
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 10 Jul 2017, 06:38
The adventure continues, and it is fascinating. I cannot work out how similar or dissimilar Laos is to Thailand. Just as bloody hot though..
Ray: I hope you can tell that I really enjoy this style of travelling/Touristing, Chris.

Thailand is more prosperous than Laos and Cambodia, with significantly better infrastructure, and there are many more Thai people...

Thailand..............64,000,000
Cambodia............11,000,000
Laos.....................6,000,000

All the countries are close to 100% Buddhist...all the people are ethnically very similar...none of the countries are Democracies...food is quite similar, but Thai cuisine is much more distinctly developed, and Laos/Cambodian cuisine is very like NE Thailand Peasant food.

Climate is basically identical in all 3 countries...3 seasons:

December-February...hot and dry
March-June................extremely hot and humid
July-November..........extremely hot and wet
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 10 Jul 2017, 07:24
The French influence is clearly evident even to me in this shot. I'm thinking of some of the buildings in New Orleans. The downhill ride sounds like my ride of cycling; struggling uphill does does not float my boat but others do it (I would have given yesterday's stage on the TdF a miss). Good plan to seek a beer or two.
Ray: Yesterday's TdF Stage was sad...I am not much impressed with dangerous riding and serious accidents...and I am not a flat-out down-hiller.

I did enjoy the long, long free-wheeler, though, especially after the pain of going forever Up the day before.

Pakse is a quite attractive city, and could be a stunner if they handle the boom well. There are fabulous natural attractions all around Pakse, and more favourite is the 4,000 Islands section of the Mekong just a bit downstream.
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 10 Jul 2017, 07:26
I'm not convinced on the authenticity of the Scotch whisky but I like the King of Bus.
Ray: In this part of the world, Alan, not all Scotch Whisky is Scottish sourced.

Like you, I was impressed with King of Bus.
Ray: The buildings are still solid and attractive, Bill...a bit of renovation will have them functional for another 50 years. This style is called French Colonial in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

I was amused by the whisky brand, and wondered if it might be a cheap blend with Viagra dissolved in it! smile
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 10 Jul 2017, 08:14
What do you know Ray, the slide show has kicked into action today. We are told that it is good to give the liver a day or two alcohol free each week. The buildings remind me a little of Cuba.
Ray: Ah...the wonders of iPads!

I believe that building style was popular in many hot places 80-120 years ago, Chad, so Cub buildings might well be like this.
going downhill at 60kmph is not a good opportunity to discover faulty brake lines, Ray but it seems you emerged with a good story to share. the beer seems to help too.
Ray: I do like a cold beer at the end of a hot day, Ayush...Na and I share a bottle of Beer Leo around 1800 most evenings.

The front brake worked ok, so I did have a little control if I took care about using it. I stopped for a moment about halfway down the hill, and fixed the cable problem in just a few seconds and without the need of tools.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 10 Jul 2017, 10:16
By the looks of the hotel, they also did not have a fridge in it.
Ray: The building on show is not our hotel, Louis...this would have been a major step-up.
The buildings remind me a bit of Austalia.
Ray: My first reaction to your comment was "What is this woman smoking!"

However, I thought abut it for a while, and concluded that you are right...there are quite a lot of buildings in Australia with long, deep verandahs like the ones on these buildings.
The buildings certainly have a very French colonmial look to them.
Ray: With care, Brian, these buildings will all survive, and be renovated into very attractive places.
Could easily be a building in the south of France!
Ray: Ok...so perhaps even French Provincial?

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