I was about to throw my biggest tantrum of the year at Pakse in Laos as we strolled along the boardwalk of Sedone River when I saw my buddy focusing his lens on something. I looked at him with disbelief. I was defeated, homesick and depressed while he looked very calm and enthused.
|Sleepy at seven in the morning|
Fresh from our 10-hour sleeper bus ride from Vientiane to Pakse, me and my buddy were contemplating on pushing through with our original plans to head on to 4,000 islands. But we’re too tired to do so. So we moved on and looked for a decent place to stay.
The still sleepy town of Pakse welcomed us as we walked along its quiet roads. We had no prior hotel bookings so we relied with our gut feel on getting one. We scored a good deal from FoRest Hotel and decided that it will be our home for we-dunno-how-many-days. Fortunately, two of the staff there were Filipinos and they welcomed us like long lost friends.
Pakse is the capital city of Champasak Province in southern Laos. It is the second most populous city in the country but it still feels deserted as compared to other cities. There are very few tourists and they usually make it as a basecamp in traveling to southern Laos.
We had a week to spare and didn’t know what to do. We circled the town to check it out. Nothing so touristy here. Bars and restaurants along the Mekong and Sedone Rivers were the only interesting ones. But then we loved it. We loved how authentic this city is, devoid the touristy stuff that’s common in Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng.
We were brought to Sabaidee Valley, Tad Pha Suam Waterfalls and Wat Luang (the biggest Buddhist temple in Pakse) by our newfound friends later that afternoon. It was quite far from the town center but our endless chitchat made the ride more relaxed.
KM33, 16E Road,
Entrance Fee: Free
Tad Pha Suam Waterfalls
KM38, Champasak, Laos
Entrance Fee: 7,000 Kip (US$
No. 11 Road, Pakse, Laos
Entrance Fee: Free
On the next few days, I had to relearn my motorbiking skills as we set off to Wat Phou and Bolaven Plateau Waterfalls loop. It was challenging, as I traverse the busy road of Pakse. But we conquered those two famed spots nonetheless.
We usually cap the day off on one of the restaurants that lined the Mekong River. The view here at sundown is amazing.
|Our beer of choice :)|
Pakse town is so peaceful and serene that waking up later than usual was common for us. We took longer coffee sesh with the super sleepy town. And plan as the days went by. There’s this one day when we just hid under the thick duvet of our bed. We’re too lazy to go out. But when our stomach complained, we went out to look for a place to eat.
I was checking my purse and noticed our diminishing funds. We still have two weeks on our two-month backpacking trip around Southeast Asia and we’re almost broke. I was calculating our day-to-day expenses and was distressed on the thought of being penniless. I was about to give the greatest drama of the year but was taken aback when I saw my buddy having fun taking photos. I smiled and moved on.