Saturday, October 13, 2018

Saigon to Pakse, Laos, the Wandering Writer's style

After a few days in Saigon, we headed north to Laos, to be precise Pakse.
Now this is not the most  popular destination among the tourists who decide to visit Laos and for this reason you might imagine how this attracts me the most. Few tourists means also that the place didn't adjust its image and heritage to accommodate the tastes of international travelers.
Despite the small deviation at the airport of Saigon, where we arrived one day in advance, the flight went smoothly and within a couple of hours we reached our third leg of the trip, where we would have stayed for other five days before...
Hmm... what then?
The fact was that because the failure of the dam that happened last month, we didn't dare to make any plan and considered wiser to plan as we go, from that point on.
In a few famous words, No Reservations.

The original idea was to take the bus to reach the border and from there trying to reach one of the cities along the coastline of Vietnam, but we needed to figure out the whole trip one reservation at a time.
In the meanwhile we could enjoy our stay at the hotel my husband booked in Pakse. If there is a word that can be associated with my husband is minimalism and character, two words I really appreciate too. However, when we talk about a hotel stay, I wish at least the basic comfort being granted, and if I can also have wi-fi and air conditioned that would be the top I can expect.

The hotel was a surprise:

I don't know what's going on but this was rated as a three-star hotel! I would have given a good five stars.
The room was perfect, even if we took the standard one, I considered it far better than many other four-star hotels I have stayed in.
Now once settled in our room, it was time to go and check out the hoods.
Pakse, is a very small town, it has just a couple of attractions, but the main thing it has is the beautiful nature it is immersed in.
When traveling in Asia, particularly in areas where the tourism is not as developed as in other cities you need to forget where you come from, and start over again.
This is the best way to appreciate and get to know the local culture. If you keep comparing with the place you come from and things that are familiar to you, the result will be always disappointing. Instead if you keep your mind open, thinking like you have just been born that day, your experience will be amazing. Your heart will be opened to understand better what's around you, and the differences that make this world amazing.
In the town there are many restaurants, and I think we'd tried all of them. However two were the busiest and also the ones which could grabbed the attention of the tourists. They are located side by side, and I guessed the owner is the same, as their menus are identical.
The staff spoke perfectly English (something quite rare to find) and they offered a great variety of international and local food.
There were things we could not go and see due to the low season and the flooding of the area, but this doesn't mean that there wasn't anything to do or see.
Considering the almost absence of traffic on the streets, we dared to rent a bike and go around to have some fun. Something really worth to be seen was the Golden Buddha statue watching the city and giving the chance to have a great panoramic view of the city and the Mekong river.

The city seemed a oasis of peace, particularly after Saigon, and offered many idyllic views that enchanted me.
 After a good rest and wandering around the question was still open, what next?
The answer arrived just at dinner time, when we noticed the big poster on a side of the restaurant wall, about the bus trip from Pakse to Danang, in Vietnam. Since we didn't have any other plan, and we needed to get back to Vietnam at some point, this sounded like the best chance so we booked the trip right away, together with a hotel for a couple of nights in Danang.
As I said we would have continued our trip one reservation at time.
Have a great weekend and stay tuned for the rest of the journey!!


  1. Thank you for conducting a tour of this enchanting location off the beaten path. The hotel looked beautiful!

  2. What an amazing adventure! Thanks for sharing.


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