Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pakse, the Four Thousand Islands, and in to Cambodia

After five days in Vang Vieng we decided to head south, skipping Vientienne (the capital) and heading straight down to Pakse, a 14+hr bus ride that included a 4hr breakdown in the middle of the night. Pakse wasn't much to speak of, besides hot. When we finally arrived it was boiling and we stopped at the first guest house we came to. Half of the group quickly decided to head out the next morning for the 'Four Thousand Islands' further south. Chris, Vered, and I decided to stick out one full day in Paske and spent the day exploring two nearby waterfalls that were amazing. No one else was there and we hiked and swam the day away.

The day after our waterfall adventure we followed the others down to the 'Four Thousand Islands' which are literally thousands of big and small islands near the Cambodian border in the widest part of the Mekong river. I had been planning to stay in the islands for for several days but the heat was stifling. The first day was spent swimming in the river, which felt like a warm bath, getting fried by the sun and laying in a hammock. Again, the others decided to quickly move on. Not to to be undone Chris and I decided to stay another full day and spent it cruising heavy, vintage bikes around the island and taking a boat ride out to a rock in the middle of the scorching heat in an attempt to catch a sight of the rare fresh water irrawady dolphins that inhabit that part of the Mekong. I can say that we caught glimpses of far off sprays of water but might have been looking at the Loch Ness monster. Despite the oppressive heat we made a full day of it, but early the next day hopped another 14hr bus into Cambodia. After three fun filled weeks of traveling together we split in Penom Penh; Chris heading up to see the magnificent Angkor Wat and I heading down to the coast to spend a few days at the beach before my buddy Clint arrives and he and I hit the Cambodia tourist circuit.

Photos: Pakse, Four Thousand Islands


Ubertramp said...

hey guys

A sweet blog you've got going here!! I just wish I'd found it earlier so I could be updated 'real time'.
hey ho. At least it gives me a bit (or a lot) of reading to do now.
Keep on bloggin!

Dorothy said...

ha, ha! you did post many new entries while i was asleep last night. it's great to hear about some of your adventures, especially the slow boat. that sounds like fun.