Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Day 189 - Pakse to Vat Phu and Back Again
After my experience with the local bus yesterday, I was determined to rent a motorbike for the day.
I woke up early and decided to first explore Pakse by daylight and decide if maybe it's worth staying an extra day.
While Pakse was more happening than Savannakhet, I did not find enough reason to spend the whole day there so went to rent a bike and explore the Bolaven Plateau. Unfortunately all the new bikes were already rented out and I could only get an older Suzuki Smash (a Honda Wave with different badge).
Given the motorbike, I felt it better to go to Vat Phu and Champasak instead for the day and get a newer motorbike for the Bolaven Plateau tomorrow.
It was the right decision a the motorbike did not handle very well but the way to Vat Phu was great passing by rice fields, small villages, seeing some elephants and a small temple next to a big tree.
The Vat Phu temple was again well worth the visit and probably the best place I have seen so far in Laos. There were a lot of people there and they were preparing for a festival but this made my visit quite nice actually as I could take a lot of photos of people and not just the temple itself.
The temple is built on a mountain and reminded me a bit of the Preah Vihear temple in Cambodia with the different levels. It is well worth a visit and I would say it's a must see in Laos even if you're not interested in yet another temple, the views alone are worth it.
At first I intended to stay in Champaak overnight but after having a late lunch there I decided to head back to Pakse instead as it was not far and the roads in Laos are in good condition and have very little traffic so it's easy to drive.
I took a lot of photos on the day and even after trying to cut down s much as possible I ended up with 20 photos so this is a longer series but should give a good overview over the place and the way there.