Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Day 197 - Goodbye Laos, Hello Thailand
I got up early to go to the bus station and get my ticket for the 8:30 bus from Pakse to Ubon Ratchathani. It was not necessary though as I arrived too early and the ticket office was still closed so I had time for breakfast and to chill a bit.
When they open and did put the TV on, it showed the news of the demonstrations in Bangkok and the shootings taking place there. It looked quite dramatic and in a way I almost wished I would have traveled there earlier to cover some of this.
The bus left on time, which is very unusual for Laos, and was pretty comfortable. The journey to the border went by quick and the whole immigration process was done in less than 30 minutes on both sides.
After arriving at the Ubon Ratchathani bus station, at the opposite end of the city compared to the train station, I took a taxi to get my train ticket for the 18:30 train to Bangkok.
Once I had my ticket sorted, I left my luggage at the information desk and headed for the city center to take some photos and do some sightseeing.
The city itself is quite nice but was very quiet, I guess it was due to the demonstrations in Bangkok as there was a lot of police around and they had a few checkpoints on the roads. Most shops were closed but I did visit some of the temples there and walked through the old part of the town.
I was actually quite inspired to take photos and ended up taking quite a lot, even decided to walk the 2km back to the train station when it was time to catch the train. This turned out to be a good decision as I got some of my favorite photos of the day during the walk, at least before the battery on my NEX-3N died.
The train itself is very comfortable with a decent restaurant car, comfortable seats that get converted into a bed in the evening and even the AC was not too cold this time round but unfortunately no plugs to charge my gadgets.