Sunday, 3 April 2016
Change in Plans (or the Road to Paksan)
We set off in the morning to finally get to Phonsavan and visit the 'Plain of Jars' before heading back to Vang Vieng.
The 'Plain of Jars' is pretty cool and worth a visit if you're in the area but not necessary a de-tour to get here just for that. Phonsavan is a strange city with rice fields right in the middle and quite a few Vietnamese coffee shops and restaurants.
During breakfast and while looking at the map, we found a road that leads to Paksan and from there to Vientiane while saving quite a bit of time and distance. So instead of heading to Vang Vieng, we decided to head for Vientiane or at least Paksan.
The road looked very new, it was nice and easy to drive without too much traffic so we were on track to make it not only to Paksan but also to Vientiane before it got dark.
Well, this being Laos there are always surprises and we had one after a nice coffee break. The road so far has been great and we made progress faster than expected. At this pace we would have had enough time to get to Vientiane comfortably.
The road suddenly stopped being good, or a road at all, and we were left with a soon to become road under construction.
This wasn't too bad since it was still relatively easy to drive on it, until this came to a complete stop. We were stuck at complete road closure for about 45 minutes, this meant there was no way to get to Vientiane before it got dark and even Paksan wouldn't be possible before it got dark.
Needless to say even after we made it past the road closure, the last 80km took a lot longer and we made it to Paksan in the evening in time for dinner and some drinks.
Worryingly, my motorbike developed a very loud exhaust noise for some reason but there was no time to look at it or fix it today.