Si Phan Don means 4,000 islands and is a region of Champasak Province in southern Laos. There is not much to do here but definitely is a nice nature and environment. It is a very good place where to find peace and relax. The sunsets and the photo opportunities were marvelous.
The Mekong River flows through the province and, just above the Cambodian border, is broken by the Khone Falls, a large number of rapids which make this section impassable to river traffic. During French colonial times a railway was completed in 1924 for transportation across the rapids in Si… Continue reading
In southern Laos the small town of Champasak, along the Mekong river, worth absolutely a visit because is the location of the Khmer ruins of Wat Phou Champasak. I arrived in Champasak from Thailand through the Chong Mek border crossing, towards the city of Pakse. I got my Lao visa in Bangkok but is also possible obtain it from this border post.
Wat Phou Champasak is located at the base of mount Phou Kao, few kilometers far from the Mekong river in Champasak province. There was a temple on the site as early as the 5th century, but the surviving… Continue reading
During the 12 hours bus trip from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang we got a 5 hours forced stop due to a small landslide that closed the only road along this mountains.
This road is quite dangerous during monsoon season so is definitely better get a plane to Luang Prabang.
Few years after my trip, on the very same road, some tourists were shot and died during a robbery of the bus.
I have anyway to say that Laos is very peaceful country and I feel myself very safe there, much more then in some street in Turin my hometown… Continue reading
Vientiane is the main city of Laos and is definitely a nice and quite place on the Mekong ‘s banks. I loved Vientiane, somehow it reminds me Phnom Penh but without that misery. It was remarkable to spend the evening walking along the river or just drink a beer looking the marvelous sunset feeling the magic of a timeless place. It is easy to find good food, cheap accommodations and nice temples to be visited. The culture of the ”Lanna” kingdom is all around you. The name of the city is derived from Pali, the liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism.… Continue reading
Savannakhet is another small town on the Mekong ‘s banks, another quite city outside the time flow of the civilization as we know it.
Stop in Savannakhet is a good choice (actually the only one) if you want to take a break on the long journey from south of Laos to Vientiane and the north.
I spent in Savannakhet a couple of days, from there I went to Vientiane, it took me one full day on the bus with no air but with amazing people around, especially a couple of nice sisters that I still remember.
On the other Mekong’s… Continue reading
Vang Vieng basically is small town in the middle of nowhere. I stopped there for few days in order to take a rest during the long toad trip to Luang Prabang. The nature around Vang Vieng is amazing and it definitely worth a motorbike trip. Vang Vieng is situated on the main north-south highway, Route 13 from Luang Prabang to the capital Vientiane. One of the main features of Vang Vieng is a long, mostly unused, airfield runway parallel to the road. It was used during the Vietnam War by the Air America’s planes. Vang Vieng started to grow in… Continue reading
Luang Prabang was the ancient capital of Lan Xang kingdom till 1907. Muang Sua was the old name of Luang Prabang following its conquest in A.D. 698 by a Tai prince, Khun Lo. The aristocracy of Tai overlords in Luang Prabang was replaced by Nan-Chao, the date of the occupation are not known, but it probably ended well before the northward expansion of the Khmer empire under Indravarman I (A.D. 877-889). In the meantime, the Khmers founded in Laos an outpost at Xay Fong near Vientiane, and Champa expanded again in southern Laos, maintaining its presence on the banks of… Continue reading
Pakse is one of the main towns in Southern Laos, definitely a Thai-like town, up until recently, most travelers and backpackers tended to use as a transit point. The tourism infrastructure in Pakse is not developed as the more popular north, making it a bit harder to explore, but Champasak Province and Pakse has much to offer, as beautiful wats, and two gorgeous rivers, great for enjoying some eats and drinks by the water side watching the sunset. I do made some good shots as all my time was focused on photography because there was not much else to do.… Continue reading