#27 – Laos (Don Det and new ideas)

Visa Arrival and the next country came with Laos.

Over asphalt, gravel roads and with the boat we went to Don Det, in the Si Phan Don – area, where I wanted to rest a few days.

By the way, the scene on the boat, the picture I have for a long time in my head. Now it came true, hm, scary.

These are the famous Lao forest cows, you have to be careful. The sight of the animal already reveals the danger


The way was beautiful, a lot of forest.

Again and again one meets water buffalos here, also with chickens on the back.

In the hostel after the shower, when I wanted to put on my pants again, a scorpion fell out of my pants! He must have been there since Cambodia, more than 70 km by bike, on foot through the forest, boat etc. The whole thing without stabbing me. I think you rarely have such luck.

As a reminder: I left my trousers on the ground in Cambodia last night.

I wanted to eat up energy here and enjoy the place. I liked it here directly.

The food started well with an Indian, went over Lao, European, Indian again, etc. and stopped at Lao. Sometimes I was asked how I could eat so much.

Now back to the boring topic, travelling, the islands, etc instead of my eating:

The Si Phan Don area should have about 4000 islands, depending on the water level. I don’t think so, but I have to count on Google maps.

Dolphins, waterfalls, beaches, a lot of nature, not everything so built up, great people, a good place for me.

It’s all wilder and easier. Exactly my thing. Like in Cambodia, chickens walk between your legs when you’re sitting in a bar.

You set up a board construction on the side of the road, and you’ve already opened a bar.

Chickens and cats are important here. They also like to hunt the dangerous insects.

Unfortunately, my camera is getting more and more broken. That would be quite a setback for me.

Briefly something about the environment:

There are Irrawaddy Dolphins here in Laos. But like almost all animals of this world, they are also threatened with extinction. All over Laos there are only two or three left. Too little to build up a real population. So they are the last.

Environmental pollution, nets and hunting in the 70s almost wiped out the short-snouted dolphins with the characteristic grin and the bulging forehead in the Mekong. In addition, many dams are being built (China, Thailand, Laos). Just like the dolphins, many villages and indigenous people are endangered by the dams. Many species of fish will probably also die out.

In addition the glaciers are melting because of the global warming on the Tibetan plateau, which leads to very heavy rainfalls and in summer to extreme water shortage (two links with more information in german, welt.de…​, zeit.de…​). Now I could write forever about future transnational cooperation that does not exist and how bad the future prospects of this region are likely to be due to this etc. But that would go beyond the bounds of this.

Back to the blog:

After five days of eating, discussing and enjoying the great islands, I wanted to go again, too long in a place without a real job to have, does not go with me. I have gathered enough strength.

Unfortunately it rains at least once a day and it is cloudy almost every day.

I thought about changing my trip:

I go to Pakse and leave my bicycle with the friend of the hostel owner there. Then I go by bus to the capital Vientiane and to the Russian embassy to apply for a visa. During the waiting time I would go to the monastery for 10 days to do Vipassana meditation.

Then pick up the visa, return to Pakse and cycle to the mountains in the direction of Vietnam.

Later I would fly to Vladiwostok and leave my bike there for almost a year with a warmshowers host. With the Trans-Siberian Railway I would return to Europe to visit the Carpathians hiking and by car stop. Next year in January I would fly to India for two months. From India I would fly back to Vladiwostok to cycle as planned to Kyrgyzstan, but coming from the other direction. So I would start in Vladiwostok. I even already have an approximate route. Good plan or?

Finally back on the road again. I was in such a good mood that my face almost hurt from whistling, singing and laughing. It was really like that!

The weather was perfect, from noon there was a wonderful game of sun and clouds, plus the great surroundings, the waving and smiling people. Everything seemed perfect.

I was just driving through with little breaks. I haven’t felt that good in a long time. I was also happy about my further plans with Russia. It seemed as if everything that I had planned was working out.

There was hardly any traffic. When I was about 60 km before Pakse, my destination of the following day, I was invited by a family.

The people here simply live, without great luxury. Why the exaggerated luxury? We (Europeans) are just happy about self-closing drawers and electronic blinds and spend a lot of money for them, while the people out here prepare their food at the fire or on coal. While we walk to the psychologist, the people here are happy. They like their country, their simple life.

They ate some glue ice with eggplants and fish. Everything without cutlery and from common plates.

People generally go to sleep here very early, but they also get up very early.

Nevertheless, there are also some “funny” things here: If a man wants to marry a woman, he has to pay a corresponding sum to the parents of his future wife. The prices depend on the place. In Laos, for example, someone had to pay about 1000 euros. Sometimes 700 Euro is enough. In addition still the whole celebration.

In Pakse I had my documents printed for the visa, handed in my bicycle and left for Vientiane in the evening in the sleeping bus.

While booking the bus I found out that I can also get my Vietnam visa in Pakse. The advantage of a real visa to an eVisa is that I don’t have to specify a limit. So I can visit a beautiful street in Laos, because I have more time. I don’t have to go to a certain border that is further away.

Paske itself is a nice little place. Many backpack tourists are here (Backpackers). From here many tourist places can be visited.

The 10 hour bus ride was started, one lies secondly on the too narrow and for Europeans, u small beds.

The Russian embassy refused me the visa, because I need at least three months visa for Laos. Stupid rule, but since Germany also causes similar problems to the Russians, nothing could be done.

I would have to try it in Vietnam. For this I would have to extend my Vietnam visa. Let’s see how expensive it will be.

After visiting the Russian embassy, I wanted to go directly to Wat Pah Nakoon Noi Monastery for ten days. Ten days of Vipassana meditation. Ten days of silence and meditation.

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