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Reisverslag A motorbike, hammocks and many many ruins
17 januari 2016
A motorbike, hammocks and many many ruins
Last Sunday, right after I posted the previous blogpost, we went out to get the motorbike we had reserved the evening before. At Ms. Noys Internet Cafe we could store our packs, got a lot of useful tips and recommendations for waterfalls and guesthouses and got a map of the area with the motorbike. We were planning to do a multiple day loop on the Bolaven Plateau. This plateau is located close to Pakse, where we left. The plateau is famous for the beautiful landscape, coffee plantages and waterfalls.
So at day one, we left off, on our way to the first park with waterfalls. We had lunch at a smaller waterfall. Being the only ones there was relaxing and wonderful. In that area there also was am ethnic village. There the different kind of original houses were shown and you could bye woven scarfs and other handicrafts. We didn't stay to long, but before taking of we spent some time at the view point for the big waterfall. This was a very popular and touristic site, so we left quite quickly. We wanted to ride to Tadlo: a small village at the river of the Tad Lo waterfalls. We had heard that there would be elephant bathing there at 4.30 p.m.. We arrived around 3.45 p.m. and checked in to Mama Pap guesthouse. There was..... where we got one of the 15 double beds. The family lived downstairs and we were very welcome in there home. We didn't take long and went out to see the waterfall and to enjoy the bathing. There were two elephants that came for bathing. They were just walking around, unleashed. Together with a lot of other western people, we walked around and took pictures of the animals whole they were eating, drinking and bathing. After that it was about to get dark. We changed to warmer clothes and went out for dinner. It was still early, but because of the darkness and day we felt tired quite early and went to bed on time.
The second day of the loop we rode around and visited about 3 waterfalls and a village. This was the village of Mr.(Captain) Hook, the only English speaking inhabitant. He owns a homestay where we had a cup of tea and watched the village life from the couch in the space under his house. We were planning to stay in a village on the route, but there was nothing there, so we continued to Tad Tayicsua, the next park where we arrived just before dark. We stayed a t homestay where we got our own tent in a bungalow. It was run by a hippie, a lovely lady believing only the good in people and taking good care of us. There were three other girls and a French couple. With the latter we shared a meal and played cards in the evening.
The third morning of our loop it was raining. I wasn't expecting that, but after a slow breakfast it stopped raining and we checked out 3 of the 5 waterfalls in the area in a nice hike through the jungle. At the second waterfal, we could get on a rock in the middle of the river, leaving a breathing experience of space and emptiness. As far as you could see there was only water, rocks, trees and plants. Oh and there was one local man fishing and washing himself in the river, far away. We left on the bike and in the afternoon we visited a coffee and tea plantage where we took a tour, followed by a visit to another, and the last, waterfall. We returned to Pakse just after dust and returned the bike in exchange for our bags. We went to the same guesthouse we stayed in before and went to bed after dinner and a good hot shower.
The next morning we took a bus to Si Phan Don, 4000 Islands. We were left a 5 minute walk away from the "harbour" (let's just say that there was one floating dock) from where a long took us to Don Det. We went looking for a guesthouse with teepees which we had found in the Lonely Planet, but gave up the search when we found out how far it was. Instead we got out own bungalow at the riverside, with a westwards facing terrace with hammocks. Not bad at all. The atmosphere on the island was so relaxing that you could do nothing but slow down and go with the flow. This might have had something to do with the heat as well, though. In the afternoon we relaxed and watched the sunset from our hammocks.
When we woke up in the morning we rented bicycles to explore other islands. The islands are quite flat, so good for bicycling except for the roads of sand and little rocks. Let's just say that it was a bumpy ride and my behind was quite happy when we returned the bikes. During the day we saw more waterfalls and beaches. We couldn't swim due to the currents, but did have nice, cold fruitshakes in a small bungalow at the river. In the evening we ate at a restaurant on the other side of the island. This was quite funny. I had ordered a fruit salad with muesli and yogurt. About 2 minutes after ordering a teenage girl left on a scooter and after 5 minutes she came back with a bunch of bananas. She left again with her brother and a bit later they returned with a watermelon. Now you may guess what was in my fruit salad. ;)
On Thursday the 14th we woke up early to take a boat and bus to Siem Reap, Cambodia. This involved a lot of waiting and riding in uncomfortable vehicles on bumpy roads for way to much money. This was quite a dull day, but we arrived (sort of) safely in Siem Reap.
Two days ago we arranged a tuktuk for ourselves for the entire day to drive us around the ruins of Angkor. We did a big loop with all the smaller temples and complexes, leaving the highlights for day 2. I was mostly overwhelmed by everything. The whole area is gigantic: the surface, the ruins of old cities and of course the temples. We spent the whole day going from ruin to ruin, fighting the heat and the uneven, scary stairs. In the evening we went to the nightmarket which was so unusually empty it was a little bit scary. We went to bed early to get up on time the next day.
And we did... At 5.15 a.m. the alarm went of. We got dressed and went downstairs to rent a bicycle. The roads at Angkor were way better than at Si Phan Don and we only wanted to do a small loop. We biked all the way to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise over the most famous temple of Angkor. After that we got breakfast and spent until about 2.30 p.m. in Angkor visiting the highlights: Angkor Wat, the Byzon complex and Ta Prohm. I took a big nap in the afternoon. We had dinner and played card games in the hotel in the evening.
This was my week in a nutshell. After Phnom Penh we are planning to cross the border to Vietnam next Wednesday.
A funny thing about Cambodia... They use both Riel and US Dollars. This is quite confusing sometimes. For example, if you buy something that costs US$ 1,50 and you pay with a US$ 5 note you will get change in the form of 3 times a US$ 1 note and 2000 Riel.
18 januari 2016 08:42 | Door: oma José
Lieve Laura, en Winnie, wat een interessant verhaal weer, Laura. Fijn dat jullie zo genieten.
Die motorbike, daar zitten jullie met z'n tweeën op, of heeft ieder er een? Wat is een platoon, ik zie alleen maar dat het een Engelse oorlogsfilm is.
Jullie hebben het heel warm daar, hier vriest het momenteel.
Veel plezier verder en ik kijk uit naar het volgende verhaal.
Groetjes voor jullie beiden.
19 januari 2016 09:18 | Door: Laura
Leuk dat je mijn blog zo fanatiek bijhoudt. :) We zaten samen op de.motorbike. Winnie was te klein om te rijden, dus ik reed en zij zat achterop met een tas.
Ik bedoelde inderdaad een drijfsteiger. Ik heb het opgezocht en floating dock is inderdaad meer gangbaar. Ik heb het even voor je aangepast.