Just a short post to let you know of our plans for the next 1-2 weeks. We’re currently right in the very south of Laos (after two grueling days by local bus – and my backpack got soaked in fish water on the last local bus, everything smells quite fragrant now!) and soon we’ll be heading into Cambodia over land from Laos via the Dom Kralor border crossing, recently becoming the first official international border crossing, although dollars could always get you through before!
Lonely Planet and Rough Guide both advised against doing the overland crossing, due to very unscrupulous boat drivers on the Cambodian side charging $40-$50 for a $5 boat crossing! But this new crossing crosses the river via a bridge, cutting out this con. All details can be found here, which hopefully will be useful to the travelers not looking forward to this previously bad crossing.
Our original plan was to cross back over into Thailand, travel south, then cross into Cambodia at the Trat border, which was much more official and far less hassle. But now we don’t need to, awesome!
Within Laos our next longer stop will be in Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands), which is a cluster of islands and islets surrounded by the mighty Mekong River, we’re looking forward to relaxing here a bit, as the past few days have involved extermely painful bus journeys and little sleep. Imagine being stuffed into a local bus for Laos people (who are not European size!) with all their luggage, 35+ degree heat without any windows let alone a fan, for 5-8 hours a day! Only to discover your backpack is wet with fishy water and crawling with ants at the other end. That was a bad end to a bad day yesterday, the only thing reconciling me was the first pizza i’ve eaten in several months, the noodle and rice diet is starting to wear on us now!
James & Christina
p.s. Here’s a typical scene you see while travelling the length of Laos:-