Home Travel Help Rescue Dash, the Albanian Puppy! Gallery

Travelling Overland from Vang Vieng to Four Thousand Islands

Troy Travels

Days 645 & 646 of Round the World Travel

Preparing for another very long travel day that is estimated to be more than twenty hours. The journey from Vang Vieng to Si Phan Don (also known as Four Thousand Islands) is an arduous and exhausting haul. There are numerous companies that offer transportation services and the average price I found to Don Det was 250,000₭N ($31.15). While I am not on a time crunch and could have taken the local bus to Vientiane, I had heard from numerous backpackers that this is not a destination to spend much time in. Plus, I would have added even more hours to my travel time, and I have learned that money saved will typically be spent on other necessities (food, toilet fees, water, etc). I talked with several other backpackers who had done it their own way using local transportation, and they said it was a nightmare. At each stopping point, they had to organize their transportation, deal with language barriers, pay extra for tuk tuks, or taxis, at an inflated price, as well as even having to pay for additional accommodations when they arrived after the last bus departed because of the skewed time frame. There were also instances where the bus terminal they arrived at in one town was not the same bus terminal they were departing from, which was often on the other side of the town. I have heard of people purchasing tickets that were either void, fakes, or only took them part of the way even though the seller guaranteed that it would cover all transportation services to the desired destination. Over my time and experience of extended travel, I’ve come to view this as a game. I do my best to talk with other travelers as well as inquire at a variety of local shops and transportation operators to determine what the best overall bargain price is. But, I have also come to terms with the fact that, as a foreigner, you will pay more, and this is just a reality.

enter image description here

This morning I was awake at 9:30am (I know this sounds like a luxury to most) and after enjoying a hot shower and organizing my backpack, I headed out for a late morning brekkie at one of the local restaurants that I continued to return to because the family that ran it was so wonderful. After returning to my guesthouse, I did my routine inspection of checking for any items that may have fallen under the bed or hidden in the pillowcase. Throwing on my dual backpacks (the larger one on my back and the smaller one on my chest) I took the short walk to the transportation office and before I knew it, the driver was calling us to board the minibus to Vientiane just after 1:00 PM. The short, five-minute drive took us across a dirt airstrip that was full of bicycles, motorbikes, and other vehicles driving in various directions. I suppose when there is an absence of aircraft attempting to land, every bit of road surface is utilized. We arrived at the bus terminal that would take us to Vientiane, on the opposite side of town from where I had first arrived in Vang Vieng. By 1:30 PM, our large coach bus was full and we arrived in the capital around 5:30 PM. After talking with several more people, including the lone ticket agent that barely spoke English, I learned that our overnight bus would be departing at 7 PM. The bus terminal in Vientiane had few amenities to offer, but I did have a chance to grab some dinner. I approached the counter of the only restaurant in the terminal and a young girl that I guessed to be ten years old took my order of fried rice with mixed vegetables. I took a seat and minutes later my meal arrived– a bowl of soup with vegetables. I tried to explain that I had ordered the rice, but the young girl had no idea what I was saying and I gave up and enjoyed my hearty bowl of leafy greens floating in hot water.

Since there was time to kill waiting at the bus terminal, I struck up a conversation with a girl from Brazil who had been living in Australia for about fifteen months. She had only six weeks to explore South East Asia. We shared various travel stories and I told her that I had already promised another friend I had met in Colombia to visit him in Rio, but now I have an excuse to visit her in Sao Paulo as well. As we were talking, I asked if she had experienced a sleeper bus yet, and she said she hadn't. I told her I had heard that when you receive a ticket you are doubled up in beds. A horrified look came over her face as we discussed this. Unless you are traveling with someone else, this can be a game of roulette as to who your bunk-mate will be.

We boarded the 1970s style sleeping bus that reminded me a bit of the bus from Almost Famous. It just happened that our tickets were the two lower bunks across from one another and Luana and I were praying that the bus would not be full and we would have a bed to ourselves. No. A few minutes later a large group of Asian students showed up and I had the privilege of sharing a twin size bed with a German guy, while Luana had a much older gentleman next to her.

enter image description here

Luana from Brazil, we were across-the-aisle bunk mates until she realized she was on the wrong bus!

If you have personal space issues, this has got to be one of the first things you get over when backpacking. Wedged in our bed, I couldn’t help but touch the other person next to me, and the worst was when I rolled over and was practically nose-to-nose with my bunk-mate. Thankfully Die German that was millimeters from me for the next twelve hours did not snore, but sleep was still a constant battle from the bumpy roads and tight sleeping quarters. Just after sunrise, we arrived in Pakse to the normal yelling of the bus driver for us to exit the bus in a disoriented state. The bus terminal in Pakse was next to the Mekong River and was a dirt lot where a slew of taxi drivers were waiting for the new arrivals. I confirmed several times that our ongoing transportation to Si Phan Don would be a twenty minute wait. This was an opportunity to brush my teeth with a bottle of water. Yes, the joys of travel continue.

I said goodbye to Luana, as she was heading to Cambodia, exchanged Facebook info and gave the standard, “safe travels.” At 7:30 AM, the smaller group of us were picked up and driven another short five-minute drive, where we transferred buses, yet again, and departed Pakse at 8:00 AM. I knew it would be about two hours before reaching the dock for the boat to Don Det. Exhausted, I curled up against the window and prayed for some sleep. Four hours later, we arrived at another dirt parking lot and were told that the pier was just down the road.

Marching in a line of backpackers like zombies, it took between ten to fifteen minutes to reach the Mekong River bank where numerous long tail boats were waiting to take passengers on to Don Det or one of the other 3,999 islands. By this point, the midday heat made each step feel as though more weight was being added to my back, which had a nice pool of sweat growing underneath it. We were dodging speeding motorbikes, rickshaws, and merchants carrying sacks on their backs or poles strung across their shoulders. The bustling departure port was lined with street vendors selling everything from clothing to food.

enter image description here

Climbing aboard the swaying long tail boat, I was one of the last people before we reached maximum occupancy, leaving a few stragglers behind on the shore. As the captain fired up the engine by pulling on a piece of rope that was wound tightly around the starter, there was a slight breeze and we puttered down the Mekong. The boat ride reminded me a bit of the journey from Almirante to Bocas del Toro in Panama, and I was told the same a few days before from Quinnan. Sadly, as we were cruising down the river, there were numerous plastic bottles bobbing above the water and I could only imagine how much worse the pollution factor may be in the years to come.

enter image description here

From the book that I’ve been reading, Vagabonding, I continue to find some very good and inspiring quotes:

There’s a story that comes from the tradition of the Desert Fathers, an order of Christian monks who lived in the wastelands of Egypt about seventeen hundred years ago. In the tale, a couple of monks named Theodore and Lucius shared the acute desire to go out and see the world. Since they’d made vows of contemplation, however, this was not something they were allowed to do. So, to satiate their wanderlust, Theodore and Lucius learned to "mock their temptations" by relegating their travels to the future. When the summertime came, they said to each other, "We will leave in the winter." When the winter came, they said, "We will leave in the summer." They went on like this for fifty years, never once leaving the monastery or breaking their vows. Most of us, of course, have never taken such vows–but we choose to live like monks anyway, rooting ourselves to a home or a career and using the future as a kind of phony ritual that justifies the present. In this way, we end up spending (as Thoreau put it) "the best part of one’s life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it." We’d love to drop all and explore the world outside, we tell ourselves, but the time never seems right. Thus, given an unlimited amount of choices, we make none. Settling into our lives, we get so obsessed with holding on to our domestic certainties that we forget why we desired them in the first place.

enter image description here

Sunset in Don Det

Not done with the hot wilds yet? Check out Iquitos, the island in the Amazon.

After traveling continuously and currently for almost 3-years, I have had an amazing opportunity to gain and improve upon my previous professionals skills, both my previous 12-year career in Broadcast Television, as well as through volunteering, activism, entrepreneurship, hostel or guest house management, international business ownership, freelance consulting, and English teaching. Follow me at RTW

enter image description here

4 years ago
Hallo Dario, nun schon sooooooooo lange weg von der Schweiz! Mir seichnt, dass es dir sehr gut geht (ausser den gesundheitlichen Problemen beim Tauchen) Ich habe mich mal durch deine Beitre4ge gelesen und wie schf6n muss es sein Tag ffcr Tag zu chillen, essen, trinken, tauchen etc. (das etc. wfcrde mich interessieren:-)) aber wohl eher mfcndlich, wenn du wieder in der Schweiz bist:-) Hier alles wie immer. Wenn nicht Arbeit, dann Freizeit, geffcllt mit wandern, sonnenbaden (sehr selten mf6glich, da immer Regen) lesen, kochen etc:-) Das Pad Thai seichnt ein sehr einfaches Gericht zu sein, ich lasse es mir gerne mal von dir erkle4ren und koche es nach! Beautiful, dass ich immer schauen kann, wo du gerade bist. Take care und genieeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssse deine Reise weiterhin!! Alles Liebe Ce9cile
4 years ago
It was definitely interesting to say the least but yeah, after spending so much time in SE Asia, you can surely get that passive' feeling about seeing yet another palace, statue, etc. Felt it was worth the drive out there even though it was probably the craziest road by bus I'd taken in SE Asia!
4 years ago
Richard, looks like you're getting thngis done!Down the road in Champassak where the crossing takes place is certainly a nice place has it changed a lot since 2008 (my last visit)?With the ground levelled looks like you'll be building your fish tanks and grow beds pretty soon!Sokh Dee! [url=]oazykjazj[/url] [link=]whswothcf[/link]
2 years, 7 months ago
狼一号: 藏鞭王: sex drops: SPANISCHE FLIEGE D5: 奇果カプセル: 催淫剤: 片仔廣牛黄解毒片: 街頭覇王睾丸素: 魔根金虫草カプセル: 韓国痩身一号: 壮根精華素: 威哥王: 新曲美 夜狼神: 催情薬: 漢方薬: 超級猛男: 絶對高潮: 花痴: 催淫: 巨人倍増: 蔵八宝: 媚薬: 媚薬 販売: 狼王戦宝: 黒倍王: 蟻力神: 魔鬼天使: イカオウ: 威哥王:http://www.威哥王通販.com/ 巨根カプセル: 中国精力剤: 精力剤通販店: 精力剤ランキング: 九州神龍: 媚薬 口コミ: 精力剤比較: 媚薬:http://www.女性用媚薬.com/ 媚薬 販売:http://www.女性用媚薬.com/ イカオウ:http://www.威哥王通販.com/ ウェイカワン:http://www.威哥王通販.com/ 曲美:http://www.曲美通販.com 威哥王販売: 媚薬: 中絶薬: 催淫薬: 中絶薬: 避妊薬: 五便宝: 999皮炎平: 男露888: German Black Widows: 房事の神油: スーパーファット: 興奮剤: Muira.PuamaII: 紅蜘蛛: 威哥王: 三便宝: 妖姫: 三体牛鞭: 徳国公牛: 男宝: RU486: 中絶薬: SEX DROPS: VigRx: 催淫薬: 淫インモラル: D10媚薬: 魔根: FLY D5: 同仁堂牛黄清心丸: 蒼蝿水: 片仔廣: 牛黄清心丸: 消渇丸: 韓国痩身1号: シアリス: 五夜神生精片(香港天龍): バイアグラUSA精力剤:
2 years, 7 months ago
淫インモラル:http://淫インモラル媚薬.com/男根増長素: 紅蜘蛛専門店:http://紅蜘蛛専門店.com 威哥王:http://www.威哥王効果.com 媚薬 通販:http://www.媚薬通販店.com 媚薬 販売: 女性用媚薬: 紅蜘蛛: 威哥王: 媚薬 通販: 媚薬通販店: 九州神龍: Muira.PuamaII: 魔鬼天使: 威哥王: 威哥王: 三體牛鞭: 三体牛鞭: 紅蜘蛛: D10催情剤: D10媚薬: 消渇丸: 魔根: 勃動力三體牛鞭: 男宝: D5原液: 蒼蝿水: FLY D5: RU486: SEX DROPS: セフラジン: 花痴: D8 催情剤: 韓国痩身一号: 韓国痩身1号: 縮陰膏: 片仔廣: へんしこう: 催情剤: 催情: 催情粉: 催淫剤: 淫インモラル 販売: 蔵八宝: 五便宝: D10: d9催情: 痩身一号: 痩身1号: 大印象ダイエット茶: 五夜神: 中絶薬: シアリス: 狼王戦宝: バイアグラUSA精力剤: 街頭覇王: 房事神油: ru486 : 男露888: VigRx: 妻之友: 同仁堂牛黄清心丸: 牛黄清心丸: 蔵秘雄精: スーパーファット: D5催情剤: 999皮炎平: 興奮剤: German Black Widows: 超級猛男: 巨根カプセル: 徳国公牛: 黒倍王: 巨人倍増: 狼1号: 狼一号: 三便宝: 蟻力神: D10媚薬 vigrxプラス: 蔵鞭王: レディーチャイナ: VOV催情粉: VOV催情液: 小情人: 精力剤: ペニス増大: 終極痩身: 超級脂肪燃焼弾: スーパーファット: 御秀堂: 強効痩: 唯美OB: 中絶薬: 中絶 薬: 潤滑剤: コンドーム: 避妊薬: 妖姫 通販: 妖姫: RU486: 妖姫: 妊娠中絶薬: 淫インモラル: 妖姫: 媚薬 インモラル: 媚薬 淫インモラル: 媚薬: 媚薬 妖姫: 妖姫 効果: 妖姫 販売:
2 years ago
If your partner complains that you snore during your sleep, or if you wake up in the morning feeling tired and grouchy, you may have a common sleep disorder called sleep apnea. This means that at night, your airway is blocked and you stop breathing during your sleep. If you have this condition, you need to find treatment right away to avoid further problems. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you should use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine while sleeping. This will help you treat your sleep apnea and get you on the path to having a full nights sleep. This machine uses either a face or nasal mask to pump air while you sleep. Try your best to lay off tobacco and nicotine products. Cigarette smoke can irritate your upper airway causing it to swell up, subsequently hindering your ability to breath during the night. Quitting smoking could therefore, significantly improve your sleep apnea symptoms and will also improve your body's overall health and your feelings of well-being. If you suffer from sleep apnea, it is vital to avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol acts as a sedative, therefore, it will naturally slow down your breathing. In addition, it will relax all the muscles in your body, including those in your throat that help to keep your airway open. People who do not have a partner sleeping with them may not know they suffer from sleep apnea. If you wake up with a dry or sore mouth, wake up out of breath, have morning headaches, insomnia, and/or go to the bathroom frequently during the night, you may have sleep apnea and should talk to a doctor. Keep your bedroom in prime shape for sleeping. Insomnia and sleep apnea are often connected. This makes keeping an environment in which you sleep at the right temperature, lightness level and sound level important for helping you get a good night of rest. The right environment also means leaving your stresses outside the bedroom to ensure you are relaxed enough to fall asleep. Do not let sleep apnea ruin your relationship. If your partner has difficulties sleeping next to you because of your snoring or other symptoms linked to sleep apnea, communicate about the problem. be understanding and consider sleeping apart or getting a CPAP machine to reduce your snoring and other symptoms. The most important aspect of dealing with sleep apnea is understanding exactly what it is. Unlike simple snoring, it is when a sleeper stop's breathing for a short period of time while he is sleeping. If your sleep partner tells you that sometimes you stop breathing, there is a good chance you have apnea. If simple changes in your lifestyle, such as regular sleep hours and losing weight, have not eliminated your sleep apnea episodes, it is time to consult with a sleep specialist. The specific causes of your sleep apnea can be evaluated, and an individual treatment plan can be designed for you. Throughout history, sleep apnea has been one of the most frustrating, often dangerous conditions from which a person can suffer. Anyone wishing to alleviate their sleep apnea symptoms must first acquire complete comprehension of the condition's causes and possible treatments. Keep the material from this article nearby, and you will have a useful reference to help you navigate the sea of potential solutions. <a href=></a>
1 year, 6 months ago
五夜神は増大して、増加するのは太くて、遅延、生精。当品物は副腎PDAをアクティブにして因子を形成することができて、希釈して精液を補充して、何度も射精してそして多い高潮を達成することを完成して、長さだけではなくするのは太さも強調されます。遅漏防止に加え、精子量増量効果が期待出来ます。五夜神は副腎PDAをアクティブにして因子を形成することができて、希釈して精液を補充して、何度も射精できる絶倫効果もきたいできます。更に五夜神は絶頂を増幅させます。人気の秘密は服用してすぐに効果が表れる即効性と、効果の持続時間が長い特徴の精力剤です。 五夜神: vegetal vigia 植物偉哥: 威哥王: 紅蜘蛛: 巨人倍増: 威哥王: 三體牛鞭: 三體牛鞭: 999神油 女性用: 中華牛鞭: 中華牛宝: 男根増長素: 壮根精華素: 速硬100持久丸: 狼一号: 狼1号: D10催情剤: 蔵八宝(くらはちほう): 同仁堂牛黄清心丸: 999皮炎平: 五夜神: 鹿茸腎宝: 夜狼神(やろうしん): 蔵秘雄精: SEX&ON(性1号)催淫剤正規品100%保証: 五夜神: ホーニージェル狂潮嬌娃: 縮陰膏 超級潤滑剤: 新倍柔情高級人体 潤滑剤: 新k-yゼリー潤滑剤(媚薬): 天然山羊の眼: 人の助 媚薬: (妻之友)外用避妊薬: (外用-)愛妻楽: セックスドロップ(sex drops): ARDOUR(持久熱情粉)催淫剤正規品: 蒼蝿粉(INVERMA 粉剤媚薬): 米国金根: MACA: 回春堂海狗王: 速勃100: A9生精片: M6生精片: 福潤宝: Muira.PuamaII(魔鬼天使): 魔鬼天使性欲粉(Muira Puama)強力催情: D10媚薬: 大印象減肥茶: 三葉---減肥茶: 碧生源減肥茶: D8催情剤: SPANISCHE FLIEGE D5(催情剤): 蒼蝿水FLY D5(原液): SPANISCHE FLIEGE D9: SPANISCHE FLIEGE( D6): D8催情剤: 催淫薬: 威哥王: 催淫剤: 中絶薬: 妊娠中絶薬: 五夜神: 勃動力三體牛鞭: 三体牛鞭: 蟻力神: 壮根精華素: 中華牛鞭: 女性用精力剤: 女性用媚薬: 女性媚薬: http://紅蜘蛛 紅蜘蛛 頂点3000: 巨根カプセル: バイアグラUSA精力剤: 威哥王: 巨人倍増: 蟻力神:
Create comment
Support the author