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About this trip
This was the beginning of my second trip to Laos and Cambodia in Dec 2002. After my first visit to the north of Laos I decided to travel in the southern part this time and cross the new border to Cambodia on the Mekong. I arrived fro Thailand by train and took the crossing to Pakse. After a few days in Attapeu province and on the Bolaven plateau I went south to the famous 4000 islands region. It is still a paradise, but in a few years there will be electricity, huge tour groups and all this useless stuff. I plan to write a more detailed travelogue soon, like this one you know from my first trip. Come back soon.
My adventures continued in Cambodia. Read all about my travels off the beaten track on the CAMBODIA PAGES. Here is the direct entry to my travelogue and my photos. Follow me to Ban Lung, with a motorbike through the jungle to Mondulkiri, read about funny Bamboo-Train rides in Phnom Penh, see the trainride to Kampot and Bokor and travel with me on a backroad along the Thai border from gem-city Pailin to Poipet.
Travel Info South Laos
For those of you who want to visit the south including the 4000 islands region, I have put together some useful tips and tricks after returning from there in Feb 2003.
From BKK night train to Ubon Ratchathani. Bus to Piboon Mangsahan for (20 Bt), then change to Bus to the border at Chong Mek (25 Bt). At Lao immigration stamp fee 50 Bt. Take a pickup / Tuk Tuk from border to Pakse across the new bridge. Guesthouses / hotels are north of the taxi station.
Boats from Pakse to Champasak leave 8-9 am, the second stop is near the guesthouses Tuktuks to Champasak (7000 Kip) leave from southern Busterminal. They go across the river directly to the guesthouses. The boat to Don Khong arrives about 10 am in Champasak, coming from Pakse. Price to Don Khong is 30.000 Kip. (The ride with the bus is 15.000 Kip and a bit faster) The boats drops you on Don Khong in Muang Khong, a small village on the west coast. There are some nice guesthouses with great sunsets. The boat to Don Det and Don Khone leaves around 8am from Muang Sen (east cost), and is a bit overprized with 20.000 Kip per person. You can choose if you want to get off at Don Det or Don Khone. Both islands are quiet small and connected by the old French railway bridge. From here all the interesting places can be explored as: Old railway engine, railheads on both islands, small Mekong Falls, big Mekong Falls, Irrawaddy Dolphins, hiking.
To continue to Cambodia, you can hire a small boat, leaving from Don Khone (delphin harbour) to Veung Kham. The whole boat will cost 50.000 Kip. As alternative, you can take a ferry back to the mainland and then go by tuktuk / bus to Nakasang and Veung Kham. 1$ exit stamp Laos, immigration 200 m up the road from the boat landing in Veung Kham. Speed boats leaving from Voeng Kham between 8 and 12am. costs about 30$ for whole boat. Sometimes more expensive when many passengers, max. 6 per boat. Bargain hard with these bastards! This boat will take you across the river to the small Cambodian immigration booth. Friendly immigration officers ask for 5$ tea money ( umm, fee for entry stamp) It takes only 1h with the speedboat to Stung Treng.
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