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  • Writer's pictureDonna Kitchen

Preparing for a solo adventure

The most amazing part of our travel adventure is that there is no fixed plan.  As long as we fit in with each country’s visa requirements, we’re fine.

Our Laos itinerary has total been turned upside down.  After we completed the Ha Giang motorbike loop, we felt we wanted to do something similar.  I’m researching this adventure I had already seen that there was two motorbike loop options in I Laos, out of Pakse.   

With this in mind we decided to travel to southern Laos to Pakse to do the Bolaven Loop with waterfalls as one of its highlights.

This was one of the options we thought about when drawing up a rough itinerary but weren’t sure if we were up to all the travel.  Now we were on the road we felt we could definitely do this.   

Being this far south meant that we weren’t far from the marvelous 4000 Islands which borders Cambodia.   We still had enough time to head north after this.

Map indicating Pakse region

This preamble leads us to where we are now, Pakse.  Pakse was capital of the Kingdom of Champasak until it was unified with the rest of Laos in 1946.  This area borders Cambodia and Thailand.  The Mekong River creates the border between these countries.

There are a couple of options to travel to Pakse from Vientiane.  One is to fly, the other is sleeper bus.  Depending on availability of flights, the prices can range from AUD69 - AUD320.   Luckily we were able to snap up a cheap airfare for this leg of the journey.

Love these dinky little planes

Pakse has the tiniest internationally airport, only 15 minutes from the city centre.   With a quick trip to our accommodation we were ready for a swim in the pool as it was pretty darn hot.

Pakse International Airport

With this pleasantry ticked off we then needed to organise a couple of motorbikes for our Bolaven Loop Adventure.   This entailed a much awaited tuk tuk ride which we were yet to experience.   50,000kip better spent than a normal taxi.

Our first tuk tuk ride

Ms Noy’s Motorbike Rental was the standout place to rent our bikes.   We went with Honda Click 125cc, fully automatic bikes which would give us enough power to climb hills but not too powerful.

Filling their tanks with petrol, ready for an early take off in the morning, we found a store to purchase some supplies for the 4 days.   When organising the bikes and getting a briefing of the loop we were told it could get cold and rain.  Damn, seeing as the the weather was predicted to be in the late 30’s we saw no need to bring jackets or wet weather gear.   Do we risk it?  Good Boy Scout motto, always be prepared.   Searching the store for ponchos or the like we luckily found a jacket and pant set for only 38,000kip (AUD3.20). A worthwhile investment.  Snacks and toiletries purchased, back on the bikes and return to our accommodation.

Couldn't believe our luck finding this supermarket

With chores done it was time to return for another swim before heading out for dinner and and early night.

'Le Jardin' a French provincial hotel

Le Jardin offered free drop off and pick up iat The Pakse Hotel in the 'main' part or town. After a recommend we decided to have dinner at their rooftop restaurant.

Best decision as not only was I able to have a delicious gin and tonic, a bit of change from beer, the food was delicious. Kevin also insisted on have a photo on the rocking horse. Absolutely Kevin, you're on holidays.

Tomorrow we embark on our first solo motorbike loop and we are full of excited anticipation.

Thanks for reading

Donna & Kevin.

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