To Champasak. 1st Feb 2016.

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To Champasak.

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Mekong, still.

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The Wat Site. Photos do not do it justice.

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3 headed elephant detail. Hindu and Buddhism together.

Out of Pakse and over the 2km bridge crossing the Mekong. It’s a pretty big river.  Quiet road passing through farming villages down to   Had a cheeky banana smoothie and coffee at the rather smart River Resort Hotel with views across the river over one of the 4,000 islands.  Then downtown to find a more budget spot.  We have discovered that booking via Agoda is cheaper than trying to negotiate at the door. The slightly bonkers Laos folk will not even match the Agoda price. Champasak is a rather special little place with some faded but beautiful French colonial buildings now protected by World Heritage, including our hotel.  Down the road further is Wat Phu. It is older than Angkor Wat, built by the same chap – well he had help- but smaller.  There is an ancient route linking the two.  Once it was an enormous religious site stretching over 10 acres with the backdrop of one of the highest mountains. Those Khmer knew how to build interesting Wats. Just as well that they can also function as a Buddhist temple, so the invaders didn’t do what most invaders do i.e. raise the old religion to the ground. There is no record about rape / pillage.

Have discovered cashew nuts “Laos” style, stir fried with lemongrass and lime leaves, add lots of salt and a Laobeer, delicious.

Supper a big treat with Sian and Lawrence at the River Resort – thank you chums.  We found our way back home in the dark on our bikes, rather a lovely cycle in the night air, no traffic, listening to all the frogs and cicadas.  Needed an early night as planning a crack of dawn start tomorrow.

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