Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The journey...part 2

Tha Khek to Kong Lor village

Awoke, checked out, got a tuk tuk to the bus station for 10am. Got our bus tickets relatively easily, 30,000 kip, bus didn’t set off until 10.25 so we got some breakfast; I ended up eating noodles that I didn’t realise had uncooked liver in until I’d got down to that part! Oh well, if I was going to get ill it’d be in the next 6hrs...so here goes!

Got on the bus, again, a local one – why did we ever want to go off the beaten path, we find ourselves asking! Some Irish girls had moved our bags saving our seats so me and Devyn ended up separated from Maaike. There were too many people as usual, so out came the plastic stools for them to sit in the aisle. We were a star attraction as there were only 7 tourists on the bus, us and the group of Irish girls. Oh and of course, on went the Laos Karaoke video, full volume so you can’t even hear your own music, coming through your headphones, straight into your ears: that’s how loud the S.E. Asian bus-karaoke video is!

So 2 hours later (it was supposed to be 90 minutes), we arrived in Vieng Kham a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, where we had to walk round the corner and charter our own tuk tuk to what we were told was to be Kong Lo village. Negotiating this with the Irish girls who were going to the same place, we found a tuk tuk, put all our bags on, then he turned round and said (well , mimed as no one here knew English) that he was actually going back the way we’d just come! Meanwhile, we met Dave, the guy from Holland Maaike knew who we had met in Vang Vieng during the SAELAO Project, he had pulled up on his motorbike and was going the same way, so we made plans to meet when we all got there and maybe share a room.

So we took all the bags down and went back to the other tuk tuk guy who was overcharging us and gave in to the extra 10,000 kip for him to take us, to again, what we thought and were led to believe was Kong Lo village...over an hour later we got dropped off, but after checking with a British couple, this was not in fact Kong Lo village but Ban Khoun Kham, another village, 40km away from Kong Lo!!! ARGGGGHHH! So I didn’t pay the tuk tuk guy, and he didn’t even notice, so it ended up only costing us 20,000 kip each!

The British couple told us that they were getting a tuk tuk to Kong Lo at 3pm, so we had an hour to have some lunch, walked practically the entire village looking for food with our back-packs on, and after passing the ‘bus station’ (a little shack)for the 3rd time they allowed us to put our main bags on the tuk tuk while we searched for somewhere to eat. Finally found a little cute restaurant, ordered food, and then...saw the 3pm tuk tuk (at 2.45pm), with the Irish girls, the British couple and OUR BAGS just drive on past!! Oh well, at least our bags were on the way to Kong Lo Cave!!

So we had a mini panic until 10 seconds later it had turned around (the Irish girls had seen us shouting and waving thank god) and parked up outside the restaurant. Our food had only just come so the lovely couple who owned the restaurant put it all in take-away boxes and so we paid up, got onto our tuk tuk and had our food on the go! Let me tell you, rice plus chopsticks, in a moving tuk tuk is NOT an easy feat, it should be classed as an Olympic sport or something!

So what we had been told would be a 20 minute drive, turned out to be an hour and a half – are you starting to get the hang of ‘it will take us x amount of hours, but in S.E Asia-time, it’s more likely +2 hours extra’? And HALLELUJAH!! WE ARRIVED IN KONG LO VILLAGE!! We checked out the Kong Lo Eco Guesthouse, but me and Maaike took a walk down to Chantha GH, recommended by the LP, and it turned out to be the better option, with FANTASTIC views – Kong Lo is a tiny village (we’re talking maybe 20 houses, 3 guesthouses and one road) in the middle of no-where, surrounded by fields and mountains.

So we freshened up (by now it was almost 5pm), watched some TV in the common area downstairs, went onto the balcony to watch the sunset, took some jumping photos as it was the perfect opportunity, and then went for food down the road. Dave ended up joining us just as we finished with another guy who was motorcycling Laos – Alejandro – so they got a room together in the same GH as us, which meant I got a double room all to myself for the night. Tried to figure out how we’d be getting down to 4 thousand Islands tomorrow – turns out we have to do the exact same journey back to Tha Khek (grumble), then a night bus to Pakse at 11pm, then from there another bus down to Don Det. So, another two days of travelling then!! The cave better be freakin’ worth it tomorrow morning! Up for the caves at 8am, then two tuk tuks, and a bus back to Tha Khek – you couldn’t make up a story like this one! Idiots.

1 comment:

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