• Do we or do we not head back home?

    Do we or do we not head back home?

    Night was falling by the time we started to leave the waterfalls, pushing our bike through what was left of the roads, which had turned to a sloppy, muddy mess in the afternoon rain. And then our bike died – completely! – in the dark, and 40 km. from Pakse. We managed to get it to a house where three men worked on it for two hours. We had only gone one minute when it broke down again, and so we were back at the same house, for more work. Finally they got i.. Read More »

  • Religion in Laos

    Religion in Laos

    About 6 out of 10 people in Laos follow Theravada Buddhism (the Southern School). It was introduced into Laos between the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century, but the country had already had influence from the school of Mahayana Buddhism many centuries before. Buddhism developed slowly because the population still believed strongly in spirits (phii) and followed the cult of the spirits of the earth. It wasn’t until the middle of the 17th.. Read More »

  • The Bolaven Plateau: Wild Beasts and Waterfalls – 1st Week of Oct. 2005

    The Bolaven Plateau: Wild Beasts and Waterfalls

    We left our paradisiacal island and headed north to the tune of bright blue skies, white fluffy clouds, chartreuse paddies, bananas, papayas, and large trees and mountains. We thought it prettier than Cambodia because of the mountains and trees, which added height to the landscape. There were few villages, no traffic aside from a few water buffalo and children riding their bikes to school, and open clearings that made it a camper’s paradise.
    .. Read More »

  • Don Det Islands: A Paradise – Sept. to Oct. 2005

    Don Det Islands: A Paradise

    We spent one deliciously relaxing week at Don Det, one of a group of many islands named “4000 Islands” less than 30 km. from the Cambodian border. We chose a bungalow that had a balcony and two hammocks overlooking the Mekong River – all for the grand sum of $1.50/night.

    We spent a good 5 ½ days trying to erase the last vestiges of Cambodia from our bikes, our bags, and our clothing. We finished with a micro-cleaning of the bikes and an in-depth repair jo.. Read More »

  • Crossing the Border - 3rd week of Sept. 2005

    Crossing the border…

    The border crossing from Cambodia was more like a frontier outpost than a proper immigration control – an unused, or rarely used, shack in the middle of nowhere. A few men lounged in hammocks under the shady trees, while some goats wandered nearby. It was clear that we were the only ones crossing the border that day. Everyone else was still stuck in the mud to the south.

    Already, the road at the border was better. It wasn’t paved, but it was rocky instead of mudd.. Read More »