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  • hardie karges 11:53 pm on June 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Laos PDR, , Takhek, taxis, tuktuks,   

    #PhonSavan #Takhek #Laos: Taxis, Tuktuks, & Transport—the Plot Sickens 

    Bus Station in Rural Laos

    Bus Station in Rural Laos

    I’m pissed off, furious in fact. I just got charged $10 for a two-minute tuk-tuk ride so I’m pissed. New York is cheaper than that! Laotian people may be the nicest in the world, but tuk-tuk drivers here are a lying thieving treacherous lot, smiling all the while, and tour operators aren’t much better. Of course the government is in on the fix, so that seals the deal right there. They’ve got their bus stations so far-flung and scattered that making sense of it all is beyond the capability of any casual tourist, even one who happens to speak and read the language…

    I didn’t knowingly pay ten bucks for a two-minute ride, of course, but that’s the upshot. This happened in Phonsavan, Laos, the capital of Xieng Khoang province, a city of maybe 40K and proud owner of no less than five (and maybe more) bus stations. Sounds like somebody’s got more government money than they’ve got good sense to me. I’ve dealt with the same situation elsewhere in the country, also, but can hold my tongue no longer.

    (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 12:24 am on June 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t blame you. You are such a seasoned backpacker, you know how to count the money, speak the language – it is amazing.

    • Esther Fabbricante 11:22 pm on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I sometimes wonder how you persevere!

  • hardie karges 12:40 pm on May 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Takhek,   

    #Takhaek #Laos: Lazy River, Sleepy City 

    Takhek, Laos PDR: Sleepy City

    Takhek, Laos PDR: Sleepy City


    It’s a long way—and a tough road—from Xam Neua, near the Vietnamese border, to Phonsavan, Xieng Khoang, on the Plain of Jars, to Takhek on the Mekong River rim, even with an overnight break, down down down through bush and brush, savannah and chaparral, zigs and zags, at times the road degenerating into nothingness, but still much better than previous, with reports of deplorability, like that road back in Bokeo, back there back then, 1997 or so I believe, in the back of a truck, sending me airborne at the slightest drop of an overloaded wheel into mire and muck, at times having to drag the whole darn thing through football fields of impossibility… (More …)

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