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2014 archive

December 2014 Blogs

2014: A Year in Review lucid

2014: A Year in Review

(Dec 31, 2014) After traveling around the Philippines, I set my eyes outside the country and began my Southeast Asian backpacking, starting with Cambodia for my 10-day Vipassana course. I toured the rest of Cambodia, journeyed to Thailand, then extensively traveled across Vietnam with Tuyen, and finally to Laos.....more »»

Exploring Luang Prabang, Laos traveling
Exploring Luang Prabang, Laos
(Dec 30, 2014 - Jan 3, 2015) Much of the travel guides talk about Luang Prabang as the most note-worthy destination in Laos. It's a cold and quaint mountain town steeped in its devotion to Buddha. After a 12.5 hour sleeping bus ride from Vientiane, Tuyen and I finally made it to Luang Prabang. We had to bundle up with our bonnet, jacket and scarf....more »»

Do-It-Yourself Tour of Buddha Park traveling

Do-It-Yourself Tour of Buddha Park

(Dec 27, 2014) At Kip 70,000 a pop for a packaged tour of the Buddha Park, it got dicey for a traveler on a shoe string like me. Fortunately, as I was having my noodle soup, the girl attendant said we could go there ourselves using the local bus. It wasn't that easy. After asking so many people where exactly to take the bus, at what time, how much to pay, etc., we finally got our itinerary dialed-in and we were off. Total cost for us? Kip 22,000/pax!....more »»

Exploring Laos' Capital, Vientiane traveling

Exploring Laos' Capital, Vientiane

(Dec 24-29, 2014) Moving north from Pakse, we (with Tuyen, my Vietnamese traveling buddy) came upon the capital of Laos - Vientiane. Like Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Saigon, we expected to see the big city with all its bells and whistles. We were just hoping it won't be as expensive as Pakse....more »»

Exploring the off-the-beaten-path of Pakse, Laos traveling
Exploring the off-the-beaten-path of Pakse, Laos
(Dec 17-23, 2014) Pakse is my first venture into Laos. I didn't know what to expect as it's off the beaten path even for backpackers. My plan was to start from the south and work my way up to Vientiane and eventually to Luang Prabang....more »»

Overnight in Pleiku traveling
Overnight in Pleiku
(Dec 16, 2014) To reach Laos without crossing Cambodia, it was necessary to go north and take the 12-hour bus ride to Pleiku. With its cool climate, coffee plantation and warm people, Pleiku proved to have more dimension to it than simply a transition point....more »»

Discovering Saigon's Cafe Culture food
Discovering Saigon's Cafe Culture
(Nov 9 - Dec 17, 2014) Saigon had many unique things defining its culture. One of them is their inimitable cafe culture. A coffee shop is not simply a place to sip beverage, but a venue for social interaction and pursuing a lifestyle choice. Saigon takes its caffein culture to new heights thru the myriad of one-of-a-kind cafes lining up its city blocks with very unique personalities, innovative designs and architectured ambience....more »»

Motorbike Trip to the Floating Market of Phung Hiep traveling
Motorbike Trip to the Floating Market of Phung Hiep
(Dec 3, 2014) Phung Hiep is the grand confluence of the 7 rivers of the Mekong Delta. Buyers and vendors come from upstream of these rivers to trade. The goods traded are varied as they are aplenty. If there is a grand floating market in the Mekong Delta, this is it. Tuyen and I rode early in the morning to make the 30km ride from Can Tho to Phung Hiep...more »»

Exploring the Capital of the West, Can Tho (Vietnam) traveling
Exploring the Capital of the West, Can Tho (Vietnam)
(Nov 28-Dec 2, 2014) From Chau Doc, Tuyen and I decided to see the grand floating market of Phung Hiep - the confluence point of the 7 rivers of the Mekong Delta. But we had to take an overnight lodging in Can Tho, still 30 kms away. Can Tho is the main capital of the West - big city. We found Can Tho interesting that we decided to stay a few more days and explore the city before heading out to Phung Hiep...more »»

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Pakse Hotels

Pakse hotels

Ho Chi Minh City


Queen Ann Hotel


Sakura Hostel Cholon


Handmade Moon Cakes by Huong made in the centuries-old Xuan Dinh tradition

Pakse Hotels

Pakse Hotel, Laos, Bolaven Plateau, 4000 Islands
Pakse Hotel
Pakse, Laos

Hai San, Vietnam, seafood restaurant, Pakse
seafood restaurant
Vietnam Style
Pakse, Laos

Jasmin Restaurant, Indian and Malay Food
Indian & Malay Cuisine
Pakse, Laos

Vientiane Hotels

Mixay Guesthouse, Vientiane, Laos
Mixay Guesthouse
backpacker rates
incl. wifi + breakfast
Vientiane, Laos

Ho Chi Minh City

Can Tho Hotels

Can Tho Hotels, Vietnam
Can Tho Hotel, Vietnam