Around the World * Pakse, Laos: Motorbikes and Lao Whisky

By: Lindsay Hogg

A Tale of Relaxing in 4000 Islands to Lao Whisky and Motorbike Adventures During Monsoon Season

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Lucy making her happy face

As some of you may know, I left South America after 4 months to meet my friend Lucy in Asia. But that was becoming a complicated task. Stupid Lucy! We managed to finally catch each other in Don Det (4000 islands), Laos. It was slightly boring. We drank beers and floated in the river on tubes. After a few days we headed to Pakse, and that’s where the excitement began.
Our group of 2 quickly grew to 9 and our late lunch turned into a table of booze.
Someone suggested we buy some cheap Lao whisky and soda from a store and take this party back to our hostel. There was more than a few bottles purchased, which lugged back in a bit of a hurry, as it was beginning to rain.

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Party time

We made it back to our hostel patio, which was covered under a tarp and it began to pour. As time went by, it began to rain harder and harder as we drank more and more. It was monsoon season in Laos and we were up to our knees in flooding water. A few if us lost our flip flops due to our drunken state, we didn’t realize they floated away in the flood. Not to worry! The next day, they were placed by the front door, courtesy of the hostel owner (turns out this happens a lot during monsoon season).

One of the boys, Ed, was quite the humorous duder and we quickly became buddies. But after a few hours he began saying “I will stab you Lindsay”.

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Flooding

Now, don’t take this to heart, he was kidding, or at least I assume he was. By the end of the night Ed was going to, “stab me twice”. Could it be my harsh sense of humour? Did he not enjoy me calling him a penis face?
People slowly started disappearing to bed. Eventually we were all in a drunken coma under the assumption we were going to get up at 9am and rent motor bikes to tour around the waterfalls rout for 2 days. This was decided nearer to the end of the night, so I was under the assumption that this actually wouldn’t happen.

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Motorbikes

But I was wrong! Everyone stuck to the plan except Lucy, who wanted to head off to Thailand. Did I already mention Lucy’s an asshole? No, I believe I said ‘stupid Lucy’… my point is thus emphasized. (I’m going to get a phone call or angry text message after this post goes up). Lucccyyyyyy I heart youuuuu! (But you’re still an asshole).
The rest of our new crew headed out to pick up bikes and attempt to drive them away without looking like complete morons. This was a challenge to say the least. But we made it out if the city centre and began our adventure.

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Waterfalls

About an hour into our bike trip, rain began to piss down. I never claimed to the brightest bulb in the bunch, and I managed to not pack enough cloths (in attempts to pack light) and had to wander around in my wet, muddy cloths for the next 2 days.
Each time we got closer to a waterfall, the pot holes and rocks in the road got bigger. Being troopers (or just really stupid) we kept going.

To say we were inexperienced drivers would be an understatement and the security of my life was at an all time low.

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Lunch stop

We made our way to a little village the first afternoon and after dropping off our muddy shoes and cloths inthe huts we were staying in, we headed down to the river for some swimming. The boys wandered off exploring somewhere while Kitty, Tina and I relaxed in the water. Our relaxing time was cut short by Tina, who wandered too far into the current and was being carried through the rocky swirls of the river. Before Tina was swept too far down the river, she managed to grip onto a rock. Her luck or karma must have been at an all time high that day since she managed to not crack her head open or obtain a single scratch on one of the abundant amount of sharp rocks.

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Tina!

The guys had made it back to find Tina gripping a rock at the edge of the river and Ed ran to her rescue, unfortunately he wasn’t exactly a hero.
Ed “Tina, you okay? Need some help?”
Out of breath and shaking with fear Tina exclaimed “YES”
Ed “Okay, put your hand there and umm… Get out of the water?”
Tina “Ya, thanks for the help Ed”

The next morning, our breakfast in the little village took hours. Since Kitty has extreme allergies her food choices were often limited and she ordered chicken fried rice for breakfast – to which the woman running the restaurant, pointed at one of the chickens running around and made a gesture that implied breaking it’s neck. Kitty then requested vegetable fried rice.

I’m pretty sure we all walked like cowboys for a day or two after being on those bikes. And by this point Ed had been pushed to exclaim every hour or so, “I will stab you 4 times Lindsay”. I guess spending long periods of time with me can make someone quite violent.

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Written by Ross French