Xe Champhone to Tad Lo

As with the previous evening we had to negotiate the Mekong without the bamboo bridge. This time we chose what looked like a cross between a lawnmower and a tractor to make the crossing. Whilst the first half of the group got across safely, we got stuck halfway (again I’m sure this was not down to excess weight!) and had to wade across to the far bank

Once we were safely back on the tuk-tuk, our first stop was Nonglamchanh temple. One of the buildings on the site is Hotay Pidek library which houses a large number of 200+ year old manuscripts inscribed on palm leaves which record the Buddha’s teachings and sermons. It’s one of only three such libraries in SE Asia and is therefore a hugely important religious site and we again had to go through another blessing before being allowed entry

As we headed down to Pakse we stopped off at one of the Bolaven Plateau coffee plantations.The tour was conducted by ‘Mr Coffee’ a Dutch guy who was travelling round Asia, came to the Plateau and never left (another familiar story!). What he doesn’t know about coffee isn’t worth mentioning and he was determined to tell us everything. About two hours later we finished the tour and were treated to some freshly roasted and ground coffee. It was a coffee drinker’s heaven!

Next stop was Tad Lo where we were spending the night but not before watching the elephants being washed in the river. This time we really got up close and personal and, as with the monkeys, it was great to see them clearly enjoying themselves!


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