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The traffic here is so rare, that all lanes but one serves as parking lot for employeesLaotian border The traffic here is so rare, that all lanes but one serves as parking lot for employees

    On the borders with Laos happened a bit of troubles. Since we are here a bit illegally we are one stamp short on our papers which customs officer demands. He's not reasonable and insists that we need a letter from king. The king is friendly with Czech's but I don't remember having correspondence with him. To our arguments, that this is needed for entering the country he responds that we should go to Poi Pet 600km away where we entered the country.

We were bending his ear so long that he let us go eventually, saying that Laotians won't let us enter without papers from him. That could be fun, because if this guy won't let us back then we would have to live in duty-free zone. We shall establish duty-free shop then, because they are the most expensive I know. On Laotian side they didn't miss king at all and our private correspondence didn't matter altogether.

 
In the currents of Mekong thrives fishingIn the currents of Mekong thrives fishing
Khone Phapheng fallsKhone Phapheng falls

The road off the border goes along Mekong. In the past there was intent to utilize this river for a boat transportation from China to Vietnam. Thsi waas ruined by Khone Phapheng falls. Allegedly they are one of most rich in water in the world. They are between the islands in all width of the river. In this case it is almost 8 km. The mass of water flowing here is unbeliveable. A bit up the stream is small fishing boat. Apparently those guys know what they are doing. 30 km upstream is our opportunity for a cruise. On the opposite bank is Unesco heritage Wat Pho.

 

With ship like this we can sail even on the sea :o)All aboard With ship like this we can sail even on the sea :o)

They say about Laotians that they are lazy. Asian proverb says that Vietnamese sow the rice, Cambodians watch it grow and Laotians just listen to it's growing. It's unclear whether it is out of this laziness or just out of lack of imagination but Laos is having cartographic phenomenon. Villages between two towns are named just according to the distance from one of those places. Map is teeming with names like Ban Lak 35 - village kilometre 35, Ban Lak 20 village kilometre 20 and so on. Absolute mayhem is in the fact that all over south Laos there is a lot of villages with the same name, the only difference is that the name is derived form the distance from another town. We have one more disadvantage in the signs, because even though they are written in roman letters the numbers are in Laotian words. I have to brush up my Lao and find a village 35 where is the ferry.

To find the road to ferry is not easy. We're asking locals in the village 35 which way to Champasak, and they just wave in the direction of the river. The ferry itself seems to be unknown to them.When we start think about the possibility of swimming across we get the tip, that it is 10 km from here in the village 35. The brush up of the knowledge wasn't perfect but I guessed the 5 right :o) At the ferry they try to stuff us with tuktuk on the boat where fits barely a grandma with dog(dachshund, german shepherd have to go solo). They are arguing for a while on the phone and afterwards they say a sum of 250 000 kip(circa 40 USD). Incredible. We go to a bigger boat which will be able to carry us for sure. The price dropped to 100 000 (15 USD). That was acceptable but still I can't imagine that anz locals would go for this price. We can drive around on the ground, but it would be the same. We are going aboard but when tuktuk was driving up the planks he tore them down and sat on the chassis. He's simply a daredevil. Luckily for us it's a pocket vehicle on which the heaviest things is our luggage and so it's not too difficult lift and carry away. After our arrival we got to know that tourist prices are tenfold the local ones. Yep I suspected something.

   Wat Pho is amazing. We encounter here a group of soldiers of MAG organization which is responsible for clearing the area from unexploded ammunition out of Vietnamese war. All over Laos was dropped several millions of bombs mostly anti-personnel. Laos became one of most heavily bombed country in the world. Guys with mine detector walk few meters in front of us and so we walk on the most safe paths in all the area. If you pay a bit more they will even check your bed so you don't sleep too lightly.

 
Even at home I don't have this certainty to not step on mine(<em>you know</em> we have a dog)Safe path Even at home I don't have this certainty to not step on mine(you know we have a dog)
Beautiful site undergoing partial reconstructionWat Pho Beautiful site undergoing partial reconstruction
It happens quite often, that ammunition get new purpose. Here serving as a bell in monasteryPeaceful uses It happens quite often, that ammunition get new purpose. Here serving as a bell in monastery
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