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Pak Se, Laos

Arriving in Pak Se

Joi, one of the teachers at Ban Kumuong school in Ubon, Thailand, accompanied me on my weekend trip to Pak Se, Laos. As an Ubon native, she spoke Lao, so she had no problem communicating with the locals. The hard part was communicating with each other — I speak only a few words of Thai, and her English is basic.

We pulled into the bus station in Pak Se, and as soon as we got off the bus, several people hurried up to us to take us to a hotel — not necessarily one we would want to stay at, but one which would pay them a commission. Surprisingly, Joi was ready to go with them, and although since she is more of a native than I, I would usually defer to her, this time I didn’t. Instead we got a songtau (small jeep-like vehicle with a bench on either side) with a French couple and headed into town. Aidan had suggested that we look at the rooms before agreeing to check in, and he was right on. The Lonely Planet guide suggested the Pakse Hotel, so we started there. I looked at the rooms, and wow, what a neat place. $23 for a very nice room, including buffet breakfast. Humble but beautiful decor too.

The Falls

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