has travelled Asia!!

แดนสะหวัน, เชโปน, สะหวันนะเขด

Entering Laos I was not only requested the expected 30 USD for a tourist Visa but 40 USD, which forced me to use 10 USD of my reserve funds. Entering Laos there was – nothing. Only some people advertising shuttle buses to Savannakhet (สะหวันนะเขด). And I found a small ATM, but it would accept only Master cards. But at least the sun was shining! I had experienced Vietnam nearly only under clouds and was glad to get out of this. I walked down the road, passing Dansavan (แดนสะหวัน) but already noticed there was no traffic at all. It was only then I noticed it was Sunday so I decided to spend it here in these wonderful surrounding and looked for a nice place to camp. Having loads of time I explored a nearby jungle and pitched up my camp: hammock, tarp, camping cooker, bathroom and enjoyed a noodle soup. It was fantastic, only that there was reams and reams of mosquitoes. So I decided to rather leave my camp and enjoy the sun. I had to wander back to Dansavan anyway to buy some water, I found non near my camp. Water is actually more expensive in Laos than in Vietnam, while everything else is much cheaper. But for me mattered only the water price as I had only 33 Kip (3 Euro). Two bottles of 1.5 liters each are 10 Kip, which left me 23 Kip. I took the chance of having a table to sit down and write my diary and instantly loads of people surrounded me, writing in Latin script is obviously very attractive. You can not imagine my joy when one of them addressed me in English!! I hadn’t really spoken to anyone in three days and felt somewhat lost since I crossed the border. Teyvada invited me to visit some of his friends, but unfortunately they lived on the Vietnamese side of the border and I couldn’t go back without getting a new visa, which I couldn’t afford. But we met in the evening, his mom invited me for dinner and then we went to his brothers place, who has a pool table. Wow, hat a surprisingly nice evening!

I nearly didn’t find my camp in the darkness but had luckily gone the way some times in the afternoon just to better memorize it. I spent an unexpectedly good night in my jungle, but in the morning I rather left and had my breakfast outside. These mosquitoes are awful, I counted more than 100 bites and they are still itching! I think I got none when I was asleep, because I was on my sleeping bag inside the hammock (double layer), but may also be they got through…

Even on working days there is no traffic in that area. So I hitched everything, from a bike via a small ‘tractor’ to a car just to get to the next city, Xepon (เชโปน). Everything, except for buses, Teyvada was on one of them and even wanted to pay my ride… stunning! Somewhat later I got a ride on a private car, actually my first in South-East Asia. Xepon appeared to be hardly a city, missing an ATM not to mention a bank. My 23 Kip wouldn’t even be enough to get to Savannakhet an my few Euros and Dollars I wanted to keep as really last resort. So just tried hitching further towards Savannakhet but advanced only very slowly. When another ‘bus’ (actually it was rather a small pickup with two benches) stopped I told the driver I hadn’t money, only very few respectively I gladly accepted his invitation to get on anyway. At this point I had already finished most of my water, was tired of walking with all my luggage and had got a sunburn. Its summer here (:

In Savannakhet the bus even drove me to an ATM and you can not imagine my relief when it was finally spitting out some money!! Still I didn’t know where I was but met some western people soon and now I have a room, shower, insect repellent and can buy as much water and food as I want, its fantastic! Everything is so cheap and we have more than 30°C. But its somewhat hard to find sun blocker, here they sell only whitener…

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