Nam Pakan is a limestone reservoir with clean water that is brightly colored. I didn’t spend the night here; it was only a quick stop on my way back to Thakhek. I feel like I’m cheating with this one because this series was intended to be all @pinmapple pins of the places I stayed on my vacation. However, I’ve already written about Thakhek, and I only have a few images from there.
My tour is going to be a shambles, especially after I get to Vietnam. The majority of the photographs were taken throughout the day’s journey, not where I stayed. We’ll have to cross those bridges when we get there.
I left Vieng Kham on my last day on the Thakhek Loop, and it was a straight ride down the highway to Thakhek.
On the map provided by the scooter rental firm, there was a circled location. I had a lot of free time on this particular day, and the person had recommended it. So I decided to have a look.
But first, I had to capture yet another photo of a scooter. When I read other people’s posts about scooter travels, I notice that they usually include scooter photos, and the photos are invariably dull. Mine is very uninteresting, but I suppose we all share a fondness for our faithful scooters. We can’t resist but share the photographs that only we can enjoy, just like parents of ugly children or uninteresting pets.
I’d come across these brilliantly colored trees every now and then. I have no idea what those are, but they drew me in like geckos to a beer sign (more about Laotian wall lizards in a future post). Much of the travel along the highway was dusty and drab in appearance. These trees stood out like neon signs, and they weren’t easy to get by.
Trash is strewn over the highway. Can you tell I didn’t take a lot of pictures on this day’s ride? Yes, it’s a fair bet that I’m low on images when I publish litter photos.
And here’s yet another photo of a water buffalo. Even if I have 300 images from the day, I will always upload water buffalo photos. A water buffalo is my spirit animal if I have one.
I eventually arrived at the small lake/pond/reservoir. It was an eye-catching color. The color vibrancy of the water was stunning. There was another tourist couple on the loop as well. I spoke a few words with them and we assisted each other in finding the entrance to the water area.
I went to snap a few pictures. They were on their way to go swimming. Swimming isn’t something I’m really fond of. As a kid, I liked swimming and my parents would have battled to keep me from diving in. However, as an adult, it appeared to be more labor than it was worth.
I returned to the place where we had parked our scooters after taking a few shots. We kept hearing someone in the forest clack-clack-clacking on something while I was talking with the other tourists. We had no idea what it was, but it kept becoming louder and louder. Soon after, a 13-year-old local girl emerged from the woods, carrying a basket on a long pole. She was swinging a machete at the pole. We exchanged waves and smiles. She came up to us and handed us the basket.
I couldn’t determine what she had at first.
The basket was then discovered to be full of fire-ant larva and angry ants. She was tapping the pole to prevent ants from crawling down it and swarming her. The girl reached in and took an egg, which she ate. She shook her hand again after being bitten by an ant.
I politely rejected when she offered me one. I snapped a photo, and she went on her way.
I got back on the road and arrived in Thakhek after a short time. I picked up my backpack and returned my bike. I was afraid it might be taken, but it was still there, safe and sound.
The next day, I took a bus to Pakse in the south. I read about another loop online, and the start/end location for it was right there. I hope you’ll join me on the Bolaven Plateau loop tomorrow.