I had one main mission for the morning: to record the intro/outro for my podcast episode releasing the next day. I walked up the road about 300 meters and found a quiet spot amidst bamboo trees to do the recording.
I walked back to the hostel for breakfast. I ordered fruit salad and a baguette.
I was looking at my phone as I was eating, not paying much attention. Midway through eating the baguette, I looked up from my phone and saw some black things on the bread. I initially thought it was dirt or something.
I looked more closely and, much to my horror, realized it was not dirt. There were tiny ants crawling through my bread, and I had been eating them.
I wonder how many ants I had already eaten before realizing… blegh!!
My pick-up for the boat/bus ride to Pakse came at 11. Kevin and I would be traveling there today. We met my first day in Don Det, hung out during my four days there, and both decided to leave the same day for Pakse. I didn’t know him super well at this point yet, so I wasn’t sure if he wanted to keep traveling together once we got to Pakse– I decided to just take it as it comes.
We got to the pier, where we would be taking a ferry to the mainland.
Once on the mainland, we walked 15 minutes or so to the bus station.
We all piled on the bus and rode about 3 hours to Pakse. Once we got there, it was 3 pm and I was starving. I had only eaten some bananas and sweet potato snacks since breakfast.
Kevin and I walked to a guest house next to where we were dropped off, which also happened to be a place recommended to us to by Jonny in Don Det.
The place, Sabaidee 2, had room in their dorms, so we put our stuff down and then left to get lunch.
Pakse is the second biggest city in Laos, but it really is more like a town than a city. There are some restaurants, a supermarket, movie theater, and shops, but it’s no Ho Chi Minh or Bangkok.
We went to Sabaidee Restaurant just down the street. People are v clever with their naming here.
I got fried bean curd and bean sprouts, which was super homey and delicious. It’s something I would have made back in NYC. Its funny– usually when you eat out, you want something you wouldn’t’ be able to make at home. But when you’re traveling for a long time and eating out every meal, you start to want meals that you would eat at home. Lately, I’ve been craving simple meals that don’t involve a lot of creativity/technique.
We decided to walk to the Golden Buddha since it was only two miles away.
It somehow ended up taking us 45 minutes— 20 minutes to the bridge, another 15 across the bridge, and then 10 or so minutes walking up to the top.
It was beautiful. We watched the sun go down as everyone around us (mostly Asians– local and otherwise) took pictures of themselves— pretending to hold the sun, putting their hands up in a heart around the sun, selfie-ing with the sun. So much sun fun!
As soon as the sun was beyond the horizon, the place completely cleared up. No more use for it if you can’t take pics of yourself!!
We went back to the hostel via tuk-tuk and chilled for a bit before dinner.
We tried to go to a vegetarian place, but it was closed. We ended up just going to the restaurant across the street from where we had lunch (Daolin). I got mushroom stir-fry, which was pretty good but nothing amazing.
We got back and watched Annihilation on Netflix out in the courtyard. The WiFi was actually good enough to stream a movie…. woohoo!!!
It was a lot scarier than I had anticipated– there were times where I had to look away.
I didn’t think it was a particularly amazing movie (some parts seemed a bit campy/incredulous), so I was surprised to learn that it was actually released directly to Netflix because it was considered “too smart” for the box office. Maybe I am just not smart enough and the brilliance of it went over my head…?
After it was over, a guy from Germany came over to chat with us. We told him we had just finished watching Annihilation, and he told us he also watched the same movie here a few days earlier. What a coincidence!! I wonder how many others have done the same…