Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 19: Alone, Again

Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 19: Alone, Again

Previously: Part 18 – Views of Vientiane from Patuxai

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Still Day 5: Friday, 30 August 2013

With that farewell, I was alone… again. Throughout this journey, though started as a solo backpacking trip [check here for Part 1], I was never alone. I met Rahul when I was in Butterworth heading towards Hat Yai, I spent time with Daniel, Stefan and Florian when I was in Bangkok, I met Hibiki and Yuya on my way to Vientiane and now I met Nung.

Akhirnya, aku solo kembali. Sepanjang trip ni, walaupun asalnya trip solo [baca Part 1 di sini], aku sebenarnya tak pernah sendirian. Aku jumpa Rahul masa dari Butterworth ke Hat Yai, aku lepak dengan Daniel, Stefan dan Florian kat Bangkok, jumpa Hibiki dan Yuya masa nak ke Vientiane dan sekarang jumpa Nung pulak.

I never knew that grass is countable.

But bidding farewell is the sacrifice for most travellers. Making friends and then separated are common but based on my experience, the friendship never ends. Alone, I walked back along Lane Xang Avenue when I accidentally turned left and saw the tourist information centre.

Tapi, adatlah bertemu dan berpisah ni kan. Janji hubungan yang terjalin tu tak terputus. Seorang diri, aku jalan semula ke Avenue Lane Xang. Aku toleh kiri, aku nampak pejabat pelancongan. Hah, elok sangatlah tu!

Gladly I turned left and saw the tourist information centre. At least, I got a map for free!

The centre is quite hidden and I was glad I found it. I entered into the office to grab a free map. It was quiet and only 3 people were in the office when I went in asking for a map. I went to one guy and asked “Sabaidee… Do you have a FREE map?”. “Yes, sure, sure“, the guy said and handed me one copy of Vientiane’s map. It was a huge folded map!

Pejabat Pelancongan dia macam tersorok sikit sebab dia kongsi dengan bangunan lain. Nasib baik jumpa sebab aku nak ambil peta sebenarnya. Aku bukak pintu, huish, sunyi giler pejabat ni. Adalah dalam 3 orang kat dalam ni. Aku pergi kat sorang brader ni, aku tanya dia, “Sabaidee… Do you have a FREE map?”. “Yes, sure, sure”, dia jawab. Lepas tu, dia pas satu peta lipat yang bila bukak besar gedabak! Takpelah. Syukur~

One section of the Talat Sao Market.

I thanked him and walked out towards the Avenue. Before reaching the Presidential Palace, I saw a huge building named Talat Sao Mall and a market beside it. Since I just wanted to have an initial look of the market, I entered into the one nearest to the main road. It was quite empty. Maybe because it was already in the evening and people usually go to the market in the morning.

Aku cakap terima kasih kat dia dan jalan semula ke Avenue Lane Xang. Sepanjang perjalanan, aku nampak Talat Sao Mall kat sebelah kiri sebelum Presidential Palace [mall utama kat sini] dan satu pasar tepi mall. Mungkin sebab dah petang, tak ramai pun orang kat pasar tu.

One of the science universities there. Notice the French signboard.

I continued walking until I reached the road near the guesthouse I was staying at, the Mixay Paradise Guesthouse. The best part of the guesthouse is its strategic location; at the centre of bacpackers area, near the riverside and there were a lot of beautiful temples around.

Aku jalan lagi sampailah dekat dengan kawasan guesthouse aku. Mixay Paradise ni best! Lokasi strategik. Dekat dengan pusat backpackers, dekat sungai, lepas tu banyak wat cantik-cantik kat keliling.

I asked the locals and they call this…. The White House,

Since I had time, I visited several temples around the guesthouse, admiring the details and beauty of the architectural design. Most of the temples I entered were empty and some people even used the temples’ ground as a shortcut to cross from the main road towards the smaller lanes.

Sebab ada masa, aku lawatlah wat-wat yang ada. Seronok layan senibina dia. Tapi, takde orang pun dalam wat masa aku pergi. Siap ada orang yang masuk wat semata-mata nak jalan pintas, nak potong dari jalan besar masuk jalan kecik. Eleh, macam tak biasa kita pun kan! Haha.

Don’t smoke or you will get cursed. ;D

The most interesting part of the temples in Laos is the fact that all temples are smoke-free temples. So, smoking is prohibited inside the temples’ ground. When I saw the signboard, I straightaway remembered the state of Melaka in Malaysia. Melaka is the first state in Malaysia to declare its city centre as a smoke-free area. However, lack of enforcement means people do not follow the rules. In Laos, the same situation occurred I guess since I saw many cigarette butts inside the temples’ ground.

Yang menariknya, wat-wat kat sini semua bebas rokok tau! Terus teringat kat Melaka. Tapi, kalau penguatkuasaan tak ketat, tak jadi jugak. Macam kat Melaka tu. Malah kat sini pun, aku nampak banyak puntung rokok.

Some of the wats that I visited.

After visiting the temple, I went back to the guesthouse to get some rest and took my shower. My room at the guesthouse was situated on the 4th floor and there is a smoking area beside the shared bathroom. The smoking area at the guesthouse is akin to a common area in the backpackers’ hostel. Here, travellers gathered and swapped stories with each other.

Dah penat jalan-jalan, aku balik bilik nak rehat dan mandi. Dah setel semua, aku pergi kat kawasan merokok guethouse ni. Aku punya bilik kat tingkat 4. Kat tingkat 4 ada kawasan merokok yang macam common area kat backpackers’ hostel. Yang tak merokok pun lepak sini, sembang-sembang, kenal-kenal.

Detail designs on temple’s arch

It was there that I met with Raphael and Gerrard, from Australia and Liverpool respectively. Throughout the evening, we talked about many things, ranging from jobs, travel stories, religion and current issues. We even had a laugh over my hard understanding of Gerrard’s English since the accent was too thick and I had to “Sorry and Pardon” many times.

Lepak kat sini, aku kenal dengan Rapahel dan Gerrard, mamat dari Australia dan Liverpool masing-masing. Petang tu, kami dok borak pasal macam-macam isu. Yang kelakarnya, loghat Gerrard sangat pekat sampai aku kena mintak dia ulang banyak kali.

I wonder how long does it take to do this.
Murals depicting the life of Buddha on the wall.

At night time, after dinner, Hibiki and Yuya met me and we were joined by Gerrard and Raphael later and we continued talking and had a good conversation before I called it a night and went back to my room, ending my 5th day on the road.

Malamnya, lepas makan malam, aku jumpa Hibiki dan Yuya dan kami lepak sekali dengan Gerrard dan Raphael. Bila malam makin larut, aku minta diri untuk balik ke bilik dan tidur, mengakhiri perjalanan hari ke-5 aku.

I wonder what will I do tomorrow.

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To be continued – Part 20

10 Replies to “Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 19: Alone, Again”

    1. Surprisingly, memang kat sini cantik! 🙂 Macam Thailand tapi ada lain sikit.

      Makanan lebih kurang, tapi paling popular Larb – macam salad daging cincang 🙂 Dan saya rasa sini kurang pedas kot.. Hehe

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