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  1. #51
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    Just checked and it was The Grand Riverside. We were on the fourth floor facing the river. Breakfast was included and was nice. Pleanty of offerings so no complaints. The Grand Riverside Hotel

    Ban Muangsong, Vang Vieng 85623
    023 511 989

    https://g.co/kgs/IWw6a5

    We stayed in the suite with two beds in them. Sliding glass doors to the wraparound deck overlooking the river. The beds came in handy as we had a couple of gals swing by for a massage. They had a shop at the place we purchased the balloon and zipline tickets from.
    And no trouble making house calls for them. It was a one hour massage ( no hanky panky for those wondering as mrs fish probably isn't into that and no I didn't ask silly) forgot the cost but minimal maybe 20usd each. One girl said her husband was a cop as my gf chatted up with the two gals.

    We explained that we live out in the countryside away from the city. They said the countryside here is where the poor people live so they found that odd or different.

    They were pleasant gals so we tipped them as they said they only received a portion of the proceeds we paid at the ticket booth in town.

    Peace out, the fish.
    Last edited by fishlocker; 08-12-2016 at 06:33 AM.

  2. #52
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    I graduated from the bycycle a few days ago as everyone has an 100cc honda. I can get a new one for 1400usd from the same guy we bought the tractors from years ago.
    The 110 fuel injected model goes for 1750usd in case your intrested. I cant outright own it they said. But could be put on the title along with say gfs brother.

    Renting one in town is about 8usd per day. I believe I had them quoted at 60usd for two weeks. This was yesterday as we bummed around town in bils Yamaha sidecar rig. Pakse is dusty for bikers. No lack of Toyotas or new Fords.
    Met a French couple at a Temple near Pakse. Said he rented a new 4 door Toyota out of VTE. He said he rented it in VTE to drop off in Pakse. The same plan I once had but passed on. Said it cost 80usd per day because of a destination charge. ......

    Back on track, so they said why rent or buy a scooter when I could use one of the kids. Ok I said and bought a new helmet for 14usd last night. I had been riding without but had a "chuck wagon" pull out in front of me yesterday so yea helmet is a good idea.
    The first time they lent me one I took off for a short tour and upon return they all had a laugh as they checked my knees for scratches. Great fun for a the fish.
    Last edited by fishlocker; 09-12-2016 at 08:10 AM.

  3. #53
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    ^Thanks for the stories, fish. Continue to tell these fish tales (tails) while you're not able to post pics yet. Travel tales/tails are great too. Look forward to the pics when you've gone stateside again. Cheers!

  4. #54
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    Old mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to give her dog a bone. His name is Laboo and was very mean too until they put on a muzzle and shaved his matted arse. Now he is as nice as a drone. Yes this dog was in sad shape and could not be approached so they hogtied him to a cart and cut his hair. Quite a scene but now that its over the dog is quite tame and can be hand fed.

    On another note we, miss fish and I had a bit of a fund raiser. I bought a "money tree?"

    Then went to the market and bought a live pig 47usd, 20+ cases of beer Lao, a bottle of Lao Lao or two and people came and tied money to our wrists. A few tied as much as 50,000kip. I tried to explain that I really don't need the money but miss fish said that's the way it is in Laos.

    We ate and drank and I danced late into the night with all the ladies. Some of wich were quite nice. I was surprised that these gals really knew how to drink. One gal spilled more than a few on the table as she poured drinks for her girlfriends.
    We had a dj and of course a couple of cordless mics. As the party died out I pulled out the axe I purchased a few days ago for 80usd and gave lessons to a few children as we sat around the campfire.

    I'll post some pics someday if I can survive drinking daily and generally screwing off. A family from Minnesota stopped by last night to do a sleep over and celebrate miss fishes birthday/ hand tie party. They are on their way to wat Phu and then Kohn Phaphang ,the waterfall.

    She asked me why I would not just stay in Lao. I told her Im still chasing greenbacks ect. I don't think it's as easy as that as I went to the Toyota dealer and found out I could buy a car but could not title it in my name. The new 3.0 diesel Hilux went for 48,000usd. The fortuner for 55k.

    I asked about auto insurance and they said people generally dont insure their vehicles. I asked what if I hit an old lady and her cow and wrecked my new car. They replied that the old lady would swear it wasn't her cow.

    No kidding.

    Peace out for now. the fish.
    Last edited by fishlocker; 12-12-2016 at 10:36 AM.

  5. #55
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    O800 and we are off to see Tad Fane.

    https://www.google.la/url?q=http://w...DkwmAG_SMIlgZg

    Some friends we have known for about six years offered to take us. Should be a great trip as we are basically tagging along for a carefree Saturday excursion.

    Last night I sat in on a land purchase. A French guy and his wife, or should I say his wife, bought a piece in town for almost 6000usd. The piece is high ground 30x40 meters.

    The French guy speaks fluent Laotian and has a restaurant in Pakse. He has been here four years. Married for three to a gal he used to buy vegetables from at the morning market for his restaurant. Now they work together.

    My guess is she may have been selling stuff from one of the many farmers that have access to the Mekong as it is the water source for many farms along its banks.

    I may review the restaurant if its ok with him. Yet to eat there. Seems a real nice guy as I told him I didn't want to tag along on his negotiations. To wich he replied it would be a good education for me here. I know little of Lao law so yea I bought a case of beer Lao after the papers were signed and the seller and purchaser (his wife) stamped the paper with their thumb prints in red ink.

    I bought the case to help them celebrate and they were pouring me drinks for an hour and a half during negotiations.

    It was sort of a freak out as I was riding my bike on route 13 and stopped at a roaside repair shop and asked the mechanic if he could raise the seat. He said in English "what do you require. I showed him and it was done. Two hours later I went past a friends house and met the frenchman. They said they were going to look at land and see If it had the proper title ect. I was freaked out when the seller showed up. It was the mechanic.

    Go fish hey.

  6. #56
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    I rented a car from Avis and headed down past Wat Phou Champasack to see the rice farm bil and I ( scratch that) bil bought.

    It is exactly what the dvd had shown and then some. No regrets on my side. Drove 3 kilometers west of 13 and found amazing soil along the Mekong. Natural spring water flowing into the river from three fourths the way up the bank.

    Bils wife offerd me the piece as her grandmother gave her quite a bit of land along the river. I declined for now as it's more valuable as farm land and although I loved the sound of the natural spring waterfall flowing into the river I would hate myself if it was not being used properly. If I were to pull the plug though this spot is better than our farm house as it is well off the beaten path.

    I did resurve the right however for future possibility.

    Met grandma of bils wife. At 102 years old She is quite mobile has vision and hearing. The home they were in was built in 1984 and wasn't too bad for its age.Neither was grandma. Hell she had all her front teeth. Said she was missing rear molars and was a bit hard of hearing but when we spoke she heard just fine so it would seem.

    I took some photos with the smart phone and showed them to her. She smiled when I showed them to her so it's all good I'd guess.

    I managed not to run over any scooters on the way back and no not drinking alcohol at all during the drive. That would be as silly as these clowns drive funny.

    I was rewarded with a case of beer Lao for getting the Ford Ranger, 10 sacks of rice, 1 sack of coconuts, 1 sack of Pomello, several of large fruit I have never seen and a sack of a new fish net back to Pakse.

    Oh, picked up a Dutch and an American hitch hiker out of Pakse. On gap year heading to see See Pan Don. Nice kids you would call backpackers though the one from the states was not a Packer Backer ( Patriots fan ) but who really cares. A long way from home and so are we I say.

    Piece out the fish...........market pics to follow , someday.
    Last edited by fishlocker; 19-12-2016 at 12:14 AM.

  7. #57
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    ^thanks for the stories, fish! Keep 'em going!

    Btw, is there a Western Union near your place where you can send your xmas gift to me? Heh....

    A blessed Merry Christmas to you & your family!

  8. #58
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    Thanks Katie, I just had a tune play in the back of my head. It went something like "me and you and a dog named Laboo traveling and living off the land."

    Or was that Benji too. Merry Christmas! We just came back from the 6000kip store where everything is 60cents. I bought half a dozen I phone chargers and also Samsung ect just because they were ridiculously inexpensive.

    I'll think twice on how hard I'm being pinched for goods back in the states now that Ive done some shopping here.

    Sure somethings are way more. And many things you just cant find but in the end I guess the Rolling Stones were right in that you get what you need.

    I returned the rental truck this morning and all was good. No jetski scam. The guys were real nice. Spoke good English and in fact we chatted up about bils farm visit with his 102 year old mil.

    Then went to get a visa extension for 160,000 kip plus 25,000 processing fee. I had to leave the passport overnight but was told all will be done by tomorrow afternoon.

    Two hours drive to the border so heck whats the difference. I've got the time and it seems we hit town about every other day anyway just to hit the Market. That in itself is something everyone would find amusing.

    Peace out, the fish.

  9. #59
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    Yesterday was a scorcher by Wisconsin standards. No clouds and somewhat humid. Not good for cotton tee shirts. Today looks to be the same way, perfect now and in the evening but hot dusty and dry at noon.

    My only complaint about this area is that there is no reclamation process here. In the city of Pakse they do have trucks that pick up the refuse. Ok I'll say it, garbage!

    Here and elsewhere in the rural areas the people are left to deal with it the best they can so of course the simple solution is to just burn it. This includes the polymers and its scent lingers as it smolders. Between that and the coal fires its no wonder I hear so many of the small children with a bit of a cough. As stated years ago the red eye is attributed to the fine dust in the air while scooting about and the smoke. It would seem as though Im the only one noticing this phenomenon as it is the norm here. The US is pretty sterile as we, man, have only been screwing it up for 200+ years or so. Also the rural roads are crap and people are left to deal the best that they can yet people don't seem to mind or notice. I've never met a happier bunch of hard working people. When I get back to the states if I ever find myself moaning about anything I will flash back to rural Laos and promptly shut my trap. Life is good so be happy just to live it while you can.

    I had a wild streak yesterday. After driving the Ford Ranger through town I decided I'd hit downtown on a 100cc honda wave. Im a bit slow with the bob and weave technique but had no troubles other than being passed by ten year old girls with their little sisters riding shotgun side saddle.

    I went to many places that of course I've never been including the haunted mansion and the north and south Don river frontage roads. I found a market and bought what I would call a pocket fisherman, pole and reel, for 7 bucks. A six pack of socks for a buck fifty and a three dollar breathable shirt and a hat. I know I paid to much for the shirt but its hard negotiating with a 12 year old girl. I knocked 5000 kip off her asking price so good enough.

    I do find it fun to haggle at the market for "stuff" like hats. Some Vietnamese girl turned her back on me during a five hat deal that she clearly was trying to gouge me on. I offered what I paid last time, just under two bucks each, she wanted three fifty. When she turned her back sil had some blunt words with her. Something like darn Viets come to Laos and treat people poorly, If you don't like the deal just kindly say no thank you but never turn your back on a costomer. She changed her tune and gave me the five hats for about a dollar and eighty cents each.

    The small market I found yesterday the guys opening bid was two bucks for the same hat. I dropped him 20 cents to the buck eighty and we both were happy. He was Laotian so happy just to sell something.

    Fish out for now, breakfast time at 0830. No not the fish.
    Last edited by fishlocker; 20-12-2016 at 08:37 AM.

  10. #60
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    Sounds like you're having fun, Fish. Keep up the stories of your interaction with the people. Good to read.

    Sad, I cant green you as have exhausted your quota. Will an honorary green do?

  11. #61
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    Took mrs fish on a side saddle ride to the town north of us. Met relatives of the commander. She said she has a boat and a crib by Sepan Don. I told her I once was a locomotive engineer but now I am sitting on a park bench eyeing little girls with bad intents.

    Snot running down his nose.

    Greasy fingers, smearing shabby cloths.

    Drying in the cold sun, watching as frillie panties run.

    (Actually 15000 kip each for x mass shirt and pants combined. ) for those bargain hunting


    Feeling like a dead duck.

    Sorry, enuff ramblings. Pics soon to follow if I make it out alive.
    Yea the bit might dumb dumb dumb fuck fuck fuck me before I'm through.

    The fish.

    So Salivan tomorrow as they have relatives there, no coplaints thus far.

    I have been playing a lot of pinkfloyd before bedtime lately. Grandchester medows is as close as it gets to this place as I can find in the halls of the fishes memories.

    Sheep ,dogs and pigs on the wing. I really dont know what they think of my rambling but I must say the children are impressed.

    Harmonics leading into roundabout by Yes is an ice (nomegone) breaker.

    I can't get over how many folks here just want to chat with the fish and pour me beer Loas.

    Oh I took miss fish on a scotter ride to buy more paint for the fish crib.Sil and Bil drove off with it, the 5gal bucket of paint, on their motorcycle. Mrs fish is skiddish of motorbikes as she had a bit of a biff as a young gal. Got her on the HD twice back home.

    She, we , are ok with the rural areas, I'll get her into the city
    Soon.

    I went down some alleyways today and found they were quite tame. I was trying to get to the meat on the bone so to speak.

    Finding rooms for 20usd and children happy to say sabidee, jow sabidee you baw is as bad as it gets in Pakse.

    To all travelers, this place is as rough as a painted turtles back.

    Oh and the Germans I met today at the hotel did get the river side view they booked on line . They metioned it at check in and all was good.

    650 for newyears dinner. Yes 6 dollars and 50 cents gets you a newyears dinner at the hotel at the friendship bridge. Rooms for anthother 60 bucks.

    This is the best gig in town. So it would seem from a tourist standpoint.

    Fish out. See you down by the river.
    Last edited by fishlocker; 22-12-2016 at 01:07 AM.

  12. #62
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    Great thread and pictures, happy hols fishy

  13. #63
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    Salavan trip was postponed this morning. I was left with two other choices.

    1, go fishing with bil. I only went twice so far and hadn't much success. The current is very strong and hard to keep a hook baited. They really are a bit shallow when it comes to hook and line fishing. The new boat ain't big enough either for any sense of comfort. Hell I feel safer on lake Michigan. Catch more big fish with downriggers ect.

    2, go to a party for a group heading back to the states in a day or two.

    I chose fishing but the gf promptly decided on choice one. I said I could do both. She changed the subject to a guy coming over at 11am to give estimates on finishing the drop ceilings at the house.

    A guy down the road is having his done so this guy is supposed to stop by. It's 1110am now. He was to stop by last night but a heavy rain ruined the plan.

    I went into town yesterday aftrenoon and stopped by the real grocery store. As I parked my 100cc scooter I noticed everyone placed their helmets on the bikes mirrors. So like a dummy I put mine upside-down in the basket.

    Fifteen minutes later the place was roaring as the rains poured down on the tin roof of the place. So I was stuck there for a bit until the rain stopped.

    So what to do? I bought some cotton cloths to wipe the bike and sat out front and had an icecream. Life is good, it sure beats the alternative.

    Fish out.

  14. #64
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    We knew the commander for years but found out his wife's sister has a place on Don Khon Island. So we were off. She offered to take me fishing for baa yie (the big fish). They actually had the gear. I declined the offer as we had more options. She took us to another waterfall. A few actually but their names escape me now. Li Phi I believe was one. Sp? I'll post pics later.

    We saw two locomotives that were left from the steam era when the French moved goods in and out of Laos.

    We took a boat ride to see the irroddy dolphins. The spelling may be off. I read that they are the only freshwater dolphins in the world and exist in only two places. Seems to be a draw to the area and I'm glad they are revered and protected. We saw several as they surface to breath. The place is magical and truly stunning.

    I even got a message from Cambodia introducing me to their LTE high speed network. I actually got messages from home while there.

    We did buy two cell phones so at least if I get in a pinch I can call the commander or mrs fish. I have yet to be pinched for anything and in fact dropped the phone somewhere and miraculously had it returned to mrs fish.

    On that note a few weeks ago I left my drivers license and credit cards at an ATM outside of a bank. I was busy counting a few million kip and just left the wallet on the counter as I stuffed the stack of cash in my fanny pack.

    I didn't realize this until the next day. We went back to the bank and sure enough someone turned it all in at the bank.

    The guy at the bank said that a regular customer found it last night and turned it in.

    I left my name and number and a small reward for the both of them. I've yet to be contacted by the person that turned my stuff in but If I ever am this person is on the fish list. I told the guy at the bank I'd like to take this person out to dinner. The gf said the guy did it for good karma. Amazing place, amazing people.
    Last edited by fishlocker; 27-12-2016 at 10:59 AM.

  15. #65
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  16. #66
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    For lack of pics for now I left a link. I saw people kayaking the river with guides. I would recommend that as you could get into trouble in the river. We had use of a pretty decent boat courtesy of the Commander's wife's sister.

    If and when I get back to reality I'll post some pics. Sadly we drove past a Hydro power station under construction. We were not allowed into the construction sight. I didn't bother to ask why.

    I talked with a guy that worked with, well never mind. Use your imagination. Some things I just don't want to know and that has kept me out of trouble........so far.

    Peace out...fish.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
    Sounds like you're having fun, Fish. Keep up the stories of your interaction with the people. Good to read.

    Sad, I cant green you as have exhausted your quota. Will an honorary green do?
    Yes honorary is perfectly acceptable.

    Speaking of honor im witnessing a bit of a turf war.

    There are only two ways to get to the farmhouse. One is the frontage road that's pretty bad and a lot longer of a drive to town where the sisters live.

    The other is a shortcut across the creek. Mil had a small bridge constructed a while back. It's not up to code by any means but is good for scooters and hand carts.

    Trucks could get to the bridge but thats it. The peple in this area haul vegetables out nightly on hand carts that can hold about six bushels at a crack. Three large bamboo baskets. They pull the carts with honda waves to waiting trucks.

    Well it seems the guy that owns land in town for some reason moved his fence line and now the trucks and carts no longer can pass.

    One guy on the other side donated three meters of his land to make the road passage. Mil built the bridge. I didnt see any monuments or survey markers. This guy and gal I guess moved here from a town north of here not too long ago and today just decided to move thier fence posts. Bil can't even get his side car past.

    This could get ugly. I heard the farmers say they were going to pull the poles out tonight. The guy that donated the long track and is now blocked in except for scooters is sad and going to the alderman with the issue.

    He said thats the thing to do as he remains calm.

    The guy with the fence has a 50 meter by 50 meter lot that fronts the main road. He lives in a small shack.

    This could get interesting. I wouldn't want to be that guy as they have been using this road for a long long long time. Before the bridge they used a boat to cross.

  18. #68
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    Last time here in dry season they had planks to cross as the creek is low. Mil says the bridge gets her merit with the locals. Hard work this farming business. Real labor intensive on a daily basis.

  19. #69
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    Verry windy last night. I figure it's the fallout from the Hurricane. So windy in fact that the roof of one of the little salas fell off. No big deal. It's a bamboo thatch job that can simply be set back and tied down.

    A little cold this morning but the wind died down during the night. The leaves on the trees rustled all night. It was soo windy that the guy down the block did have some fence posts blow down. Go figure. I should have taken a before and after shot. I've been wanting to do a gopro of the roads out of here for some time. Today may be the day. The posts were pretty robust. I'd say at least 7 inches in diameter. Must not have been set too deep I'd guess.

    I should get up and.get going but have no plans other than to make breakfast and clean up.

    The gf said her cousin said she is not surprised about the fence. I guess Im not either.

    Peace out..fish.

  20. #70
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    I missed the action in that I heard the posts are back in and the barbed wire is going up now. I wanted to roll over and check it out but bil had the boat ready to do some net drift style fishing this morning.

    We made a few passes and caught some small catfish and what looked like a gobi and a tiny crab. This was the first time I've been in the boat while using this method. Not my kind of fishing but had to go check it out.

  21. #71
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    Glad we missed Fane a week ago. Was there today and words alone can't do it justice.

    My guide was my nephew and he took us to the maddest place I have ever been.

    Tad Fane is a few hundred meter fall. They take tourists to an easy view point.

    This kid led us to the falls above the falls. Then jumped in. Words can not explain

    I've been in, under, and on top of the Grand Hoover Dam but I
    must say this was the best damn tour I have ever been on!!!

    Water is cool and clean. Thank heavens for that.

    Fish loved every minute. Priceless.

  22. #72
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  23. #73
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    So he led us to the top of fane falls to the east and then after wading through it a very steep climb ( bare foot as we were in the river on the slippery rocks in current ) up the hill a few feet from the cliffs edge about half way up I lost my nerve.

    I said enough, no more.

    We had allready been to where most have never been and damn we were on the edge. One slip and it would surely be the end. Not just off the cliff but anywhere on the path to and from. 45 degrees up snd down the mountain using gungle growth as guides to hold on to.

    At one point I thought this would be a good place to have a pizza delivered but I knew by the time they got here it would be cold.

    But then again so was the river........fish out.

  24. #74
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    Let me be clear on this. Fane has two falls. We were in the west river. The left one as from the tourist view point. On top of the falls. The path I lost my nerve on was going up a 55/ 60 degree climb in bare feet through the jungle just feet off the edge of the cliff at the peak of the falls nearing the east falls. It was damp and slick but thats really not an excuse for stopping midway up the peak tward the east river's fslls. I was just thinking I could use a Bolavan Plateau Coffee and a slice of pizza.

    Pics to follow. ....if you dare......cold fish.

  25. #75
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