South-East Asia

Travel time: March - August 2009  |  by alex alex

Nam Ngum Reservoir and back to Vientiane

90 km away from Vientiane is the Nam Ngum Reservoir, an artificial lake of some 300 square kilometers. It is quite difficult to reach by public transportation, which is probably why it has not yet developed to a tourist attraction. Strangely, we paid twice as much for the ten-minute tuktuk ride to the bus station in Vientiane than we paid for the whole 2-hour trip to the lake, but that once more reflects that the prices for everything in Laos are somewhat inconsequent and illogical. From the shore of the lake, we drove to some island in its middle by longboat, which is an extremely fragile vehicle. We were seriously afraid about turning down, as you just needed to shift your backside some cm to bring the whole thing out of balance, not to talk about our heavy backpacks.

The island itself was very tranquil. We shared it with one Lao couple and their kid plus a couple of dogs and chicken. While the Lao lived in their wooden cottage, we had a whole old French mansion with ten guestrooms and a large balcony with sunset view for ourselves. That building had a certain rotten charm reflecting past colonial glories, but is nowadays left without electricity and tap water, although all the appliances are still there.

My first own house

My first own house

Bombastic sunset

Bombastic sunset

So it was three days of pure island and candlelight romance, just doing nothing at all, while the food was brought to the island by boat. The odd thing on the island was the scorpion in our bathroom, and a couple of unexploded, hopefully defused USAF bombs decorating the beach scenery.

The stay on the island was probably the only time during our whole stay so far where we were not woke up by noise in the morning. It gets incredible annoying - wherever you are, at four in the morning its either the peacocks, the locals starting to play loud music or chatting over a distance of 100 meters, kids screaming, the generator humming in the backyard, construction works or something else. You never get a full nights sleep, even with ear plugs.

From Nam Ngum, we went back to Vientiane where we just had a couple of hours to see the Golden Stupa or Wat That Luang, which is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Laos.

And tried some of the various exotic local fruits...

© alex alex, 2009
You are here : Overview Asia Laos Nam Ngum Reservoir and back to Vientiane
The trip
Alex and Vera exploring the miracles of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia for five months...
Start of journey: Mar 21, 2009
Duration: 5 months
End of journey: August 2009
Travelled countries: Thailand
The Author
alex alex is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 15 years.