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Laos – Phu Hin Bun NPA Trekking – 18th February

We woke up early to the sound of eager cockerels the first going off at around 4.30am. It wasn’t the best night’s sleep with a very hard mattress indeed and snoring echoing throughout our eco-shack. We had a cooked Laos style breakfast in the form of noodle soup, eggs and fruit, Helen was getting her appetite back and starting to feel a little more like herself again. We left the village at 8.30am and began to trek once more through forest land, past more karst peaks and made our way up and down a hilly terrain which required a little more effort than the flatness of the day before. We had a few descriptions of plant-life and the area and we walked for a good 4 hours before arriving at the second village for a home cooked lunch. We sat inside someone’s home at the back of a shop and chilled out awaiting more food, it was really kitsch inside with old wardrobes, bright wall colours, retro tiles and clothes everywhere. It was a good little stop for photographing! More rice, more soup and stir-fried egg and we were all ready for a nap. No time for this though as we were waiting for a pick up to take us to the Blue Lagoon.

On the usual itinerary there is a tractor ride involved whereby you get pulled along on a cart by one of their home-made style tractors; not like ours at home. This didn’t happen for us because there were 8 in our group and the tractor wouldn’t cope with all of the western weight. So we had a mini-van take us to the lagoon instead with music blasting out of the over-hyped stereo. It took around 15 minutes to drive to the lagoon, packed in on a bumpy ride. The lagoon lives up to its name and is a very intense copper sulfate looking colour, it’s hard to believe that the lagoon is natural as it seems more like a chemical phenomenon. There were no scientific descriptions available from the tour guides only spiritual ones. It’s quite deep and plays host to shoals of large fish. Most of the group plunged in for a cooling swim after we walked around the edge of the lagoon, we both decided to photograph and observed from the sidelines. We hope the photographs show the intensity of the colours and the subtle reflections that glowed.

After a group photo we continued in the minivan to a point from where we walked a further 2 km to meet our pick up trip. At around 3pm we met our pick up back to Tha Khaek and we were back in the town at just before 5pm with an en-route detour to the bus station so that we could book bus tickets for the next day of travel. Back in Tha Khaek we checked into the Travel Lodge along with the rest of the group and settled in for a relaxing evening of food, chat and planning. It’s a really good spot for meeting other backpackers and they have a good outdoor seated area. We would recommend staying there and the dorms are good value for money if you’re on a budget, we paid 50,000 kip for a double with shared bathroom.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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One Comment

  1. Posted 16 Jun ’11 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful shots. Love the portrait of the man laying on the floor mats.

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