Tad Fane - Pakse - Ubon Ratchathani - Bangkok

Bangkok Travel Blog

 › entry 26 of 27 › view all entries
Rock and roll in Laos.
"But after a while you realise time flies,
And the best thing that you can do, is take whatever comes to you,
Because time flies."

Time Flies - Porcupine Tree

Time flies indeed. Our journey through Laos ended today. After having breakfast we were picked up by our driver Somdouk who had accompanied us since our arrival in Pakse. In less than one and a half hours we drove to the Thai border at Vang Tao and Chong Mek, crossing the Japanese bridge at Pakse along the way, and said goodbye to Somdouk. Since our new driver would pick us up at 13:30 at the Thai side of the border and it was only nine o'clock we decided to take it easy and have some coffee and our final Beerlao, running into Somdouk again, who was also having a Lao coffee.
At the Lao-Thai border.
We also strolled passed the last souvenir stands (where I finally 'caught' the chicken I had promised Mieke a week or two ago) before we had an easy crossing into Thailand around eleven o'clock. On the Thai side of the border we obviously switched back to Singha, which was very welcome in the hot weather.

According to our information we would be picked up by a driver at half past one. Fortunately he already turned up at twelve o'clock so we didn't have to wait at the border too long. A drive of less than 90 minutes brought us to the airport Ubon Ratchathani. Underway I had asked the guide if he could check with Khiri Travel if they could put together an evening program for us because we didn't want to hang around the Bangkok airport for 11 hours.
Finally giving Mieke the chicken I had promised to catch for her.
Seemingly Khiri wasn't interested in the hassle because they advised us to take a massage and dinner on the airport instead of going into town, considering the traffic jams.

We had lunch at the Ubon Ratchathani airport. I took fried rice and shrimps but the noodle salad that the others had taken proved to be incredibly spicy, which resulted in hilarious reactions. The flight to Bangkok was uneventful and at 17:00 hours we were ready for some action in Thailand's capital city. We had decided to ignore Khiri's advise and head into town anyway; we had more than enough time to kill.
As I had slightly expected the cab driver we got was more than happy to facilitate our program for a rather low fee. I had suggested we'd go and see the Calypso show that both Ad and I had seen on our travels to Bangkok and fill the rest of the evening with dinner and a massage (especially since we'd missed the latter yesterday).
Little Lao girl at the border cafe.
As you can imagine the cab driver knew just the right restaurant and massage parlour. Without a doubt he got commission at these places and we will certainly have ended up paying more than necessary, but we didn't really care. We just wanted to get out of the airport and have some fun.

After getting tickets for the Calypso show at the Asia Hotel (and indeed, the traffic in Bangkok was quite horrendous) the cab driver brought us to the Fresh Seafood Market, where you picked you fresh fish, shrimps and lobster and paid by the 100 grams. Absolutely excellent food and we feasted on the tiger shrimps and crab. Judging from the price of a bottle of Singha I already had the impression that this wasn't the cheapest place we'd been eating at during the past 3 weeks. Still, the bill was quite a shock.
Crossing the border.
In one meal we had spent the amount of a week's worth of dinners in Laos ! Ah what the hack, the food was great and we had fun.
Onwards to the massage parlour we went. A one hour oil massage just fitted in our busy schedule and once again we ended up paying more than we'd been getting used to in Laos. Nevertheless it was good to be molded and oiled down considering the 12 hour flight we had coming.

The last activity we had planned was the Calypso Cabaret show. As mentioned Ad and I had seen this weird performance before but considering we were in Bangkok we thought Paul and Mieke needed to get a taste of Thailand as well. Calypso is a cabaret performance (read: dancing and a lot of miming) by some 50 artists: 20 man and 30 transsexuals. Indeed, a show by Thailand's (in)famous 'lady boys'.
Thai cat.
Now this might sound quite tasteless and when I first saw the show 5 years ago I had serious doubts if I really wanted to go. Our guide at the time assured me that it was good fun and very decent and he was right. The whole show lasts for an hour and has various performances by the lady-boys, accompanied by the male dancers that would often dress up as transvestites as well. The most remarkable thing about this whole show is seeing how amazingly well some of these man have been 'transformed' into women. If it wasn't for their length you would have a hard time realising that they were born as boys.
The show itself is fun, but artistically not a masterpiece. The focus is definitely more on the transsexuality that the acting and dancing skills. I spotted very few changes compared to the show I'd seen 5 years ago and at the end there was again the opportunity to walk past the lined-up casts to have a 'closer look' or get your picture taken with them.
That was a very spicy lunch !
As 5 years ago I thought this was a bit too 'zoo-istic' and we skipped the line-up.

Our driver was waiting to bring us back to the airport, where we arrived at half past 11. Just 4 more hours to go before we would leave for Holland. Calculations proved that we'd been having a bit of a spending spree in the past six hours, but we wouldn't want to have missed it and it sure beats hanging around Bangkok airport, as the next 4 hours proved.
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Rock and roll in Laos.
Rock and roll in Laos.
At the Lao-Thai border.
At the Lao-Thai border.
Finally giving Mieke the chicken I…
Finally giving Mieke the chicken …
Little Lao girl at the border cafe.
Little Lao girl at the border cafe.
Crossing the border.
Crossing the border.
Thai cat.
Thai cat.
That was a very spicy lunch !
That was a very spicy lunch !
Checking the possibilities for Ban…
Checking the possibilities for Ba…
At the Fresh Seafood Market restau…
At the Fresh Seafood Market resta…
At the Fresh Seafood Market restau…
At the Fresh Seafood Market resta…
At the Fresh Seafood Market restau…
At the Fresh Seafood Market resta…
At the Fresh Seafood Market restau…
At the Fresh Seafood Market resta…
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
At the Calpyso show.
Bangkok
photo by: Deats