Day 14 Mekong River or Bust Tour

17 January 2017 - Khong Chiam Thailand to Pakse Laos - 79 km - Stopped at the Fresh Market for breakfast - sticky rice and grilled pork on bamboo sticks Found a coffee shop beside the market and fueled there. Headed out for the Pak Mun Dam and passed above Wat Tham Koo Ha. Beautiful grounds and we didn't have to climb the steps from the street below. Met a couple of lottery ticket sellers and bought tickets ending in 23 which was the number on the spot where we parked our bikes at the Fresh Market below. Gonna be rich, I bet! The ride across the dam was pleasant and then through some forested area. Lots of hills between here and the Chong Mek border crossing. Across the border and an apprehensive start on the 43 km ride to Pakse. Turned out to be some of the best road we have ridden so far. 90% new 4 lane surface with very little traffic. Slowed down for occasional cattle crossings. Trucks honk their horns, cows slowly move aside and then continue about cow business after the trucks pass. The road to Pakse was virtually flat. We did hit headwinds and some rain about 20 minutes outside Pakse and a downpour after we found a cafe to ask directions to the guest house area. Talking to a couple in front of the Daolin Coffee Shop we found the Vilaysak Guest House and secured AC rooms over their consternation. The batteries were dead for the AC control for my room - "we are sending someone to get new ones" - and the room was perfectly comfortable with the ceiling fan, hence their consternation about our insistence on AC. The Daolin Coffee Shop is a popular gathering spot for travelers of all ages. Food is ok, probably made tastier by the amount of Lao beer consumed at many tables