In Laos I got scammed on yet another bus ride, this time from Don Det to Banlung in Cambodia. Although I knew there was no direct bus to the small town, I purchased a ticket that should have allowed me to transfer from the Phnom Penh-bound bus in Stung Trung. Long story short, I was dropped off in the pouring rain at a small service station in essentially the middle of nowhere – no bus station or information office to be found. When I asked about a connecting bus to Banlung the locals just kind of laughed and told me to have some tea. Apparently I’m not the first sucker they’ve seen. I did finally manage to get a shared taxi for $5 and arrived at Banlung’s town center just before sundown and got a good night’s sleep at a guesthouse.
The next day I set off for the main attraction in Banlung: the Yeak Laom lake. It’s located just about 5km outside of town and it’s a fairly pleasant walk. It’s a volcanic crater lake and it considered sacred by the locals, and the water is very clear and is used by many for bathing and swimming. There’s a walking path that circles the lake and as you get further from the entrance, the more secluded and quiet it gets.