Hammock flopping on Don Det, Laos

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Don Det and Don Khon, are better known as the small villages that make up the Four Thousand Islands. It sounds idyllic doesn’t it, but if you’ve come here in search of white sand and blue waters, you won’t find it.

The water running through the islands is from the Mekong, and is a dark, chocolate brew colour.

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Although Laos is a landlocked country, there is an inlet of small islands (4000), though in rainy season, the locals joke that it is the 1000 islands. Most people choose to come here to lie in a hammock, and do very little. It is an unhurried and slow paced area. Perfect to relax.

I hadn’t planned to go there, but after a full on few days of Motorbike trips through Thakhek and the Bolaven Plateau, I decided that I’d need some rest time before hitting Cambodia.

I travelled down with Liesbeth, the Belgian girl I met. The bus took about three hours, we were dropped at s random bus station (as is usually the case) and motioned to walk In a certain direction

We ended up at the harbour, and had our bus ticket exchanged for a boat ticket. We were crammed in, on a rocky, wooden boat with a tin roof, and it was full speed ahead to Don Det.At the harbour, we were plagued by several people, asking us to look at their rooms, shouting free WiFi, fan room. Cheap price.

We kept walking, as we were given a tip of a great guesthouse called Mama Leuh. The roads were in a terrible condition, potholes, muddy with random pigs running around. Not really what you envisage when you think of an island.

Every 10 minutes or so, would stop and ask if we were in the right track, and we were. the guesthouse was a good 25 minute walk from the main wharf, although we heard that if we had asked, we could have got dropped off further up.

When we got to the Guesthouse, we were told that there was only room for one night, and then weld have to move.

After a long walk in the heat, sweating and tired, we weren’t prepared to look anywhere else. So we dropped our rucksacks and had a cold ice tea and some lunch.

Our afternoon was filled with chatting, lying in a hammock, eating and reading. It was bliss.

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We watched the sun go down, and chatted to some other travellers in the café area.

The next morning, we woke early to watch a sunrise by the water, then felt slightly bad that we hadn’t done anything for a whole day, so after moving to a very basic guesthouse a few doors down, we hired bikes to ride around the islands, and across the bridge to Don Kohn.

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Bike ride selfie, with Liesbeth, from Belgium

 

 

It was such a lovely, but very rough ride, the potholes and nude were a challenge for a rickety road bike, but we made it to Don Khon, were you can see waterfalls, watch dolphins or just relax by the river. We saw gorgeous rice fields and local life. It was just so chilled.

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We went to the waterfall, which was a sight in itself. It was the fastest flowing water I had seen, and there was so much of it. I imagined that it is what a Tsunami would be like.

 

We later found a cool bar area, with nice loungers to relax on; we almost wished we had got to this area earlier. It was really peaceful.

Our last evening was spent drinking ciders in a makeshift bar, watching the sunset, it was a great end to  wonderful time in Laos.

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It was beautiful.

Laos, I love you.

 

 

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