Smile With Your Eyes

Trip Start Jan 20, 2012
Trip End Jan 12, 2017

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Where I stayed
Mr Phao

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Champasak,
Sunday, February 26, 2012

Don Det is mesmerising, you know you can't stay but it holds you because life is so easy and there is a fairly good balance of farang (foreigner) to local ratio. Also because you are stuck on an island once you are off it will cost you to get back on. I went, by recommendation, to Mr Phao's River view roughly half way down the island on the sunrise side (I never saw the sunrise and never went to the sunset side but I do not think there is much there). The guesthouse was a little out of the way but better as there are less white people, having said that the white people I did meet were fantastic and Mr Phao himself was a very good host, "What's your name?", "Mr Phao" he answers!. I was happy milling around on my bike to the village where there is "high speed" Internet, lots of beer, pringles and the best pumpkin soup I have tasted. There was a boy riding his bike and me on DL both trying to get through a gap not big enough for us both, on the island I am very careful not to hit a kid and the locals drive like they are late for an interview with a cross between Lord bloomin' Sugar and Gordon Ramsey, also I want to mention that in all the countries I have been so far there is a pecking order for the vehicles, I trump bicycles, so I go for the space and hear a woman say "Be careful he is a farang", I turned and laughed, "Cheeeeeky buffalo". (obviously her part was in Laos)

The moment I got there I met a very interesting guy called Thomas, we talked for a long time. It is either the island that makes you have long pleasant chats or he was just that type of guy. Another couple I met from Finland and they were a lot of fun, again the type of people you can chat to for hours and not know where the time has gone. This was making it harder for me not to stay, my only thought being that beer makes me wake up in the morning and be strict on myself, so on the last evening, when I thought it was time to go, I went for pumpkin soup; A few Beer Lao's, couple of games of pool, a dance and being chased by a lady boy later and I woke up pretty much packing my bag. I went for breakfast in the pumpkin soup place for a baguette and baked beans, mmmm. Mikko and Sanna were up by the time I got back so we had a picture. They wanted a picture of me (of course) and vice versa, when it was my turn it was like a real picture shoot, "Smile with your eyes" Sanna says, as Mikko clicks away. I could also not miss out the German guy and American girl, they had a bike named Skeletor (see, it's not just me who is sad), who incidentally was next door to my shack. DL was not impressed when Skeletor tried putting his sticks in her exhaust.

Now for the middle part. My main activities were pumpkin soup but apart from that I spent a day in Don Khon Island which is another island attached by a 20,000 kip toll bridge. There is a big pretty rough looking waterfall that was to be swam in "by only the most daring" Thomas exclaimed, a temple and a beach with clean water rather than the toilet water that was being swam in at our side.

During the nights I thought the German and American girl were getting friendly but after a while, I thought it sounds a bit like chewing (I knew Germans were wired but what the hell), anyway figured out that it was a Buffalo purely because the "eeerrrrhhh" just did not sound right! In the morning I heard other stories but they are far too disturbing to disclose!
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Oliver Southgate on

The part I'm going to focus on here is where you get chased by a Lady Boy. The next thing you say is you woke up and packed your bag......

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