4000 Islands (Don Det)

Trip Start Nov 05, 2008
1
7
27
Trip End Jun 23, 2009


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Where I stayed
Mr Mo's Guesthouse

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Monday, December 15, 2008

If you live on a farm, you might get woken up by a rooster or two at dawn and then they will probably stop shortly after. In Don Det, this was not the case. On my first night on this beautiful, relaxing island in southern Laos, I was woken up every 2 hours by a chorus of squawking roosters, squealing pigs, a couple stray dogs, and a cow that sounded like it was in labor. The roosters chimed in every couple hours starting at about 1am for awhile, but I only heard the other farm animals early  in the morning. So, the next day I decided to switch bungalows and move to a different part of the island, where the roosters weren't as bad. I actually really enjoyed my time on Don Det, with most of spent reading on a hammock over looking the Mekong River, playing guitar, playing chess (about 5 games 1 night), playing pool and hanging out with other travelers. I met a few British travelers and we all went biking one day to the Lipphi Waterfalls, which was fun and we took some pictures there. Then, about 5 minutes away was a nice beach to hang out by the river and read or play Frisbee.

There was an opportunity to see the famous Irrawady dolphins, by paying a chunk of money only to see them humping over in the water from a distance, so I skipped that and went to the bigger waterfalls instead. These falls are apparently the biggest in Southeast Asia and its actually said somewhere that they are the Niagara Falls of Southeast Asia but, as impressive as they are, they don't compare to Niagara. My motorbike driver let me drive on the way back, (my first time in Asia) so I had some practice for later in my trip.

Back on Don Det, I joined the locals in a game that combines soccer and volleyball so instead of using your hands, you kick or head the ball over a smaller net. Its really fun and the Lao people are so friendly, they just invite you to play or you can jump in. I also met an Irish guy, who was preparing to run a half marathon in Cambodia and asked if I'd be his running partner, so we jogged for about 7km (about 4 miles) and now I've been running about every other day before sunset or early in the morning. I've been getting so many strange looks from locals, maybe because I'm a crazy white guy with a beard and no shirt running through small villages in Laos, but who knows, both sides were entertained at least. Anyways, after about 5 days of chillaxin in Don Det, I was ready to move on to the rest of Laos.

Next Stop: Pakxe & The Bolaven Plateau
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Comments

trebledb
trebledb on

following you
Great photos!This is great to enjoy from the comfort of home. You look pretty tanned. The waters look muddy.The sunset scenes are lovely. I guess city life is quite different from all this. Be very careful on a motorbike because if it tips over, you go with it. Your uncle had a life changing experience as a result of this.mmmm

abraun
abraun on

so jealous...
pretty sure the uncle in question is not my father, unless there are a bunch of stories i'm missing out on. anyway, your photos are amazing. and now i know not to eat the spider butt. crucial.

doriastories
doriastories on

The uncle in question
That was Uncle Alan that Mom was referring to. He was on a motorcycle and had a horrific accident almost 20 years ago now, I think. It really messed up his ankle, as I recall, he had an extremely long recovery time, and was very uncomfortable for a long time. I'm fuzzy on the details, but it was a very big deal. Also our Katzenberg grandfather lost the hearing in one ear in a motorcycle accident in his 20s. Not to be alarmist but GAHHHHHH!

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