Hangin' in a hammock (taas myos suomeksi!)

Trip Start Nov 03, 2008
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Trip End Feb 20, 2009


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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Saturday, November 29, 2008

We headed off bright and early to catch a ferry across the river - this time a much smaller affair made of two rowing boats - then a tuk-tuk and finally a bus to further down south to an area called Si Phan Don, or "the 4,000 islands". Another fun river crossing from the mainland to the island of Don Det (see pictures), but the island itself was an absolute paradise! We got ourselves a cute little bungalow at an establishment run by a super efficient old lady (who spent most of her time ordering the other staff around, or sat in a chair inches away giving instructions to a poor young boy tending the garden).  The island itself was a decent size, about 8km long and maybe 1-2km wide, where tourists, locals and various animals wandering around seemed to live happily along each other.
 
We spent the day in various states of relaxation either in a hammock, eating, drinking or sleeping :-) We finished off the day by watching another spectacular sunset over the Mekong and wondering if the island needs a couple of lawyers to move in permanently... However the lack of electricity may be difficult when setting up an office! On the plus side we reckon the clients would be far less demanding and likely to pay us in beerlao and food!
 
On Sunday we had a generally chilled-out day again but also walked the length of the island and crossed the bridge to Don Khon (another island paradise), where we found a beautiful waterfall and a sandy beach. When we finally returned to our bungalow at night, we found a couple of visitors waiting on our porch (see pics).
 
On Monday we stupidly moved on to the biggest island, Don Khong, which despite having electricity and being longer established seemed to lack the atmosphere and island paradise of the smaller islands. In hindsight we now realise it should be known as retirement island as we seemed to be the only travellers under the age of 55... There wasn't even a hammock on the island so we decided to move on asap back to Pakse.
 
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Matkamme jatkui Champasakista ensin noin pikku-Fiatin kokoisella lautalla Mekongin yli, sitten tuk-tukilla paatien varteen josta pikku bussiksi muutettu pakettiauto noukki meidat noin tunnin myohemmin. Pari tuntia myohemmin olimme aivan Laosin etelakarjessa alueella nimelta Si Phan Don, '4,000 saarta' - kuten nimesta voi paatella, todella kaunis saaristoalue jossa kellonajoilla ei juuri ole valia. Majoituimme pikkuiseen bambumajaan saarelle nimelta Don Det, missa turistit, paikalliset seka siella taalla vaeltelevat vesipuhvelit ym. elaimet nakyivat tulevan hyvin toimeen keskenaan. Paivasaikaan paikka naytti todella kauniilta kookospalmuineen ja riisipeltoineen, mutta auringon laskettua tuli todella hamara, saarella kun ei ole viela sahkoa. Useimmat ravintolat ja majatalot kytkevat generaattorin kayntiin muutamaksi tunniksi, mutta kello 22:00 mennessa vallitsi tayspimeys. Meidan pikku majassa valot ja tuuletin toimivat noin 3 tuntia joka ilta, sen sijaan pistorasioita me ei onnistuttu loytamaan koko saarelta - valokuvien otto jai siis aika vahaan kun ei ollut tullut mieleen ladata kameran akkua etukateen.
 
Pari paivaa saarella kuluivat lahinna riippumatossa kirjoja lukien seka patikoiden - kavelimme muun muassa viereiselle Don Khonin saarelle (ei siis vetta pitkin vaan saaret yhdistavan sillan yli) mista loytyi todella vesiputous seka hiekkaranta
 
Maanantaina siirryimme noin tunnin matkan paassa olevalle isommalle Dong Khongin saarelle, Lonely Planet -oppaan mukaan nakemisen arvoinen paikka josta loytyisi kauniita maisemia, rentoa menoa ja paljon tekemista (seka sahkot, jee!). Kaytannossa saari oli aikamoinen pettymys - siella ei yksinkertaisesti ollut yhtaan mitaan tekemista tai nakemista - joten viihdyimme siella vain yhden yon verran. 
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