Hammock City

Trip Start Jan 26, 2010
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Trip End Jun 08, 2011


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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Monday, March 29, 2010

After a hot and dusty ride in the back of a covered pick-up, a French Couple and I wound our way in between islands to the fabled traveler's Mecca, 4000 islands . 4000 islands is located in the Mekong on the southern tip of Laos. The Mekong at this point is almost 9 miles wide and really does contain several thousand islands, although many are just big enough for a few people to stand on. The boat dropped me off at the island of Don Det. The area has became part of the tourist trail and has enjoyed mild success. However entering during the hot season it has become a bit of a ghost town with empty bungalows and restaurant lining the edge of the island.

After getting settled I indulged in the main activity of the island known as hammock sitting. Which is exactly as it sounds, it often involves a beer or a book. At night the the entire island shuts down by ten and the pungent smell of cannabis is thick in the air. The hammock sitting often digresses in hammock sleeping.

The next night, I met a friendly group of guys at the convenient store(aka convenient hut) and was invited by back for beers at their bungalow. I had a good time, hammock sitting of coarse, with good company and mediocre beer. This quickly became a nightly ritual. The group was full of characters. From perverse a Australian catholic school teachers, opinionated northern Europeans, to a goofy Canadian and a laid back but strong willed Brit.

The night after, Martin a guy from Denmark had organized a hammock hangout several hammocks high.The set-up was nothing less then impressive, especially when constructed by a chronic hammock sitter. Hammock city only escalated the next day. We all went to see the fresh water dolphins and made quick friends with the rest of our tour group. Together we enjoyed the rare Irrawaddy dolphins whom got very close and a humbling water fall in which almost the entire Mekong poured through.

After Martin organized a party at his bungalow and built up the small hammock hangout, to maybe 8 or 10 hammocks 3 levels high. The lot of us drank too much rice whiskey, made too much noise and lounged. After everyone had gone home, their next door neighbours showed up. Marty a large opinionated Dutchman, was belligerent. He begin ranting about everything under the sky, using and abusing the word fuck. At volumes loud enough that their neighbour across the way commented the next morning that his Winston Churchill speech wasn't very good. Late into the night we laughed and shushed his antics

The next day was pretty mild as we nursed our hangovers left behind from the vile rice whiskey. Although the full moon did manage to get into our blood a bit in the form of a midnight swim in the deceivingly swift Mekong. After a much needed relaxing weekend on the languid river, my visa ran out and I'm now reporting to you from Cambodia.
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