4000 Islands

After spending a few days in the wonderful city of Pakse, Laos, we decided it was time to head down to the fabled “4000 Islands”, namely

After spending a few days in the wonderful city of Pakse, Laos, we decided it was time to head down to the fabled “4000 Islands”, namely
the island Don Det.

David, Heidi and I headed down to the bus station, bought tickets, and ended up squeezing into a tiny mini van with 40 crates of beer, dead lizards hanging off the rails, and 30 other passengers.
Luck, grace, fate, destiny or whatever you want to call it intervened. We were sitting in the bus, bags on the roof of the crowded song thaew, it was so uncomfortable and crowded that the three of us
decided to get off and take the bigger bus that would leave in an hour, the driver immediately said no since he had already tied our bags on the roof so we ended up taking the van and had a pleasant, albeit slightly ass numbing journey. We found out the next morning that the bus that we
were supposed to take had crashed and 2 people had died.

Arriving in the small village of Nakasong we walked over the mud shore and jumped into a small longtail boat which weaved its wonderful way over to Don Det, passing small islands, villages in the fields, kids swimming and a few old men fishing. We found a fantastic small bungalow for 2 dollars a night and settled in.

The island had no electricity except for a fan that worked for 2 hours in the afternoon, nothing but beautiful nature, calm atmosphere, restaurants and supplies of cold beer to keep our attention for three days.


We spend the next few days walking the small paths all over the islands, watching the most incredible sunsets, eating local food, meeting the most outrageously cool people, partying it up with some British guys while playing dice games,sweated to death in the rooms at night, and enjoyed our book and morning coffee overlooking the
Mekong River every morning.

Ultimately the time came to head back up to the big city Pakse since the final of the FA CUP football was on and there was no electricity on the islands. We woke up at 5.30 (should be illegal) took a calm boat over the river as the sun was lazily lifting, got a songtheaw with 9 more people than the first one including 100 kilos of fish and a lizard hanging from a string (alive). Sat on those wooden benches with the insane smell of fish permeating everything. Made it. Got back to the Guest House, collapsed on our beds, had showers, ate some fantastic Indian food, drank beers, headed down to the reception and turned on the football, 6 arsenal supporters joined us in a bizarre and tense game, we won.

A few of us then decided to go into town at 2 in the morning. We walked around for about 30 minutes and found everything close. As we were heading back we decided to just walk down a random alleyway only to stumble on a Laos wedding where they invited us in and lavished food (delicious) and heaps of Lao Lao whisky (paint thinner) on us
before sending us on our merry way hours later.

We just stood there in the street laughing saying “where on earth would this happen”. We ended up back at some great English blokes room for beers and music and then hit the hay tired and merry. All of us were dizzy from the friendly people we had met in this wonderful country.

The next day consisted of leaving, back to Thailand, eating, traveling to the border, getting across, narrowly avoiding a huge thunder storm, missing our train, having to head to the bus station and avoid the local dogs barking at us, getting a sleeper bus, found out our bus had massage chairs, and sat there for 11 hours listening to music and watching Thailand blur by in the darkness.

Arriving at Bangkok early in the morning near Banglamphu, jumped in a cab and headed back to Sui Ngam Du Phlis, said our goodbyes to David
and headed back to Lee Guest House where everything started a couple
of weeks ago. Wonderful.

written by ghostkamera on 2008-05-09 #places #art #culture #analog #location

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