In Southern Laos, the Mekong river forms a delta that sprouts countless islands of varied sized. We chose to start our discovery of these territories on Don Khong, a bigger island where not many tourists chose to go, as there is pretty much nothing there at all. Regardless, we ended up spending almost a week there, reading, writing, playing guitar, relaxing, and looking at the river flow.We caught a local bus from Pakse that took us from the mountains back into flat country.
We had heard the internet connection in these parts was almost unusable, so we took a room at a hotel without one. The room was made out of wood and very big, with a desk and a hot water shower (luxurious, aye). A few restaurants on the river front served good food at decent prices, and after trying them all we chose our favourite and kept going there until we had pretty much tried all the vegetarian options in their menu. Their curries were absolutely delicious!
On one of these lazy days we rented bicycles and set to go around the island. We were looking forward to seeing some forest, but we were disappointed to not find anything like that. What we did find were people’s homes of all shapes and sizes, and a few pretty Buddhist temples. Traffic around the place is pretty much non existent, so we took our time and enjoyed the breeze.
On the opposite side of the island there is a second settlement that does not seem to see many white people, as the locals seemed surprised to see us there. We stopped for an iced coffee and resumed our journey. We decided to get off the main road and use a small path that took us along the river past a lot of startled villagers. The view was quite amazing, though a mountain bike would have been better suited to the purpose.
It could be said we stayed on this paradise island for longer than ‘necessary’, but I think both of us enjoyed the extreme peace and quiet inherent to this place. Our next stop would be Don Det, and we negotiated with a boat captain to take us there on a sunny morning…