We took a minivan combined with a boat taxi further south to a place called 4000 islands otherwise known as Si Phan Don. It is where the Mekong river passes around thousands of sandbars and fishing boats abound. Pete was recovered mostly from his GI problems but Denise got a nasty cold. It was a perfect place to recover though and Denise felt better after a few days.
We both felt fine enough to venture out on an evening jaunt to another island where there was a beautiful waterfalls. Actually, the journey to get to the waterfalls was even more interesting than the destination itself. The boat ride was awesome but the tuk-tuk ride was bone jarring due to the extremely rough roads which were mostly dirt. It took about 30 minutes to arrive at the falls after a 20 minute boat ride.
When we arrived back at the dock to go back by boat to our island, Pete asked the tuk-tuk driver to stop at the ATM. Unfortunately, the only ATM machine on the islands was broken when Pete tried to withdraw some money. A man wearing sunglasses appeared out of nowhere and said that his hotel would be able to give us some money with our credit card. When we looked dazed and confused, he took off his sunglasses and said, “Don’t you recognize me, I am the owner of Pan’s guesthouse”! We were sufficiently embarrassed that we had not recognized him when we had seen him many times over the past few days! We had a good laugh about it.
We took several days just to rest in the hammock and eat. The food on the island was very mediocre and the sanitation was not stellar. However, we did slow down and just take in the scenery. Sadly, there was plenty of plastic bottles and trash in the water, so we did not feel motivated to get into the water sports such as tubing or kayaking. By the time we were leaving the islands, we were ready for a change in the food and more infrastructure. We shared a minivan with two very sweet English women back to Pakse.