Four Thousand Islands, Don Khong, Laos; February 2-6

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.

A map of the 4000 island area in Laos.

A map of the 4000 island area in Laos.

 

Fisherman on the Mekong.

Fisherman on the Mekong.

 

Sunset from the bridge a short walk from our bungalow.

Sunset from the bridge a short walk from our bungalow.

 

Pete relaxing in the hammock on our front porch.

Pete relaxing in the hammock on our front porch.

 

View of of our back porch at Pan's Place bungalows.

View off of our back porch at Pan’s Place bungalows.

 

Sunset on the river.

Sunset on the river.

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.

Our trip down the river before getting on the tuk-tuk.

Our journey down the river before getting on the tuk-tuk.

 

Denise in the side car tuk-tuk on the evening trip to the waterfalls.

Denise in the side car tuk-tuk on the evening trip to the waterfalls.

 

The beautiful waterfalls

The beautiful Khone Pha Pheng waterfalls which is the largest cascade in southeast Asia. It is 1 km wide rock formation that is 15 meters high which forces the calm flow of the Mekong to roar through narrow gorges. This is a natural obstacle for shipping. This is the dry season and we could only imagine what it is like in the rainy season.

 

Another beautiful view of the waterfall.

Another beautiful view of the waterfall.

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.

The dock where we found our boat man waiting to take us back to the island. The journey is definitely worth as much as the destination on this trip!

The dock where we found our boat man waiting to take us back to the island. The journey is definitely worth as much as the destination on this trip! Here are some Buddhist monks getting ready to push the boat out to the river.

 

Another scene at the dock.

Another scene at the dock.

 

A fisherman about to throw his net into the river.

A fisherman about to throw his net into the river.

 

Temple on the shore on our way back. WOW!

Temple on the shore on our way back. WOW!

 

Sunset silhouette.

Sunset silhouette.

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.

 

Ok, this is what it is really like in our room and living out of a small backpacks!

Ok, this is what it is really like in our room and living out of a small backpacks!

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