Monday, 14 April 2014

27th march.. Laos, The 4 Thousand Islands and Champasak

27th march      Laos 
The 4 Thousand Islands, Don Det.

Up at 4 am, we first took a very bumpy bus to the Cambodian border arriving around 5pm. Then it was another hour or so to the place where we swapped bus for wooden boat and arrived in Don Det for 7pm. 

 I parked Andy and kids at a local restaurant and wondered around looking for some good accommodation the area wasn't very big.
                             Sunset Bungalows and accommodation 
we had a double bed and single bed with a/c overlooking the Mekong river  140,000 lay (12,000 to pound) it was basic yet very comfortable and clean  

                                                                     The Mekong delta 
Moths and Mossies swarmed around the lights of the restaurants every evening at sunset.

                                          It was really hot and sticky around 35 degrees and humid
To be honest it wasn't our favourite island, while the surrounding scenery was splendid and it was lovely to see the islands of the Mekong delta,  It took us a few days to relax and it wasn't as idyllic as we were told. 

We found the locals very
 dis-interested in us, there was very little interaction or even smiles from them, but I'm not surprised its really was a small village build for the visiting tourists and it was mainly filled with young travellers spending a few days smoking weird and wonderful things and partying and not much else. 
I have to say there was a lack of enthusiasm in the travellers to, they looked bored to me!  The best bit was hiring the bikes and visiting the waterfall and surrounding countryside, as it was very scenic.
                                       the local wildlife 
    A local water buffalo wandered around freely and sat on beach in the day among the swimmers.

         The river beach where andy got his foot bitten by a snake, eel or fish ? 
        note.. everyone swimming, he was the only one bitten 

On mothers day we hired bikes for the day and visited the local waterfall.

                              This is in the dry season, in the wet season you wouldn't see the rocks.
                                                           but its still impressive
                                 Relaxing at the sunset beach and  bar next to the waterfall and a cocktail or 2 for                                                                                   me on mothers day bliss.....

1st april 

Feeling quite happy to be leaving Don Det,  we took the boat back to the main land and jumped on a small bus to Champasak. We had decided to go here because there was some wonderful Wats and ruins there. This took around an easy 3 hours and ended with another small boat ride. This time all we had to do was sit and wait and some one called his cousin who had a local guest house to come and get us,, i get the feeling they are all cousins here.  

A local Buddhist temple 
there was one about every 500m along the main road    

                            Now we really enjoyed Champasak this really was an idyllic area. Our guest house overlooked the Mekong river with sunning views. Once the capital of Laos it now was a quiet village with few tourists. There was a mix of houses from wooden built ones on tilts, to French colonial style ones with ornate decoration.  The kids played football with local kids and we loved the Buddha temples, there seemed to be one every 500 meters or so. 

These tradition houses on stilts are seen through out Asia as the Mekong delta rises and floods yearly
                               Visiting Wat Pho 
                      a pre-dated Angkor Temple 
  The seven headed snake similar to Cambodia

                                 Hindu deities shrine

Wat Pho was a superb temple and a very pretty one it was layed out in a way very reminiscent of English castles and house 

             Back at our guest house we relaxed and watched the local wildlife
                             moths and mossies by the thousand eek....they hit the light, fry and die.... eventually someone put a plastic bag over the light to catch them.  Anyone for dinner!

 The kids and i sat up one night and watched a storm with lightening over the Mekong river, it light up the whole sky, till the wind and rain started picking things up and throwing them around and we ran to our room.  fun fun...

Thats it for Laos, after a week visiting the south, we decided against the two x 15 hour bus trips up to the north of Laos and travelled to the Thailand borders instead. 

Onwards to Thailand 

cheers for now xx

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