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A well deserved break! "La vida es como la espuma hay que hecharse al mar", because "we are here for a short time but for a good time"!!!!

A taste of heaven on earth

LAOS | Thursday, 14 February 2008 | Views [594] | Comments [1]

"There must be a rule in Laos that says the further south you go the more relaxed it becomes, because just when you thought your blood pressure couldn't drop any more, you arrive in Si Phan Don..." (The lonely planet).

Literally Si Phan Don translates as the 4000 Islands; namely the thousands of Islets that litter the mekong river at the very South of Laos on the border with Cambodia. This was to be our last stop in laos before heading out of its boundaries, so after a brief appearance into "civilisation" we boarded a bus packed with cement bags, 30 people (of whom 6 where hanging off the back), a goat jammed between our bags on the rooftop and headed straight to Don Det. This Island was to be our home for the next 6 days.

After a 3.30 hrs intense but interesting bumby bus trip and a 20 mins boat trip with a spectacular sunrise we finally got to our destination. And oh surprise! The lonely planet was once again slightly outdated... Our hoard of backpackers was offloaded straight into what seemed like a Lao reminiscence of Benidorm. Basically the very north of the Island has developped a worst version of Vang Vieng's idea of tourism only without the friends episodes blaring out of TV sets all day long (electricity supplies cannot quite handle that...yet).

So yes Laos is slowly going the way Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are but gladly it is still a few years away from that. So when I say the lonely planet is only slightly outdated I mean that you only have to walk a few kilometres down the Island to leave Benidorm behind and fall into blissful Laos again. Not only Julia and I were advised to do that beforehand, but we also literally had no choice but to walk to find a place to stay ("sorry full"!).

It was pitch black by the time we got to our quiet location and were greeted by the friendliest face we saw that evening: "I have bungalow free 2 dolars!" hurray! We were spot on too: we got one of the nicest locations on the Island, lovely bungalows by the riverside run by a lovely family who served the best food. And yes we have come to the conclusion that we are being looked after by a guardian angel, and yes our blood pressure dropped to its lowest levels and yes we found paradise on earth!!!

I am just going to give you a sense of what we lived for that week so you don't get too jealous hey! Obviously the fact that in our quest for a place to stay, our guardian angel  guided us to the loveliest guest-house on don det added a plus to our experience. The islands are beautiful and beeing surrounded by such beauty from dawn to dusk was ahhhh I cannot describe it with words. We awoke to the sunrise on the mekong river every day just about the same time as our solitaire Buffalo neighbour who bathed in the first rays of sun... We became hammock-bound icicles and time just seemed to have no purpose anymore. Only the moments are what mattered most and there were plenty of good ones. Cycling around the Islands was great but indulging in laziness was the best. To sum it all up we loved it and so would you if you had set foot on HEAVEN ON EARTH! 

I am now writing from Siem Reap in Cambodia. We just arrived today, I shall keep you posted soon.

Tags: The Great Outdoors

Comments

1

Hello Danielle,
Estelle et moi on vient de se régaler d'un curry jaune préparé par mes soins (je précise, c'est estelle qui me dicte et moi qui frappe le clavier comme un malade).
Et on avait une grosse pensée pour toi... et on est allé sur ton site... et on a vu apparaître un post sur ton blog!!! (là c'est laurent qui dicte et moi qui tape comme une malade, come ça tu sauras tout vraiment tout)...
Alors, Laurent espère te revoir très bientôt... quand tu seras sur le retour (qu'on espère le plus tardif pour toi)... parce qu'il va à Barcelone en février... mais d'ici là, il reviendra prendre des news!
On te fais de gros (dixit estelle), des énormes (dixit laurent) bisous!
Et saches que lui ou moi, moi ou elle, tu nous fais rêver!!!!!
Estelle & Lo / Lo & Estelle

  Lo & Estelle Feb 17, 2008 8:50 AM

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