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Laos

LAOS | Wednesday, 3 July 2013 | Views [381]

7th April, 2013

The sound of rain pouring from the drains is such a welcoming sound after the 40 degree day on Don Det, Laos. I lay in my hammock on the balcony of my bungalow, kindle in hand and I couldn’t be more relaxed. This weirdly fantastic island located in the far south, is the paradise of Laos.

Today we toured the whole island on bicycle and every inch of it was as different as the last. There were houses made from cardboard that neighboured a building resembling something you would find in the French countryside. There were cows roaming freely and pet pigs of all sizes.

The tourists clearly brought in the majority of the money for the island, but funnily enough travellers and tourist had not populated this paradise to extremes which was great. Every second family had turned part of their home into some level of guesthouse and/or café and if they knew about stocks and shares, I’m sure one of them would be in the ‘WIFI ZONE sign’ company. If they weren’t already a guesthouse or café, they would be a booking agent for the many activities offered on and around the island.

Our days were spent bike riding around the island, reading, swimming, hammocking and a lot of eating. I swear every 10 minutes we would discuss which restaurant we would go to next and what we were going to have. Meals are so cheap here, not as much as Thailand though, and the food isn’t as good in my opinion. You get a baguette with every meal whether it’s a soup, a curry, a noodle dish or even a sandwich – with a  baguette on the side…  well that’s probably a little of an exaggeration. It was quite strange because as soon as you cross the border back into Thailand, you will not find a baguette even if you track down a French Baker and buy him the ingredients, Seriously!

My book of choice whilst inhabiting the Island on the Mekong was ‘The Beach’ by Alex Garland and as most of you would already know, this book is about a young English backpacker traveller Thailand and discovers a map to a ‘secret island’. It was set on an island off the coast of Thailand– therefore I found it quite fitting. There was something quite special about reading this book whilst in such a peaceful and relaxed frame of mind that I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much otherwise.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beach_(novel)

Next to the reception lived a family whose elders helped with several things like the cooking in the guesthouse restaurant and cleaning etc. We would find them in the same hammocks day in day out, attending to their children and rocking them to sleep under the main house. There were three small children and two older. Every day we would stop and play with the babies who were always so happy and there smiles and laughs made us appreciate the smallest things in life, for these families who have barely nothing, can brighten up anyone’s day and give anyone a glimmer of hope. 

Tags: laos, mekong

 

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