Existing Member?

Running away from Home

The entrepreneurs of laid-back Laos don't disappoint

LAOS | Friday, 19 March 2010 | Views [354]

It wasn’t a long ride from Champasak to Si Phan Don (4000 Islands), but it was difficult to watch the parched landscape go by. There was a group of twenty-somethings jabbering away in Swedish in the back seat so I listened to my ipod (thank you, Mike) while I looked out the window. I saw what was once rice fields now gone to a dusty patch of withered plants. I saw bony cows nuzzling at any patch of green that they could find. It was almost painful. I will definitely have to come back sometime during the wet season, just so that I can see that this is not permanent.

We reached the small village that serves as a main crossing point to get to Don Khong (the big island) and I was a bit nervous when I saw that I was the only person getting out of the van. As it turns out all of the twenty-somethings were going to a different island on down south. There was a fellow to run me over to the island, but I would have to pay double if no one else showed up to share the ride. He told me to wait about 10 or 20 minutes and so I grabbed a seat in the shade and I took out my novel. An hour and a half later no one else had showed up to go to the island. I was starting to wonder if I should have gone to Don Det with the others. At least then I knew that I could get a group rate on the ferry ride, besides I understand that Don Det is the island of tropical beauty and I was hoping that I could at least see it. Finally, I got tired of waiting. My time is really not worth all that much, but I was getting hungry and I wanted to get settled at a guesthouse. I walked over to where a group of tourists had been brought from the island and were waiting for their bus to Champasak. I chatted with a woman from Chengdu who spoke beautiful English. She told me that she had not liked Don Det. There was too much of a backpacker atmosphere. Don Khong was much more to her liking. We exchanged information on destinations, and after speaking with her I felt better about my choice. I thought that maybe I could get a day trip over to the other islands. Maybe they offer it as a boat ride. The wheels in my head were spinning when a sawng thaew pulled up to the landing and dropped off a Dutch couple to go to Don Khong. Patience pays off! I got my group rate to Don Khong! I bid farewell to the Chinese woman and jumped in the boat to go to the largest of the 4000 islands in the Mekong River.

The entrepreneurs on Don Khong were way ahead of me in terms of hiring boats to see the other islands. I figured they would be. There are several tour packages that you can purchase to see the islands. I signed myself up for one and I am very excited. Yes! I will have a boat ride on the Mekong that is more than just a simple crossing. I will see the other islands without having to move camp. I can even get my bus ticket for crossing into Cambodia.

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About melissa_k

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Laos

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.