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Why Did I Stay so Long in Don Det?

When I finally left Don Det, I realized I had stayed on the island for over a week; and when I look back, I can’t really explain why I stayed for so long. However this is not to say, that it isn’t worth staying a week on Don Det. It most certainly is.

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The reason why I can’t explain it is that there is not really that much to do on the island. I had no luxuries, only a cold shower and shared bathroom; everything on the island closes at 11pm; and the only wifi on the island is probably running on smoke signals. But it still was one of my favorite places in Laos.

Don Det is a small island on an area called Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands) on the Mekong river in south Laos. It is close to the Cambodian border

I originally arrived to the island with two Swiss girls and a Spanish guy I had met on the minivan; they were only staying for few days, so we got all the activities immediately out of the way. We went to see South East Asias biggest waterfall (by amount of water, not the tallest, big difference). And we hired bikes for a day so we could cycle through our island and on to Don Khon, as the two islands are connected by a bridge. We reached the south most point of Don Khon, but were actually too lazy to take a boat to see the pink dolphins. Anyway, why are river dolphins always pink?

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After they left, well, I just got lazy. Waking up, quite early if I might add, having a shower, going for breakfast, then laying in my hammock reading, or maybe doing some writing. After lunch I’d maybe visit the one place on the island that had free wifi, just to do some surfing. Thou it was one of the slowest Internet ever. So what you did, is you opened up few pages and then just read your book a while. After five minutes you’d check if the pages had loaded, they usually hadn’t.

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Then suddenly you’d realize it’s already sunset time. And every day I told myself I would go tomorrow, but I never just got around booking the tickets, so every day I stayed. Eventually I was running out of money, and there are no ATMs on the island, so I booked my bus with my remaining money before I went broke. If I had had more money, I know I would’ve stayed longer.

Even thou there are quite a few of guest houses on the island, you do get a proper Laotian feeling from the place. This could have to do with the off-season, as there aren’t too many travelers on the island and most guesthouses are empty, which suited me fine.

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The island is filled with rice fields. You have cows and water buffalos everywhere. Everybody smiles and says hello to you; the kids either stare at you or shout sabaidee; and generally everyone just seems happy.

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I paid $3 for my own bungalow, which was party build over the river. It’s was facing the sunset and I had a comfortable hammock. There are no buildings on the other side of the river; it’s such a tranquil place. Amazing views, and my favourite past time was to just chill in my hammock and look at the sunset or the lighting storms. I could the distant waterfall roaring all the time. What more could I want.

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It’s tranquil place, very peaceful. The Laotians have saying “you get there when you get there. And that applied to this place. You stay there as long as you stay there. If you want to disconnect from the world and just chill, I can’t think of a better place.

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What place would you recommend just for disconnecting and chilling out?

9 Comments

  1. That cat looks just plain evil. The island however looks like a great place to just chill out for a while… :)
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..Kevin from Cork, Ireland…you SUCK!My Profile

    • It is a great place to just chill 😉 who knows, maybe it will turn evil as it grows…

  2. Cool photos! I had a similar experience with floods in Cambodia 2 weeks ago :S Btw the kittne is amazing :)
    crazy sexy fun traveler recently posted..KOH PHANGAN – THINGS TO SEE AND DOMy Profile

    • Thanks! Yeah the flooding has made certain things a bit more interesting around here in Asia recently :)

  3. Morjensta! Nyt pääsi tsekkaan tän sun blogin, mahtavia kuvia oot saanu postattuu! Minnekkäs reissu jatkui? Mitäs tykkäsit kirjasta? Ota koodii vaik facen kautta tai sähköpostiin,,

    • Jooh, no oli vähän myöhässä toi Don Det postaus itellään :) Kirja oli hyvä kyllä, mutta ehkä vähän väärää lukemista ku aloin lukemaan sitä matkalla tänne Thaimaahan, anto ehkä vähän väärän ensivaikutelman :)

  4. Hey interested to know about the school in your photos, did you volunteer? Would appreciate any details you could email me :)

    • Hey Kate, I dropped you an email with bit more details. But no I didn’t volunteer at the school, we just dropped some books for them that we had gotten earlier. But it was a really interesting experience!

  5. It is the sound of insects and water while sleeping that does it to you. Had the same experience in Masoala rain forest in Madagascar.
    Alien-Heartbeat recently posted..Women Give Me SoapMy Profile