If you’ve read our lesson of the road 3 you’ll have seen we headed to Don Det in the 4000 Islands of Laos a bit earlier than planned. We arrived there with 10 days to spare before our visa expired and figured we’d make the most of the time by doing nothing and relaxing in a hammock for a while – perfect.
Don Det is a very small and very much a backpacker island although it doesn’t take away from it’s charm. We awoke every morning to the sound of a cockerel, dodged cattle crossing the paths and listened in on all night local celebrations. It has the perfect mixture of a backpacker vibe with a local feel.
Highlights: (other than sleeping in the hammock)
Tubing round the island – A much more relaxing affair than tubing in Vang Vieng – you can rent a tube (5000 kip/less than 50p!) and just float out onto the river and admire the gorgeous views all around. We spent hours in our tubes and on many of the sand banks and tiny islands surrounding Don Det just watching the days go by and talking to anybody who floated out.
Sitting in the river side cafe’s and watching the sun go down with a Beer Lao. The amazing scenery all around makes for some breathe taking sun sets that we never got bored of.
Taking bikes out to the neighbouring island of Don Khon and cycling round to see the waterfalls and river beaches, just about the most exercise we did in our whole time there.
The island does attract a lot of people who want to take relaxing to another level. Many bars will offer happy shakes on the menu and suggest ‘if you would like a smoke – just ask at the bar’. With a curfew of 11pm it’s not a place your going to come across people on hard drugs loosing their mind and if anything all the happy smoke in the air calms everything down a little bit more.
With riverside huts going for 20/30,000 kip for the night you really can’t go wrong with spending a few days here resting before either entering Cambodia or heading up north.
Just thinking about back to the island now reminds me of how happy I was whilst doing not much at all, give me nice water to swim in all day, good scenery and I’m set for weeks.