trails & tribulations

by Jakob





After a long train ride, with a few stopovers in Hat Yai and Bangkok, I arrived in Nong Kkai, a border town near Vientiane in Laos. With a group of fellow travelers we took a Tuk Tuk to the border for our ‘visa on arrival’.

Obtaining the visa wasn’t quite that bad at all, I thought I had to pay additional dollars to the customs officials, but here it was all straightforward and clear, allthough the price for a visa is a bit on the high side …
Vientiane is not really a vibrant city, actually quite boring and soon I decided to buy a bus-ticket to the 4000 Islands in southern Laos. The night bus is a sleeper and I had to share a bed with someone, it feels bit strange in the beginning, I got used to it quickly.

After a long bus ride I arrived in Pakse, where I had to take another bus. I had no idea which of ​​the 4000 islands I should go to, it seemed quite a difficult choice to me (!) But after tips from Dutch companions in the bus, I decided to go to Don Det, one of the smaller islands.
It was a good choice: I found a wonderful place to stay: Mama Leuah Guesthouse.

Don Det (and other islands) are truly oasis of tranquility and very pleasant to walk around and thats what I did:
From Don Det it’s a short walk across the bridge to Don Khon, where beautiful waterfalls can be admired and where some tiny but nice beaches are. From Don Kong you can also do a boat trip to do some dolphin watching, but when you do, you run the risk to be intercepted by Cambodian customs officers and you might have to pay for exceeding the border, it’s a bit bland, so I didn’t take a boat, the dolphins can be seen from the mainland too.
For the rest there is really not much to do, for me, the islands are there just to relax, in short: a place to come back again!

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