A present comes our way

Written by Stuart Revnell No Gravatar

Apologies to all those who have been waiting with bated breath for an update from our last few days in Laos.

After the incredible Kong Lo Cave, we headed down to Pakse, a fairly small town without a big tourist scene, in which we only planned to spend a night en route to Si Phan Don (‘4000 Islands’).  However, we checked into a pleasant hotel with an enjoyable collection of animals outside (the pair of flying squirrels was my favourite), found a cafe with friendly staff, free wifi and great coffee, a place which did fantastic toasted tuna baguettes, and a lovely massage parlour – serendipity is a wonderful thing, and we ended up staying three days.

After this, we moved down to Don Dhet, the main island in Si Phan Don.  In our guidebook, several oblique references were made to this area – ‘traveller’s mecca’, ‘if you can get out of your hammock long enough to rent a bike’, etc. –  and we approached this part of the trip with some trepidation, fearing that the whole area attracted a fairly lazy type of traveller who loved nothing more than lounging around all day.  It’s a logical stopping point on the way to Cambodia though, so we resolved to give it a go, if only for one night.

We arrived at the island mid-afternoon, and as we strolled down the one path which runs down the side of the island through the village, we noticed a definite somnolent quality to the place.  Travellers meandered around as if sleepwalking, butterflies fluttered softly around us and shopkeepers dozed on their floors in front of their TVs.  Even the cockerels seemed more chilled than elsewhere, preferring to do the avian equivalent of a gentle amble along the path, rather than frantically poking at the dirt and crowing in one’s ears.

We found a pleasant little place to stay for about £2.50 a night – a basic shack with a bed and an outside shared toilet – and settled into our hammocks for the afternoon.  It wasn’t long before I got a bit agitated though, and began fretting that there was nothing to do.  At this point, a French girl came out of the next door hut in her bikini and wandered down to the river’s edge right in front of us.  I called out to her to ask what was good to do on the island.  She gave me a friendly, if slightly incredulous smile, held up a large spliff, and shouted back “This!”, before her boyfriend joined her and they swam out to a rock in the river to stare at some reeds for an hour.

The next morning, Jane woke up early and went outside – after a few minutes, she came back in and announced “We’ve got a present”.  She held out a box to me – in it were a giant lighter, a pack of Rizla, and…well, all the necessary ingredients for a thoroughly relaxing couple of days.  I can only presume that the French couple, having no more use for their box of fun, had simply passed it on to us when they left.

Everything went a bit hammock-like after that.

Merci beaucoup.

- CHECK DISC DRIVE AND TAKE LAPTOP AND DVDS
– SI PHAN DON – stoned one
– EN ROUTE TO CAMBODIA – dusty road and me on the bus writing something
– TECHNOLOGY ONE…increasing prevalance of laptops, satellite dishes, etc.
– Continue on the Linked In one
– Submit meter reading from Dan
– Jane to do Oz visa
– Do application for Tierra Vida
– UPDATE LOCATION MAP
– beady eye review 

– UPDATE HEADERS
– LOOK AT SUSIE’S THING
– SEND EMAIL ROUND AT HALFWAY POINT

Si PHAN DON

Apologies to all those who have been waiting with bated breath for an update from our last few days in Laos.

After the incredible Kong Lo Cave, we headed down to Pakse, a fairly small town without a big tourist scene, in which we only planned to spend a night en route to Si Phan Don (‘4000 Islands’).  However, we checked into a pleasant hotel with an enjoyable collection of animals outside (the pair of flying squirrels was my favourite), found a cafe with friendly staff, free wifi and great coffee, a place which did fantastic toasted tuna baguettes, and a lovely massage parlour – serendipity is a wonderful thing, and we ended up staying three days.

After this, we moved down to Don Dhet, the main island in Si Phan Don.  In our guidebook, several oblique references were made to this area – ‘traveller’s mecca’, ‘if you can get out of your hammock long enough to rent a bike’, etc. –  and we approached this part of the trip with some trepidation, fearing that the whole area attracted a fairly lazy type of traveller who loved nothing more than lounging around all day.  It’s a logical stopping point on the way to Cambodia though, so we resolved to give it a go, if only for one night.

We arrived at the island mid-afternoon, and as we strolled down the one path which runs down the side of the island through the village, we noticed a definite somnolent quality to the place.  Travellers meandered around as if sleepwalking, butterflies fluttered softly around us and shopkeepers dozed on their floors in front of their TVs.  Even the cockerels seemed more chilled than elsewhere, preferring to do the avian equivalent of a gentle amble along the path, rather than frantically poking at the dirt and crowing in one’s ears.

We found a pleasant little place to stay for about £2.50 a night – a basic shack with a bed and an outside shared toilet – and settled into our hammocks for the afternoon.  It wasn’t long before I got a bit agitated though, and began fretting that there was nothing to do.  At this point, a French girl came out of the next door hut in her bikini and wandered down to the river’s edge right in front of us.  I called out to her to ask what was good to do on the island.  She gave me a friendly, if slightly incredulous smile, held up a large spliff, and shouted back “This!”, before her boyfriend joined her and they swam out to a rock in the river to stare at some reeds for an hour.

The next morning, Jane woke up early and went outside – after a few minutes, she came back in and announced “We’ve got a present”.  She held out a box to me – in it were a giant lighter, a pack of Rizla, and…well, all the necessary ingredients for a thoroughly relaxing couple of days.

Everything went a bit hammock-like after that.  Merci beaucoup.

One Response to “A present comes our way”

  1. Erin BerzelNo Gravatar says:

    We stumbled upon your posting here and thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experience in Laos. Thanks for a good laugh. : )

    My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to SE Asia in Feb & March of 2012. Arriving in Thailand and planning to visit Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

    I’ll definitely be exploring more of your site!

    All the best to you! I hope you are having a lovely summer.

    Cheers,

    Erin
    Portland, Oregon

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