February 17, 2021
In total, we spent five nights on the Don Det island. Mainly focusing on relaxing and resting. We felt like on a real vacation. Daily breakfasts by the river or lunch at beautiful sunsets, walks around the island and watching how the locals live caused our pulse to drop significantly. We do not remember when we were so relaxed. The weather was perfect, most of the time the sky was clear which forced us to get off the hammocks and go to the beach. It was not the most beautiful one, but that was not important.
Going to the land of 4,000 islands, you have a choice of three islands where you can stay. The largest of them is Don Khong, which is said to have nothing but hotels. However, we have heard from other travelers that the scenery is incredibly beautiful and very friendly people live there. You can explore the whole island by bike visiting places and meeting locals who have not seen a tourist many times, which makes such a meeting much more interesting. The next one is Don Khon which we visited. As we wrote earlier, it is famous for its waterfalls and the possibility of seeing river dolphins. Finally, Don Det, the island where we stayed. We got to its northern tip from Ban Nakasang. Most of the places where you can stay on the island are small bamboo houses. We chose one located right by the river with a view to the west, which gave us the opportunity to admire the spectacular sunset from our hammocks, and the price of $3.50 per night made it an irresistible offer. Of course, the luxuries were not there, but we do not need them. When going to the islands, we advise you to be prepared in terms of cash to avoid unnecessary fees. There is no ATM or bank on the islands and the exchange rate is poor. It is possible to exchange travelers' checks for a slightly larger commission, or to take the so-called cash back in one of the bars, also with extra charges. Internet in cafes is slow and several dozen times more expensive than on the land. Fortunately, many restaurants have free wi-fi at not the worst speed. We even managed to chat a few times on Skype. Prices in bars and restaurants do not differ from those seen on the counter. The development of the island is not impressive, but you must know that electricity has only been available there for the last three years! This is as much information as we were able to gather. Tomorrow we are leaving Laos and setting out to conquer Cambodia.
It was our second country visited in Asia. We have already heard the opinions that there are not many attractions in Laos, and 4-5 days should be enough to visit it. Of course, we do not share this opinion, which over 2 weeks spent here may prove it. Indeed, there are not so many places, but where they are, the atmosphere is so unique that you do not feel like leaving. Nature is another factor that makes this country worth visiting. Laos is one great green and lush land, with picturesque mountains, majestic waterfalls, and a multitude of beautifully situated temples. Local cuisine can also be another reason for a visit. The food is delicious, and the price makes it impossible to stop trying more. But what will most be remembered after visiting this country are its people. Smiling, cheerful, friendly, kind, warm-hearted, polite - one could just exchange words like that. Probably never in our life, in such a short time, have we picked up and sent so many greetings to people who are completely strangers to us. This is evidenced by the fact that after a few days, involuntarily, we were able to greet and thank each other in the local language, as probably all visitors to this wonderful corner of the world. Laotians are very respectful, and they enjoy life. We once read that when a Laotian man does not enjoy his work, he changes it for another, even less paid, as long as it only brings joy. What an approach to life, nothing but applause.
So, we recommend Laos to everyone. Everyone will find something for themselves here. And do not be surprised if you stay longer than you assumed. It’s time for us to move on, and start exploring another country. We will miss Laos, its people and the most their famous greetings SABADI!
“You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” – Eugene Fodor