The most laid back place in the world
22.07.2009 - 24.07.2009 27 °C
Well after the shennagins at the border I arrived in Laos and my first destination was Si Phan Don, more commonly known as the four thousand islands. This collection of islands is found just over the border in the heart of the mighty Mekong river and has to be the most relaxing and peaceful place I've seen on my travels so far.
I stayed on Don Det, this tiny island doesn't have a lot to offer on first inspection. There is no electricity - generators give power from about 6 to 10 in the evening and there are no sites in particular to visit and there aren't a huge amount of activities however I fell in love with the place.
Even the most stressed investment banker on the day all his stocks crash through the floor would be soothed after a few minutes on this idyyllic paradise. Everyone stays in tiny little bungalows that are out on stilts over the river. You get up at a leisurely hour and wander down to a local cafe and enjoy breakfast and a fruit shake. You then climb into your hammock (surely Mankind's greatest invention) and read, nap or just watch life float by on the Mekong river. It's so relaxing. In the evening you get some dinner and then relax with a few people drinking a beer lao watching a glorious sunset and listening to some chill out tunes!
The Laos people in general are ultra relaxed but in this place the people are almost horizontal. There is such a chill out vibe about the place that you can't resist!
That said I didn't spend all my time in a chilled out stupor (only about 90% or so). We did also rent some bikes and cycled all over the island and onto another island called Don Khong which was quite pleasant. It was cool to wander around and see the island life in action (action is perhaps the wrong word as it implies activity).
I also got to seem some very impressive waterfalls and got sing the Indiana Jones theme as I walked over a very shaky rope bridge above a very impressive and powerful waterfall!