Published: February 13th 2011February 13th 2011
The amazing 4000 islands...........
Getting here took a long 2 days, stopping off at Savannahket overnight, but the never ending bus rides, dust, fumes and aching bums were worth it!
The Islands are completely gorgeous, if you want paradise this is it. Although more and more tourists are beginning to make the trip down it is still relatively unknown and still has a certain vibe about it, as if we are the lucky ones that have manged to see the islands before they become some huge tourist trap. There is no motorised transport on the islands, walking, cycling or catching a boat are the only ways to travel which adds to its uniqueness and tranquility. There are two main islands that people tend to stay on; Don Det and Don Khon. Don Det is slightly more geared towards the tourist with a few restaurants at its northern tip, but as you travel further south along the island you reach Don Det village which is still itself and small bungalows are scattered around for visitors to stay in. When we arrived the first night we had a nightmare, everywhere was full and we spent ages walking the length of the
island trying to find a room. In the end we ended up sharing a twin room between 3 of us as we couldn't find anywhere. The next morning however we got up early and found a beautifully placed wooden bungalow right on the river side right in the middle of the village with the river to our left and fields to our right. It was pure bliss. The bungalow was extremely basic, pretty much a shed on stilts with a bed in and a balcony on the front of it with 2 hammocks (on which we spent many an evening and morning chilling in)! However the location was more than compensation for the bugs, cockroaches and geckos that we spent our nights with! We spent our days cycling around both Don det and Don khon, exploring little beaches and waterfalls, but best of all we spent lots of time seeing the Irrawaddy river dolphin. We, together with our fellow English friend Emily, took a boat from the southern end of Don Khon at around 4pm to see the dolphins on our first day and it was absolutely amazing. It was perfect, the sun was setting creating amazing scenery and we
just sat there quietly listening and watching them, it was so peaceful. We saw quite a few but we couldn't get too close as some were in Cambodian waters and the siren would sound the moment we crossed the imaginary line! We also went to see them on our final day again, incorporated into a trip to south east asia's largest waterfall (in terms of volume of water) but we didn't see as many dolphins, the time of day wasn't good for dolphin spotting and it was a foggy morning which impaired our view. The waterfall was brilliant though, pretty spectacular. The rest of the time on the island was spent eating or chilling- pretty much our ideal place! Its just so relaxed and people are still going about their daily lives without paying much attention to the "falang" (white person), there are chickens running crazily about everywhere and pigs grunting as you cycle past, we have really fallen in love with this place! We loved it so much that we really didn't want to leave but we had to in order to have enough time visiting Cambodia so we reluctantly booked a bus across the Laos/Cambodian border to Stung
Treng. We will update you on that soon! Enjoy the pictures!
There are more photos below