Blogs from Si Phan Don, South, Laos, Asia

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Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don March 18th 2017

Si Phan Don, or The Four Thousand Islands as it is known, lies on a very wide section of the Mekong River just North of the Cambodian border. With its many islands of land rising up from the river's waters (hence the name) and the relaxed friendly nature of the fisherman and farmers that inhabit them, little goes on here. It was just the place I needed to unwind for a bit after a couple of hard days on the road and an even harder sixteen hour journey on the bus I took to get here. Showing up around 10am my first order of business was securing a bungalow ($50,000kip) on the river's edge and getting some well needed rest. My days here were spent doing as little as possible. The family that ran the bungalows ... read more
buffalo
flowers
falls

Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don February 11th 2017

There may or may not be 4000 islands dotted around the Mekong in southern Laos. What is certain is that there are an awful lot of them! We stayed on the largest island of the archipelago, Don Khong, which was a tropical paradise and fairy undeveloped. A minibus had brought us all the way from Pakse to a tiny settlement on the bank of the river. There we were handed over to a boatman who safely delivered us to the other side, successfully selling us a day trip in the process! He took us all the way to where we were staying, theurl=http://www.booking.com/hotel/la/mali-guesthouse.html?aid=318615;label=Low_CPA_English_EN_TH_21461894545-TCZB66d_PFY4nG12HSEDLAS99511130065%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap1%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap1t1%3Aneg%3Afi%3Atidsa-166246061305%3Alp1012729%3Ali%3Adet%3Adm;sid=2f484f802e297fa03f690f097175015d;all_sr_blocks=129619802_91951386_0_0_0;checkin=2017-02-11;checkout=2017-02-12;dest_id=-2666... read more
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Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don February 7th 2016

Ken and I walked into the bus station in Vientiane to get on our sleeper bus to the 4000 Islands, also known as Si Phan Don. Ken had gotten his ticket from a different place than I had. We ended up trading with people to get seats next to each other because I had movies and snacks. We heard the bus was leaving at 7. It was 6:50. The guy at the counter told us the bus was leaving in 10 minutes, once the last people arrive. Whatever that means. The guys on the bus said 8:00. We had no idea what time the bus was leaving. We found some Brazilians taking the same bus as us and got noodles with veggies, which turned out to be delicious. We decided to just get on the bus ... read more
Kayaking
Kayaking
Bamboo bridges

Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don March 23rd 2015

Si Phan Don or also known as the 4000 islands is situated in the South of Laos near the Cambodian border. In the low rain season you can litterally see these 4000 islands appearing in the Mekong river. There are despite these 4000 islands only three islands where you can stay, which are Don Dhet, Don Khon or Dong Khong. Most of the backpackers are going to Don Dhet, which is famous for its exciting nightlife. However, we decided to go to Don Khon, where you have less hostels and where it is a bit more quiete. We really wanted to relax and enjoy the beauty of the place without having noisy music all the time. We slept in a beautiful little bungalow with a terrace in front of the Mekong. We had a fantastic view ... read more
The beach at Donkhon
The beach at Donkhon
The beach at Donkhon

Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don December 2nd 2014

Salut tout le monde, Quelques nouvelles rapidos, on n'a plus beaucoup posté mais le temps passe si vite (déjà un mois au Laos !) et on ne veut pas risquer de vous lasser avec nos aventures ! Nous sommes le 2 décembre et notre dernière journée au Laos est arrivée en ce jour de fête nationale. Ca tombe bien car nos visa expirent le 4. Nous sommes actuellement sur l'île de Don Det à Si Phan Don = "les 4000 îles" nommé ainsi car le Mekong se disperse et forme un vaste archipel. Au programme d'aujourd'hui rien n'est prévu si ce n'est liquider nos derniers kips, mettre à jour ce blog et se languir une dernière fois dans nos hamacs face au Mekong. Nous vous avions laissé à Thakek si je ne m'abuse, où on a ... read more
Buddha cave
Thakek

Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don August 11th 2014

Laos is a land-locked country and is ironically the home of Four Thousand Islands, an area in the deep south of Laos near the border of Cambodia. Four Thousand Islands are islands in the mighty Mekong River where the river fans out over the vast plains. During the dry season, four thousand islands are exposed by the shallowness of the river. Though l doubt if anyone has actually counted them and l have been unable to find out the significance of the number, four thousand. During the wet season, the Mekong can span out to a width of over 10km. There are two ways to get there, from the south over the Cambodian border, or from the north through Pakse. Pakse is a non-descript town about 10 hrs south of the Laos capital,Vientiane, on a VIP ... read more
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Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don April 17th 2014

We finally managed to secure a bus ticket out of Phnom Penh... the city had certainly done its best to keep us there but it was time to move on. Given we had spent the extra (unexpected) time in PP we decided to head straight up to the Laos border. We unfortunately missed the opportunity to see the Irrawaddy dolphins at Kratie, and some spectacular jungle at Ratanakiri, but it just means we'll have to come back! We arrived at Stung Treng 8 hours later, thinking we would stay the night and get an early bus across the border. To our delight when we arrived at a guesthouse there was a minivan leaving in 20 minutes, so we decided to just keep on going! Negotiating customs at the Laos border took us over an hour (it ... read more
Bike tour of Don Det - French Bridge in background
Boating around the Mekong, where locals fish, wash, as well as transport all goods and family members
Mr Bounhom, owner of our bungalows and experienced navigator through the rapids and rocks

Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don March 12th 2013

The sleeper bus was an experience in itself. I felt as if I was in Harry Potter which made it even better. Thankfully though when we set off the beds were stable and to my knowledge we didn't shrink down and squeeze into tight spots however it wasn't long before we were lulled into a deep sleep so who knows? By morning we had reached Pakse and a bus change was in order however nobody could point us in the right direction so jumping on to the bus heading to Cambodia which was full of Mozzies was our only hope. 2 hours later we had arrived in in Nakasang for our final part of the journey another BOAT and of course like others we had been before this was just as unstable and we were likely ... read more
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Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don March 8th 2013

March 8th, I can’t believe I'm so behind on my next blog. This can only mean one thing, too much adventuring. Is there such a thing? Not in my world. Oh this new world I am in, is unlike anything I've done before. I love being a foreigner, being in a new place every week. It’s almost been a month but it feels like a year, it feels like I've discovered a new piece of me, outside of my comfort zone. I get overwhelmed and think sometimes that I cant do this forever but Jacob continues to tell me that I am a natural traveler and he is right. I feel like a have a purpose. Each week is a new country, a new language to learn, a new currency to figure out and a more ... read more
my new best friend
floating at sunset
waterfalls

Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don November 4th 2012

We started our voyage from Thailand on a ferry, and landed at our Lao destination of Don Det on a boat as well. Again, we are island bound, but this time we are located within the ‘4,000 island’ area of Laos—a scattering of islands in southern Laos amidst the Mekong River. We are on the southern tip of Lao, bordering Cambodia. In France’s conquest of Indo China in the late 1800’s, this area imposed difficulty to trade because of the various waterfalls which stopped ships from continuing the journey north towards China or south towards Vietnam. There are a variety of relics including train tracks and French walls within the river that somehow helped the shipping process. Upon arriving here by boat just around sunset, we were pointed to the ‘sunset’ coast and the ... read more
Our back yard
Phil's new drinking buddies
Swinging bridge over the Mekong




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