I’m writing this offline during my less than 24 hours on Don Det island, around 20km from the Cambodian border, but I was swimming in the river next to Cambodia this afternoon (the Mekong River is the border here). I came down from Pakse this morning, pottered around for a couple of hours deciding my next move then rented a pushbike for a few hours. I cycled through the locals harvesting rice, a wee village, saw the Tat Somphamit (Li Phi Falls) waterfall – very impressive and a hardcore kayakers wet dream.
I then continued for a dip in the river by a beach where you can grab a boat and see some freshwater dolphins. Although that was originally one of my main reasons to come here, I don’t have time to try and see them tomorrow. The whole trip only took about an hour each way.
It’s soo chilled here. It took me a couple of hours to have a snack and leave my accommodation (helped by listening into and chatting to a guidebook author). I watched a cracking sunset over the islands from the restaurant about 10 feet from my bamboo shack (no fan! Could be an ‘interesting’ hot sleep!). It’s still not peak season and everyone just does what I did,the odd river trip, or lounge on hammocks and not do very much. I’ve not seen as many stars in the sky since…well, I guess not that long ago during a powercut in Myanmar.
I was reworking my Cambodia plans when I arrived here and, despite being so close to the border, I have changed my plans to reluctantly skip Kratie (more potential dolphin spotting) and head back to Pakse (a couple of hours in the bus) then fly to Siem Riep for $86, probably missing out Kratie altogether. Not ideal, but with only around 12 days in Cambodia (yikes!) it saves me doing a long bus journey loop to see the other places I hope to – Siem Riep, Battambang, Phnom Penh (I may remember how to spell this once I’m there), then down to Soukhanville for the beach and hopefully a dive. I must confess that I’m finding it harder to get timing information for Cambodia from my alternative guidebook ‘Adventure Cambodia’. I bought this due to the vast amount of motorbike touring information but doesn’t look like that will be an option now.
Unfortunately to catch the organised buses I have to get the boat at 11.30am, so Pakse will seem like time just waiting for something to happen as there’s not much to do there, but I’ve a 6.30am check in the following day…. I’m sure there must be local buses but I reckon the cartel of tour operators wouldn’t give away this information so easily!
Don Det boat landing :