Si Phan Don

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Apr 27, 2010

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

We made a dy trip to Ban Don Det, one island in the 4000 islands (Si Phan Don).It is right on the border with Cambodia. The Mekong here cand get up to 14 km wide when the water is high, which makes it the widest on its entire lenght. In the dry season the water is so low it reveals the 4000 islands and many nice waterfalls. Don det and Don Khon are the two islands with inhabitants and has become a kind of haven for real badpackers (according to what we have seen, the bad kind!!!) The area is beautiful. Sadly the badpackers have made it a kind of Kuta, bringing in Marijuna and drunkness. We decide to rent bikes and make a tour of the islands and get down to the second island, much more preserved. The weather is extremely hot and the kids are a little reluctant to bik. But they quickly notice that walking would be even worse! We get a glimpse of an old French locomotive (SNCF c'est possible!) with about 3 meters track! And that's about it for railway in Laos! The Southern island has nice waterfalls and we get to relax a little in the river. After returning our bikes we get with a little boat to ther protected area where the Irrawady dolfins can be spoted. We are left on huge rocks in the middle of the Mekong, the boats not being alowed to travel through the protected area. And yes, there they are!!! We see them coming up to breathe (every 3 minutes),some are pretty close! There are only about 30-40 animals left, and it's the only place where they are found in the whole world. There used to be plenty in the Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia but they have all benn killed by fisher's nets and dynamite fishing. Laos is trying to save the few ones left.
today has benn a really long day, up at 6:30 and back only at 19:00 so tomorrow we will take it slow again! We are slowly enjoying relaxing days, not feeling the urge anymore of having to see as much as possible!!! Here a few pictures!Bye all!
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