So we arrived on Don Det at sunset - the first choice you have to make on the island, is whether to stay on the sunrise or sunset side - we opted for sunset as it just seemed like it would be a bit cooler... We made our way along the sunset side, searching for a bungalow, and settled on some that were painted bright blue and pink, and cost 20,000 Kip per night - about £1.50 - bonza.
We then made our way out to meet up with Zoe, Alice and Mike, drank cocktails and chatted. The rest of our time on the island was very similar... Me, Tom and Mike teamed up and hung around together a lot and spent lots of time on the balcony, listening to music, playing cards and chatting the days and nights away.
One day we got bikes and cycled to the nearby island of Don Khon, which is connected by a bridge, to check out the big waterfall there... it was very cool, but not the swimming kind of waterfall, so we didn't stick around long, and instead headed to the dolphin beach for lunch and ticker :) The bike ride itself was wonderful - all flat and mostly good terrain, well, good compared to Ban Lung anyway! It was a bit of a bumpy ride, made worse by a flat front tyre, but it wasn't really a problem... I decided to go quite slowly, trying to soak in everything around me, because it was so beautiful - big fields with Buffalo working and cows grazing - it was fantastic.
By the time we left the beach the sun was going down and we made it back to our bungalow to watch the sun disappear in a haze of gorgeous pink. We then spent our evening in much the same way as before :)
One day, Tom, Mike and I decided to be a bit more independent travel minded, and try and hitch a ride back to the mainland with a fisherman... it didn't work as quickly as we had hoped, mostly because it seems the islanders have an agreement on prices, but we did manage to get a small discount on a boat meant for mopeds, so we sat on the deck and watched the island get smaller as we went onto the mainland. Once there, we were offered a lift immediately, to go to the big waterfall nearby... we decided to keep walking, but took note of the prices... we were happy to walk a bit of the way and try and hitch a ride with some locals somewhere... but the guy who asked us originally kept coming after us with a truck, much like the one we arrived in Laos on, and eventually we agreed on a very good price... The tours from the island cost more than what we all paid for a ride per person, so we proud of a job well bartered :)
We got to the waterfall and had a look around... it was really fast and powerful, and is the biggest waterfall in South East Asia. Although it was worth a look, it wasn't anything too spectacular, but with our little adventure getting there, it was a really good day :)
When we got back we booked a bus to Paske for the following morning, and went for a goodbye dinner... goodbye to Don Det, one of the most chilled out places I've ever been. I really loved it there and felt like I could have stayed longer... but you only get a month in Laos, so I need to make sure I see some more! The island is the first place I've been in Loas, but it's given me the feeling that I like it... Everywhere we went people smiled and said, 'Sabadee!' (hello) - it was just a wonderful feeling :)
My goodbye dinner consisted of yet another pumpkin burger - they're very big on pumpkin in Laos because it grows really well... and I am now in LOVE with pumpkin burgers and am going to endeavour to find a recipe so I can make them when I get home!!
The next day, Tom, Mike, Zoe, Rob (another traveller we picked up!) and I got on an incredibly overloaded long boat back to the mainland, where we loaded our bags on the roof and boarded the bus to Pakse - a town that has a reputation for being a bit of a stop-over and nothing much else... It's quite a nice little town and it felt very strange to be back in any form of civilisation after so long in the sticks...
So here we are, in Pakse, ready to get on mopeds again and tour the region for a few days... watch this space for the next update!!! More of my photos from Don Det Tom's Laos pictures