Our Asia Trip Diary – Part Fifteen

Check out Part Fourteen here!

It was Monday, the day after Christmas and we were located in a small resort near Kong Lor Cave in Southern Laos. It was our last day of the Thakhek Loop; a four-day motorcycle tour. In the morning we took the kayaks from the resort and paddled our way through the blue river. After an hour of exploring the beautiful scenery, it was time to start our journey back to Thakhek. On the road back, we stopped at The Rock Viewpoint. This place has a lookout on the amazing limestone forest, where we had lunch with a great view. Afterwards, we drove some nice mountain roads followed by a boring two-hour, straight road back to Thakhek.

After arriving at our original hotel in Thakhek (where we left our luggage) we stayed for another night to get some rest and book our bus to Pakse! In the evening we take our scooter for one last time to grab dinner next to the Mekong. On the other side of the river, we can see Thailand. 

Tuesday, we left at noon and arrived around eight at our hotel in Pakse. The local bus trip was a bit uncomfortable due to the overpopulation of the bus (people had to sit in small, plastic chairs in the hallway of the bus). Luckily, we downloaded an entire show and watched a season.

Wednesday, we decide to take it slow for the day and plan out our coming days. We were still deciding where we want to go after Laos, and how we are going to get there. We also visit Wat Luang, a small temple complex right next to our hotel. The temple complex houses a school for monks and one of the monks was showing their toads to us.

Pakse is a small town with not many things to do, but it does contain the biggest market in Laos! So, we checked it out and it is huge. All kinds of meat, fish, vegetables and spices are being sold. We also decided to book a bus to Don Det for the next morning and thereby skip the Pakse Loop. This loop is known for its waterfalls but we’ve heard it’s not as nice as the Thakhek Loop and we feel tired. 

Friday, we take an early minivan to Don Det. It is a laid-back island, located in The Mekong River and surrounded by tons of other small islands (therefore its nickname; 4000 islands ). We get to the harbour and take a small boat to the island, together with 20 other tourists. 

On Saturday, 31 December, we rented two bicycles and cycled around the island, and its neighbouring island Don Khon. Both islands are very small, so the distance wasn’t extensive. There aren’t many beaches you can relax and swim in the river sadly. We do end up finding a small beach near the river and decide to take a swim there. The riverbed was filled with rocks and is very shallow (it is currently dry season as well). At lunchtime, we arrived at the very southern point of Don Khon and we see Cambodia on the other side of the river!

For New Year’s Eve, we have some great Indian curries and celebrated the new year! It isn’t celebrated in Laos, since they celebrate Lunar New Year. At midnight we hear maybe three tiny fireworks and that is it. We’re very happy to celebrate the holidays in a less known place. That means it’s not overwhelmed by tourists and prices don’t go up significantly (that would happen in countries like Thailand).

In the morning after, we relaxed in a small restaurant with a lookout at the river. We take the bikes again to go for a swim. For the first time in three weeks, it’s raining so we just have a drink at a beach bar. Back at the hotel, we book a bus to our next destination/country.

Where that will be… will be next week’s adventure!