Thursday, 16 May 2013

Been There, Don Det...

We awoke at 5.30am where we were dropped off in Pakse and proceeded to try and make the tuk tuk drivers understand we needed to go to the South bus station (they didn't even understand 'bus station' at first, which was a great start!). We'd joined forces with some other girls from England and Sweden to try and get transport down to 4000 Islands, and once arriving at the bus station were accosted by tuktuk drivers who said a 7hr public tuk tuk was the only way down...but we knew it wasn't and never again were we doing anymore long tuk tuk journey's!

So we waited around for a bit as apparently, according to the Lonely Planet, the first buses departed at 7am, so we had breakfast. We then had a genius idea to try and find a mini van and began asking locals if they knew how we could rent one, and sure enough a local jumped at the opportunity to make some commission. I didn't like the looks of our driver as he had very bloodshot eyes and didn't seem entirely 'awake', me and Maaike were convinced he was either drunk or on drugs. We paid 60,000 kip each and were on our way to a tour shop which apparently we'd then get a private minibus from, down to Don Det...we ended up on a crappy, tiny tourist bus! Lesson learnt, just stay at the bus station and take the local transport next time - we'd pay half the price for the same lack of comfort! Devyn met a girl called Ashley from Canada though, which made finding rooms on Don Det cheaper so we all joined forces.

It took roughly two-three hours to get to Si Phan Don, the mainland gateway to the 4000 Islands, where we then caught a tiny longtail boat over to the main Island, Don Det, for 15,000 kip each...dah dah dah...we had ARRIVED - no more transport for a few days!!

However, 'Terrifying Fact Of The Day' brought to you by moi (these had become a regular joke of ours)...we still had the accommodation search to go, and as there was no transport here and it was by now the heat of the day, this was no easy feat! So off we went, sunset-side, Maaike and me one way, Devyn and Ashley the other way, lugging our heavy backpacks in search of somewhere nice. Maaike and I had no luck but luckily Ashley and Devyn did, but unfortunately it wasn't nice.

We were tired so we checked in, thinking it was our best option, we had tiny very basic bungalows on the riverside, with tiny fans, not enough hammocks and a shared bathroom (one shower and 2 squat toilets between around 10-15 huts). After quickly showering, we went for lunch and then was told about some nice bungalows with the potential of AIRCON for only a little bit extra a night, down by the tiny port/beach area. Upon checking it out after lunch we were sold on the idea of moving, after the last few days we'd had, we just wanted some comfort and downtime. Ashley decided to stay at the old place for one night, but then if she didn't like it she'd move over with us. So we checked out of the place we'd just checked into, and lugged our stuff over to our new

After this we basically just chilled the rest of the day, and enjoyed one of Don Det's famous beautiful sunsets, then went for a nice Indian and an early night.

Day 2 and 3 on Don Det:

Basically just chilled the whole day. The days normally consisted of: Awoke, had breakfast, chilled at our place blogging and internet-ing. Then moved restaurants to have lunch, went to book our kayaking adventure and our onward travel to Bangkok. Ashley moved over to Devyn's room, watched another awesome sunset. Had dinner, me and Devyn went for awesome foot massages, went to bed early. It feels so nice to just do NOTHING for 2 WHOLE DAYS! 

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