Wednesday, September 3, 2008

En route to 4,000 Islands

Early morning rice-collection time for the monks in Pakse
Here's a few photos en route from Pakse to the Four Thousand Islands (aka Si Phan Don) at the southern tip of Laos. We arrived late at night in Pakse and left early in the morning, so I didn't see anything of the town, which was a pity, but my schedule was a tight one. Our first stop was the Mekong River crossing at Ban Muang, in order to visit Champasak and of course, its nearby ancient Khmer temple of Wat Phu, which I've already covered in great detail in previous posts. After the morning at Wat Phu and some lunch on the riverbank in Champasak, we took the ferry back to Route 13 and continued south, stopping at another ancient Khmer site, Ou Moung, also known as Tomo (which I'll post tomorrow). After a quick detour to visit the unique Kingfisher Eco-Lodge, we headed for our overnight accommodation on Don Khong island, on the banks of the Mekong River. Its the largest of the inhabited islands and the quietest too. I could've heard a pin drop, if I'd had one. We stayed at the rustic Auberge Sala Done Khong and we were the only visitors both there and at the other nearby guesthouses. We took a quick tour of the island but it was dusk when we arrived, so we got the staff at the nearby SSX hotel to rustle up some food and had an early night.
A fishing boat community on the Mekong River at Ban Muang
Loading the car ferry at Ban Hat for the crossing to Don Khong island
Kids playing in the water at Ban Hat
The Mekong River looking dark and brooding at Ban Hat
Early morning on the Mekong River, taken from my accommodation on Don Khong island
It's 6am on the Mekong River in the town of Muang Khong
The sun has risen on the sleepy Mekong


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