After crossing the border and making our way to Don Khon via longboat, we find our guesthouse on the banks of the Mekong to be a great little spot with a stunning view of the sun sitting over water and hills. The stay on the islands is typified by cruising around on little bikes and lazing in the ubiquitous hammock. While Don Dhet seems like the young folks hangout, us old farts opt for Don Khon, the grown ups slackerville. But seriously, it's hard - even for Tara and I - to get too busy here. Beerlao, sleeping in and afternoon naps are the order of each and everyday - if only real life was like this....
The food is great too. At the first opportunity I try Laap, a Lao salad of sorts, which combines a meat - chicken, beef or fish in my case - and lemongrass, mint, chilli and other stuff in a tasty mix served with sticky rice. It's awesome and the many versions of which I partake are all great although all quite different.
We also take a couple of boat trips. One, from the south of the island, takes us near the border to a deep section of the Mekong where the fabled Irrawaddy dolphin lives. These dolphins are now endangered and there are as few as seventy in the region. They are hard to spot but in the fading day a few frolic in the distance for us. I feel like Stephen Fry pontificating on a near lost species in some distant clime.
We also take a "tubing" boat trip in which we are ferried up the Mekong and are to float back down in inflated truck innertubes. Hirlariously the wind is blowing in the wrong direction and all we do is flounder in what feels like slack water. Thankfully the boat skipper throws us a line and has to tow us most of the way. Left to our own devices all we can do is maniacally paddle against the wind making virtually no headway. Fun fun fun.