Being smack bang in the middle of the Mekong, it's a strange feeling waking up on an island surrounded by the mainland. Today, we were off again to see another waterfall with our friends from the previous day.
This waterfall was to put all the others we had seen to date to shame. The Mother Pearl of the Mekong is the widest and probably the most powerful in the Mekong. The water below the waterfall looked like a wash cycle on serious steroids. We found ourselves captivated by a thong (outside Australia; read a flip flop) in the water being repeatedly flung into rocks, being sucked under for 10 or so seconds before crashing back into the same rocks. Not a place you want to slip in.
Reminded of a washing cycle, we decided to do a quick load of washing by the river side and hung our clothes on a rock to dry. Note, if you do washing by a waterway, ensure that you tip the effluent water at least 50m from the bank to prevent pollution.
We then walked to a quieter part of the waterfall system and took a cooling dip in a little rock pool. We were joined by several of the local monks who loved doing backflips into the pool despite it only being a couple of feet deep with rocks throughout. We felt much less like tourists as the local monks then started asking if they could have their photo taken with us.
That night we decided to cross to the neighbouring island of Don Det. An island which still has a peaceful feel but also has more of an inclination toward later nights and mellow parties. Tonight it was a few drinks enjoyed at the pub to good music. When curfew hit at 11, the pub closed while the party then moved to the beach. While people were milling around, a bonfire was lit on the beach, which became a focal point for hours of talking among travellers from all ends of the globe. The bonfire appears to be a daily occurrence, despite the transient nature of travelers on the island. I get the feeling this has been going on for years and is an experience now shared by thousands of backpackers.
Both Islands were amazing and we could have easily nestled down on either for weeks or months of relaxation. But alas, we were running out of time. Tonight was our last night on the Dons.