Don Kone - Don Det


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 For the journey from Vientiane to Pakse we choose the 'King of Bus' and it wasn't half bad, much better than the bus in '05.  We were served a tasty but small meal and it was possible to get some sleep in the reclining seat if the psychedelic decor didn't keep you awake
Being seasoned travelers, we eschewed the local bus leaving  Pakse bus station in "10 minutes" in favour of the large mini bus also leaving in "10 minutes" which it did, and drove all the way into town where we had to wait 2 hours for the real departure time.  What price experience?

Not all was lost, we checked out hotels and booked the very reasonable Sala Champa for the night before our flight to Bangkok.  When we returned to Pakse we stayed in one of the very nice (inexpensive) rooms built off the courtyard of the restored French villa

The hotel Salaphe which I was excited to share with Barbara, had not worn well.  It was looking a little shabby and for sure was not as well run as it used to be.  I expected no electricity during daylight hours but they would no longer turn on the generator to make us shakes in the afternoon

The view from our balcony was as beautiful as ever




I could hardly wait to be reacquainted with adorable cousins Niey Niey and Gie who came to our bungalow two years ago to fish in the Mekong, stark naked.  At four years of age they still have their winning smiles and impeccable manners
But they no longer came to the Mekong to fish or to bathe clad only in pearls 

Cycling back and forth on rickety old rented bicycles is a great way to get to know the Islands their colonial history and their people

The Mekong was Indochine's answer to the transportation of goods between Saigon and Vinetiane via Cambodia, that was until they reached the un-navigable waterfalls between Don Khon and Don Det.   To circumvent the rapids the French build a bridge and railway to link the two islands.   The cargo was loaded on to the train at a pier at the southern end of Don Khon and taken across the bridge to Don Det where they continued their journey by boat upriver to Vientiane


 Over the bridge and home from school Girls do their homework
Boys have discovered electronics Both girls claim ownership of the puppy Hence the two photographs


2007/08 Asia Trip Itinerary | Home Page 5 of 6| Page Down | Page Up