After an enjoyable but harrowing few days in Cambodia, the time came for us to move on.
To help us get over the sights of the Killing Fields, we went out for a drink. Being us, this quickly turned into 15 drinks as we steadily worked our way through the entire cocktail menu. By the end of the night, we were given what we can only assume were Loyalty Shots:
Luckily, we ordered four dinners to absorb some of the Purple Rain…
Having discovered that Vietnamese Visas (unavailable on arrival) cost $75 if you need them within a couple of days, we decided instead to head to Laos. We were intending to head there anyway and we weren’t suffering with an abundance of spare time.
Despite Lonely Planet’s constant assurance that Visas are not available on arrival to Laos at the Si Phan Don border, it transpired that they are. We were, however, charged $40 for the privilege, which I’m still pretty sure is bullshit.
At the time, however, I was too busy feeling sorry for the two German guys who – being last onto a bus that was somehow already full – were given plastic chairs and told to sit in the aisle…for 12 hours.
Once across the border, it wasn’t far to Si Phan Don, otherwise known as The 4000 Islands. A 20 minute boat across the pitch black Mekong brought us to our destination; Don Det, smaller of the two principal islands of the area. Here, £3 bought a bungalow for the night, but we splashed out the full £6 (between us) for a guest house room.
Although the air conditioning didn’t work, the bathroom lights were broken and the plug for the fan had to be held in place, it did the job as somewhere to collapse.
We were only stopping in 4000 Islands for a day or so, to break up the voyage to Northern Laos. Although we intended to see the mighty temple in Champasak, we instead had a late breakfast, played some chess and went for a leisurely stroll around the island.
That night we ate Happy Pizzas. It did not end well…
Photo credit for much of this to Vikki!