Beaches, Cards, and Lao Lao cocktails on Don Det

Tina, Ben and I caught the 8:30am boat down to Don Det, a pleasant hour and a half journey down the Mekong, watching villagers bathing, scrubbing clothes and fishing along the river banks. When we arrived, Sarah (an Irish girl, also on the boat over to Don Det) and I started the long walk along the river to Mr Tho’s Bungalows (a Lonely Planet Recommendation), whilst Tina headed in the opposite direction to find Miss Noi’s, a guesthouse partly owned by a Belgium guy. As Sarah and I were walking past the dozens and dozens of bamboo huts scattered along the riverside, I was starting to wonder whether Mr Tho’s was worth the walk, as they all looked very similar and all came with a $2 per night price tag.
On reflection, i like Mr Tho’s for the following reasons :
  1. There are 3 windows allowing maximum airflow through the bungalow
  2. There is a large shaded balcony and 2 very comfortable hammocks
  3. The bungalows are detached so no waking up the neighbours or vice versa!
  4. There is an on site libraray with free rental of books (10,000KIP and a $5 deposit for everyone else)
  5. There is an attached restaurant overlooking the river.

I stopped for a drink at Noun Riverside restaurant, overlooking Don Det’s small beach. Firstly I met Sarah, also doing the same thing and then Bianca and Simon walked in! It really is a small traveller’s world out here!

I spent the aftenoon sunbathing on the beach, swimming in the sea and reading “First They Killed My Father” by Loung Ung, a book i’d borrowed from Mr Tho’s library.

This evening i ate at Khampong Restaurant, adjacent to Noun Riverside and with very similar views (in the daytime only!). After I’d eaten I was approached by a dutch guy, Martinwho had also been dining alone at a nearby table. He asked me if i fancied a game of cards, and following my response he joined me at my table and the 2 of us had numerous games of Shithead, accomapnied by numerous glasses of Lao Lao with honey and lemon (which is actually a pleasant cocktail; the honey takes a way a little of the potent sting!). Not as numerous, however, as the bottles of beer Lao being consumed by a British crowd over the other side of the restaurant. The later in the evening it became and the greater number of empty bottles being stacked up on the table, the more frequently the one guy persisted in falling off his chair! It appears us Brits do in fact earn our reputation as beer drinking fools!

Photo is of Don Det island


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