Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Four Thousand Islands - November 25th, 2010

The Four Thousand Islands

I didn’t count them exactly, but I’ll take their word for it.

At the early end of the dry season, many of those islands are still under water, but their vegetation is still vibrant, peeking out of the river surface, green as the spring.

The overall impression of the place is a kaleidoscope of pleasure. Joy is never far from our lips; we are forever ready to break out in song.

The usual ingredients of pleasure are notably absent for me in this place. There are few hills, few architectural treasures, the food is good though monotonous, and even though there is water everywhere, there really is nowhere to swim.

And even with all this, I was, to quote the Psalmist, “…as though in a dream.”

We arrived by bus then ferry to Don Khong where we stayed. For some reason no one in Champassak has been able to put together inexpensive boat trips down the Mekong, although that really is the way to approach the south. At the very end of the trip, back in Paksé we saw a poster in the abominable Sedone River Guesthouse proposing a trip from Paksé to Champassak downriver for only 70,000 Kip per person, and that is a very good deal.

We took three trips in the Four Thousand Islands – a bike trip through the island, a motorbike trip around the island and a boat trip down to Don Kong and a trek to some waterfalls.

Here are some photos of our home base around Pon’s Guesthouse on Don Khong Island.

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