We found a perfect a place to disappear, relax, read several books and
sleep -a lot. Just a 13 hour night bus, a 2 hour local bus and a leaky
boat ride south of Vientiane lies the Si Phan Don (4,000 islands)
province. All the aforementioned attributes are also excellent for
recovering from a violent illness… more on that later.
As the name implies, Si Phan Don consists of thousands of islands
surrounded by the Mekong River in Laos just above the Cambodian border.
There are 3 somewhat populated islands with some modern
conveniences. We stayed on Don(e) Khone which is said to be less
"happening" than Don Det, but a little more "happening" than Don
Kong. Like the storybook Goldilocks and the 3 bears, Don Khone turned
out to be just right.
Khon is a sleepy little island with a small village on one corner and
farmland and fishing huts throughout the rest of the island. The
island has no cars and just a handful of motor scooters. Almost all of
the restaurants and guest houses are family owned by the world's
stayed on a floating hut, which was fantastic. We had our own little
porch to watch the world float by until the beautiful sunset. We have
a design post coming up next sharing the wonderful world of sleeping on
water. We really didn't do much in Don Khone and that was great. We
mostly just chilled out on our floating oasis or at one of the few
restaurants in our village. Our guesthouse, Sala Done Khone played music concert DVDs nightly, there's nothing like watching The Rolling Stones
in a thatched hut overlooking the Mekong. We did rent bikes a few
times and rode the loop of the island. We checked out a few of the
little fishing areas, the rice paddies and played a little football
with some of the local kids.
So, the grand finale. Before we left on our big trip around the world,
we had lunch with a couple who traveled around the world a few years
ago. One piece of advice they gave us was to avoid eating freshwater
fish. Fast forward about a year, we met a lovely Irish couple in Don
Khone and had dinner with them. We had several beers and laughs.
Feeling a bit adventurous, dismissing all advice, I ordered something
called fish Laap. I had eaten chicken and pork Laap up north and loved
it. I thought I'd go for the Laap trifecta. Laap a mixture of ground
meat with lemon grass, lime and chili rolled in leaves of lettuce.
Long story short, our little floating village wasn't hearing The Stones
echoing down the Mekong that night, they were hearing Beau get
violently ill. Each floating hut has two units, our poor neighbors
were only separated by a mat of grass from my heaving agony… sorry
whoever you are. Sparing you all the details, I wasn't right for
about a week and successfully lost my "spare tire" from all the amazing
street food of Thailand.
Relaxing, recovering or whatever idle activities you have in mind are
great to do in Don Khone. We love it, except of the freshwater fish,