Yesterday I arrived on Don Det, an island in the middle of the Mekong river in Southern Laos. As a top spot on the SE Asia “Gringo Trail,” I was expecting to find hoards of backpackers and inflated prices. But to my surprise, hardly anyone’s here and prices are even cheaper than Cambodia. I got a comfortable bungalow with a patio and hammock for 6$/night, and a plate of fried rice and eggs for dinner for 1.20$.
The landscape is like something out of a fairy tale. To the left of my hammock is the mighty Mekong that speeds along at around 6 knots. It’s lined by mammoth trees and dense jungle. While to my right, the sun is slowly setting over bright green fields grazed by big black oxen.
The people here live in harmony with the land and make their living off it . They’re all too preoccupied or relaxed to be bothered to hassle you. They’ll either ignore you or give you a big warm smile. Everything about Don Det epitomizes easy living island life. And I can definitely see myself hanging out here for a while.
Like all small islands, people get bored and community events get born. One of these events is the weekly cockfight that’s going on just a few feet from my door. For a glimpse into the past 24 hours on Don Det and this morning’s cockfight, check out the photos below.