4000 islands, laos.

Don Det feels like ages ago, and just yesterday. From Vang Vieng we began the long journey to 4000 Islands, on the Mekong River at the border of Laos and Cambodia. We took a minibus to Vientiane, which was a harrowing ride with a dangerous driver who laughed when everyone in the bus asked him to slow down. We had a few hours to recover in a Mexican restaurant nachos and beer, and then we got on a big sleeper bus to make our way south.

This sleeper bus was unlike any I'd encountered so far, with the "seats" being single person beds that two people had to share. Luckily I was with three friends so we all buddied up, but I wouldn't have wanted to have to share with a stranger, that's for sure. After many hours we finally arrived, and caught a quick boat to the island of Don Det.

As it was low season, there weren't too many people around. We trudged down the dirt roads for what seemed like forever before we found a suitable place to stay, and I'm so glad we found what we did. Crazy Gecko was a sweet little guest house overlooking the river, with a front deck with hammocks, good food, and decent wifi (which is pretty much a Southeast Asia jackpot). We got an amazing three person room with a private bathroom, and although the room was hot and stuffy and one night our beds were covered in bugs, it felt luxurious!

Despite there not being a lot to do on Don Det, we made the most of it and were able to slow down and enjoy it. We rented bicycles and rode to Don Khong, the island just south of it, where we saw beautiful waterfalls and biked around leisurely. We went on a Sunday boat tour with a local bar, heading to a private island where we drank whiskey and sat in the river and sang along to music. I met a kitten I wanted to take home and a sweet dog fell asleep on me in a restaurant (of course). We got mosquito bites and watched the sun set and by the time we were leaving we were sad to go.

Don Det was our last stop in Laos and we decided it was our favorite country yet (and still is, I think!). But onward, to Cambodia!