Day 267. 106km. Thang Beng – Don Det

Posted: November 24, 2015 in Cycling, Laos
Tags: , , ,

This place is chilled. The boat took me and my bike across the wide expanse of still water and green tropical islands to a place where time flows slower – it loses meaning. The reggae beat, the cool breeze of the fan, the hammock, the heat, the river. Don Det island.

Arrival on Don Det island

Arrival on Don Det island

Fate brought me here. It wasn’t my original plan. On this trip I have learned to go with the flow, and the flow brings you to the coolest of places and experiences. This hippy, twenty-something hangout is about going with the flow. Here I can practice not sticking to strict timetables and burning kilometres. My body needs it.

From Vientiane I was going to cycle directly to Bangkok before embarking on my Bangladesh/India/Burma side trip. With unrest in Bangladesh and mandatory noisy police escorts for cyclists, I cancelled that. I rejoined with Mark who was cycling down the length of Laos and then to Siem Reap in Cambodia. Why not join him? So now I find myself in the 4000 islands in the Mekong River on the Laos/Cambodia border. Unfortunately I am now without Mark, who is still recovering from Dengue fever.

I left before sunrise this morning to avoid the heat, and enjoyed the empty road. There were few villages and few people. There was some farming, but more wooded plains. It feels I have left the populated part of Laos, on the road to the border. There is only the backpacker chill hangout left before the Mekong slides over the border into Cambodia.

Cycling in the morning light

Cycling in the morning light

Cycling in the morning light

Cycling in the morning light

The boat to Don Det

The boat to Don Det

The bridge from Don Det to Don Khon

The bridge from Don Det to Don Khon

  1. A different world, like that you comment and can find time which warps with your journey. For the armchair traveller at this end, your journey is intriguing.

  2. Pat Gaudry says:

    Hi Matthew
    I have been to the part of the world you are in now and it is very relaxing.
    There are some great temples to see in Cambodia. Why rush?
    Burma, And India are a whole other ball game which you need to be rested for. It is easy to get sick in these places. Maybe your body needs a rest by now.
    Fabulous adventure but you need to absorb not rush through
    Keep well and happy
    Pat Gaudry

    • Hey. Good to hear from you!
      I’m now not planning to cycle in India and Burma..I was only rushing a tiny bit so I have time to relax in Don Det before my Laos visa expires. I will now have a very slow time in Cambodia getting to Siem Reap by 3 December. I have planned a week there to relax and run in a half marathon..

      Greetings from Don Det.. A lovely place!

  3. valerievolk says:

    You’re going to love Siem Reap and the temples. Amazing and awe-inspiring. I wrote my ‘poem a day’ all through that area and they’ve now been published by Ginninderra Press as ‘Indochina Days.’ If you can face up to poetry, I’m going to give you a copy, to swap notes, when you get back. OK – you don’t HAVE to read them ….

    • The half marathon I’m running in Siem Reap passes through the temple complex, I believe. I’ll be running slowly so it will be a meditative run.
      A poem a day. Let’s compare notes in Australia. 🙂

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Looks like a tropical paradise and a good spot to lay low for a few days to rest up.

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