Sarah & James SW China, SE Asia & Australia 2005 travel blog

Crossed the border north of Stung Treng. At least what looked like a border! In fact, it was nothing more than a wooden shack in the middle of nowhere, where we got our passports stamped and a small barrier (like a carpark barrier) but you can walk around it anyway so its pretty pointless.

Each of us had to pay the border guards a scammy $1 on the Cambodian side, and a ridiculous $2 on the Lao side, no doubt straight into their beer kitty for the evening.

Being the tight soles that we are, needless to say we were both pretty steaming, although we kind of expected it at the same time.

Took a boat for another dollar each to the Four Thousand Islands, Don Det in particular. Heading for a few days of CHILL.

All in all, a pretty expensive day had. Absolutely knackered when we reached the small island and set about exploring our wooden bungalow for the night and beating the flies and mozzies off us. There was no electricity from about 7:30pm, so we had to make do with candles, petrol canisters and my trusty Maglite torch.

James was feeling rather crappy, so I went for a walk around the Island, and crossed the bridge to the neighbouring island of Don Khon. Walked to the rapids which were magnificent, until I got shown dead body. A Canadian tourist, supposedly really nice but slightly crazy, had challenged himself to clim a fishermans rope which hung over the rapids. He obviously lost balance/grip and fell down and banged his head on a rock and consequently died. This happened only about one hour beofre I got there, some girls even saw the accident happen right before them. I couldnt believe it, I thought he was someone sleeping rough under a mat at first until he said 'dead, dead' and I say some incense sticks burning beside him.

So that was my introduction to Laos.

Pretty shook up, I went back to our bungalow and relaxed for thr evening.

Also took a nice shower in a wooden hut outside, with spiders, cockroaches and god knows what other insects. I closed my eyes and tried my best to pretend I was in a Hilton Hotel.

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