Damn Damn Mosquitos

After Vang Vieng, we spent the rest of our time in two small towns in southern Laos.  First, we went to Pakse, then to Don Det in Si Phan Don.

Pakse is a small town known mostly for its eco-tours in the area, and a few things that are easily seen on a one-day organized trip around town. We bought a new camera on our first trip in Pakse (after losing our old one to a faulty wet bag while tubing in Vang Vieng), and on our second day, we took a whirlwind tour through what the town and surrounding area had to offer.

First we visited a tea farm, where this woman

makes all kinds of tea with her family at her picturesque little tea farm

using tools and machines that I never fully understood.

After a quick tea-tasting

we visited our first of four waterfalls that day.  For serious, yo.  Laos must translate into “The Land of Waterfalls” because I’ve never heard of this many waterfalls.

The first one was only visible to us from a distance.  And while the amount of water cascading from the top was quite low due to it being dry season and all, the height of the falls and the jungle foliage around it were impressive nonetheless.

Our next stopover was

where we got to see all the stages coffee goes through before it ends up in your cup.  Do you know how many?  Yeah, I didn’t either.

It’s seven.

Then we were off to our second waterfall of the day – even more impressive than the first.

Then it was off to a local village.  We saw a woman doing amazing things with a handloom

Stu took a lesson from a local woman

and tried out the neighbourhood bong.

Also at this village, we saw handmade coffins

and our third waterfall of the day.

I was getting pretty tired by then

Luckily, that’s when the tour stopped for lunch before heading to our last site.  Yes, another waterfall.

It was a fun, but tiring day.  It included, as a last and final stop, a trip to a local market where a guy on our tour bought ant larva to cook into an omelet when he got back to his guesthouse.

Ew ew ew.

But even with that, I think my most vivid memory of Pakse will be the gifts I got one evening from a few mosquitos.

Proof that they love me more:  Stu was sitting right next to me when these mosquitos attacked.  It went on for about 20 minutes.  He had, maybe, two bites.  Bitter blood? 😉

After this whirlwind adventure in Pakse, we decided to visit one more place in Laos before crossing over into Cambodia.  We’d heard a lot about the 4000 Islands in Laos, locally known as Si Phan Don.  There are a few bigger islands amongst the 4000, but we decided to go to Don Det and stay there for a few days to relax and do nothing.  And that’s mostly what we did.

We rented a couple of bicycles the first day and toured the island and its neighbouring island, Don Khon.  We also visited a couple of waterfalls.  (Shocking.)  We took a kayaking trip on our last day there and (barely) saw some Irrawaddy dolphins, but our entire trip to Don Det can be summarized in just a few simple words.

Beautiful waterfalls.  Good books.  Hammocks.  That’s pretty much it.  It was heaven.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Trisha on April 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Ouch, those bites look nasty! Hopefully the beauty of the waterfalls helped you forget about the itching.

    Good form with the pinkie up during your tea tasting Stu!


  2. Posted by sarah p on April 5, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    i get mowed on by the ‘squito’s too. part of the reason i avoid nature.

    stu looks mad sophistiphunk drinkin’ that tea.


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