Posts tagged: locomotive

4000 Islands: Don Det

By , June 30, 2010 7:47 am

The 4000 islands are located at the widest section of the Mekong River between Laos and Cambodia. Among these 4000 islands, only 4 have power since a couple years ago. We decided to visit Don Det, a small island with many cheap family owned bungalows.

During the French colonial times, the 4000 islands were a transit point for gold from the Mekong to France. While we can still see remainders of an old railway and ancient locomotives, the railway was never actually completed. The gold was always transported using bamboo rafts.

Making the transit of gold more difficult, there is a large impressive waterfall between the islands. At this point, they would take the gold off the boat, let the raft go through the waterfall, and then put the gold back on.

Our trip to Don Det was relaxing for the most part. We spent the first day riding our $1-dollar-a-day rental bicycles to Don Khon, another island linked to Don Det by a bridge. We saw the old French locomotive and the famous waterfall.

The second day was too hot for movement. We spent most of the day in a small bungalow restaurant chatting with Audrey and Antoine, who we always manage to bump into.

During the day, the immense blue sky was filled with large white clouds. Wherever you were, you got the same view that promised better days ahead.

During sunset, the sky lit gold then raged with fire. From our hammocks on the porch of our bungalow, we cherished the quiet and alone time we had with the sky, water, and land.

While there are not any not-to-be-missed things to see on the 4000 islands, it is a very nice and cheap place to relax for a few days before going to Cambodia.

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