Kratie – Pakse

Trouble at the Lao border.

After Kratie and the dolphin I spent 3 days on Don Det in the 4000 islands, in Laos at the border with Cambodia. On the bus to the border I met a Spanish couple a swiss guy and a Cambodian girl. All heading to the 4000 islands.

To cross the border we had to stop in Stueng Traeng and take a minivan in the morning. So we found a hotel and I shared the room with the swiss guy Thierry. We bought a ticket till Don Det boat included.

The road at the beginning was good then became very bad. We spent 2 hours to arrive at the border. Thanks to Emily the Cambodian girl we could talk with the driver and he made us notice that on the left of the road the trees are all cut and on the right instead the trees are at the border of the road. He said that the right side belongs to Laos which doesn’t allow cut trees. The difference is impressive. The driver accused his government for corruption and said that all the animals are gone and that there were tigers in the area.

At the border we got in trouble. The Cambodian side is a wooden hut with a couple of computer inside and a bar outside. They give you the passport with the stamp and then ask for two dollars, we temporized and when other people arrived we left without pay.

On the Lao side instead there is a new shining brick building with more officials. On this side they are more mother fucker, they ask for two dollars too but it’s compulsory, they don’t accept  a refuse. I tried to talk with them gently telling them I had already paid 35$ but the mother fucker answered with serious face and putting the passport beside. I decided to wait and so did the Spanish couple.

We had a minivan waiting for us so I counted on the plenty of time I had and on the pressure of the driver. I made my count wrong. When the driver arrived, I could immediately see I was a piece of shit. He first asked us to pay, then he talked with the officer who told him to leave. The mother fucker didn’t even turn when I tried to talk with him, he turned on the car and left us there.

We decided to persist but when I went to the toilet Thierry, who was instead in short of time, decided to pay for us. I didn’t get it at the beginning Emily told me after a while. At that point we had our passport but not the car to reach Don Det. Fortunately Emily saved the phone number of the guy who sold us the ticket and through him we had the driver come back.

But I was angry having lost the contest with the officer. Because leave us there put us in a weaker position I said that the driver should give us the dollars we paid for the passport. He somehow understood it and closed the minivan he went to the hut-restaurant refusing to carry us. I was a little embarrassed but Emily covered me deciding to get super angry losing control and screaming. All things which are considered very very bad in Laos where you are supposed to be always gentle and smiling (this is why the driver is a mother fucker).

So we had to calm down Emily and deal with the owner of the minivan who appeared in the while. He explained us why the driver left and asked to don’t say anything to the driver. We told him our reasons but because these discussions don’t bring anywhere I tried a couple of time, till I have been successful, to cut down the discussion saying ok we accept your request call the driver. This why Thierry was trying to keep Emily calm, the owner was clearly angry but was trying to control himself and the Spanish girl was losing control toward Emily.

Finally arrived at the dock, we had to pay for the boat even if it should be included in the ticket.

Two days in Don Det

In Don Det I stayed three nights, the second day I went to Kayak down the river to the Cambodian border actually crossing it because the beach where we stopped for lunch is in Cambodia. In fron of this beach is possible see the dolphins and we did it. The Mekong here is very wide because two big branch converge together. It requires a big efford cross the part without go down with the stream. The beach is behind a light turn and there the stream, on the surface, is very chaotic and it allows to stay easily in the same position. Perfet to observe the dolphins. It was great I felt like to be in those documentary in noth Canada where the photografer is chasing the great shot with the wales passing under his boat.

In the tour is included the visit to the most spettacular spot to look the waterfal. The mekon split in three main branches and. Don Det is above and the Dolphin beach is beneath the waterfall. We passed it walking and visiting a small branch of the Mekong.

Me, Thierry and Emily made group with the other guys who came with us. We went to eat together. Emily first time in her life drinking alchool got wasted. We had good meet. The owner a weird Australian with clearly some not solved inner problems. He asked me a deposit to use a wheelbarrel to carry Emily, who couldn’t stand, to her room. We had to wait one hour before Emily could be carried away by two of us. The last dialog I had with that caracter was him replaying to a nice joke that he could hit me with a stick on the head throw me in the river and nobody would ask him anything in Laos. People with unsolved problems are very unredictable. The only way I found to deal with them is identify them as soon as possible and keep them distant.

Ah Don Det is a small island and What the hell I’m gonna do with a wheel barrel around Laos.



BW friendship September 27, 2014 - 04

Ormai mi sono dato ai selfy pure io.


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The wide part at the border with Cambodia where It’s possible see the dolphins



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BW friendship September 27, 2014 - 11


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About waltersupertramp

Sono nato nel 1978 in provincia di Cremona. Nella vita si cambia, ma un aspetto di me non è mai cambiato: la voglia di scoprire cosa si nasconde dietro la prossima curva, dietro la collina, la linea d' alberi, oltre l' orizzonte. Molte sono le motivazioni che mi hanno spinto ad imboccare questa strada. Ma questa mia caratterisca è sicuramente alla base di tutto. Riflettendoci è la caratteristica che più sento mia.