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Monday, July 1, 2013

Relishing Solo Travel in Si Phan Don, Laos


Si Phan Don, Laos
lazy boats by the Mekong River in Si Phan Don, Laos

My own bungalow of USD5 is on the other end of Don Det, away from where the crowd and parties are. It’s still early in the night but I decided to just lay here in my hammock. The only sounds I hear are the faint music and laughter of the hippies back in King Kong, dogs barking, and my bungalow neighbour snoring in his own hammock.

Si Phan Don, Laos
my cheap and cozy bungalow in the quiet part of Don Det

I could have stayed on the other end and hanged out with another traveler I met while crossing the border, or with other backpackers; or spend my night drinking with the people in King Kong or the old hippie owners who’ve been so nice to me.

Si Phan Don, Laos

But here in this cozy hammock, I relish solo travel.

Si Phan Don, Laos

I’ve never really been much on a solo travel. There was that week in Malaysia, but I was always in a dorm and going out with new friends. Travelled with a good friend in India and Nepal, along with other travellers we met. A week in Hanoi until I met a guy and continued travelling SE Asia with him for a few more months. The Lucky Seven in Burma and in Koh Chang. But never like this on my two week trip in East Cambodia and Southern Laos.

Si Phan Don, Laos

Yes, eating dinner and drinking beer alone isn’t really fun. But walking, biking, and exploring a new place alone can be good sometimes. And having your own bungalow and hammock just relaxing is a treat. Cliché, but it’s the best time to reflect. For me, it was the best time and place to reflect on where I would want my life for 2013 to go - after an intense 2012, amazing month in Burma and Thailand, and a hard news from a really good friend (he's like a brother to me). Should I pursue my plans of going to Singapore? Or stay put in my country and spend more time with family and friends? 

And I found Si Phan Don to be the perfect place for this.

Si Phan Don, Laos
this cat perfectly depicts what a few days in Si Phan Don can be

Where despite the number of guesthouses and backpackers, you will still find people living a simple life.

Si Phan Don, Laos
girls playing in the river

Si Phan Don, Laos

Where you can rent a bike and explore the islands at your own pace and at your own time. You can stop by one of the restaurants by the river, order a good Lao curry dish, a mango shake, and read a good book.

Si Phan Don, Laos
Lao coconut-based curry!

Si Phan Don, Laos
mango shake and a good book

After that, you can explore the country side and go dolphin-watching, or visit the beautiful Somphamit Falls.

Somphamit Falls, Si Phan Don, Laos
Somphamit Falls

Somphamit Falls, Si Phan Don, Laos

Somphamit Falls, Si Phan Don, Laos

Somphamit Falls, Si Phan Don, Laos

Somphamit Falls, Si Phan Don, Laos

Somphamit Falls, Si Phan Don, Laos

Somphamit Falls, Si Phan Don, Laos
the beach down the river

And at the end of the day, sit by your hammock or by the bridge and watch another glorious sunset.

Si Phan Don, Laos

Si Phan Don, Laos

Si Phan Don, Laos
another beautiful river sunset  :)