a community serious about adventuring
Walking the island of Don Det is full of surprises and interesting encounters. Not only did we stumble upon a plethora of random livestock in ditches and in pathways, we’d also come across an old, dark coloured man who’s sun worn skin made him look more like a California Raisin; the Lao edition. I don’t know how we ended up getting sucked into it, but he ended up mapping out our fortune’s right there on the dirt path with a piece of coal. He’d mutter, sketch, point at his work, then at who it referred to and smile, a decaying and toothless smile. Sizing up my second toe he’d say boy and pantomime a pregnant belly and then writing down a date that left us both cringing at the thought (2012). Numbers, circles, lines and arrows later, we’d establish that we’d both live into our 90’s and that we’d have a couple of kids. Oh, and Mr. had to watch out for his stomach. My first time having my fortune told and by far the coolest, 20,000 kip ($2.50).
Trying to spot the Irrawaddy dolphins that live in ever-decreasing numbers in the Mekong is a highlight for many 4000 island visitors. Downstream of Don Khon, at the border between Laos and Cambodia, freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins frolic in a protected area of the Mekong. Although the Lao insist that anytime is a good time to spot the dolphins, the best times are in the early morning or in the evening when they feed. We’d hop in a long tail boat out with an expert boats man who wound us through the whirling river rapids and brought us to giant jutting boulders in the middle of the middle where we could perch and wait. While waddy watching, letting your feet soak in the river water can be a major distraction as feet-nibbling fish will be updating your pedi. For some of those who would be too busy giggling and watching the mini fish at work, they’d miss a few Irrawaddy sightings. Paying 70,000 kip for the boat trip into
the murky Mekong waters to catch a glimpse of the rare dolphins that are
a close relative of the Orca (killer whale) doesn’t guarantee you a
sighting, but you’ll most likely catch an awesome sunset. And yes, we were lucky enough to spot some. More on the Irrawaddy and efforts being made to help save the endangered species at http://www.savethewhales.org/MekongDolphin.html.
Mrs. Excellent Adventure