There's a small city in Cambodia, right along the Mekong river, close to Lao called Kratie. The town is quaint and there's not much to do there but wander the shops and the small market. But if you rent a motorbike (or a scooter) and venture down a very straight road along the water edge, you get to a pier where you can rent a long boat and meander around the murky waters trying to catch a glimpse of the unique Irrawaddy dolphins. They live in fresh water and they have rounded heads without the snouts of their much better known cousins. I spent a quiet morning on the water trying to catch glimpses of them, and while I saw many of them surfacing, they were too far away for good pictures.
There they are! See them?
After a while people started showing up and it started to get warmer, so I headed back towards town to explore. There were piles and piles of the most amazing pomelos I've ever had, and of course piles and piles of water bottles.
I booked my bus to the islands in Laos and found the little description down at the bottom to be curious...how naive I was thinking they may have been joking.
The market was chock full of smells, some good...some not so much. One man was using a handy dandy machine to shred a coconut into fragrant strands, while women lined up waiting to get baggies filled of the freshest shredded coconut I've ever seen.
Cross stitching here seems to be a very popular way to keep busy. I especially liked the inclusion of Dutch windmills among the themes on offer.
I stopped at a small cafe for some fried noodles, drawn mostly by the wall art. If you look closely you'll see that the lizard, a representative of a massive local population, is made up of houses and somewhat haphazard streets.
After all that it's time to head back to the hotel. This might not look that awesome to you, but at the end of a super hot day that pool was like heaven. the building cast a shadow over the water keeping it cool and I spent the rest of the day doing not much of anything at all.
The bus ride to the islands went approximately how I assumed it would based on the promised cramped quarters, but arriving on the island was a bit like arriving in camp when you're small. If all the camp counselors forgot to show up and you had the place to yourself. Oh, and if you were old enough to drink beer. The sludgy waters were too warm and polluted for swimming, but that didn't stop a bunch of the visitors from venturing out on canoes and tubes.
The small island seemed mostly self sustained with water buffalo, chickens, ducks, cows and other animals roaming the area, and pretty much the only thing to do here aside from enjoy the river is to hike or bike over a bridge to the neighboring island to visit the largest waterfall is Southeast Asia.
After doing all the things I still had most of the day left to go, so again, I found myself in a room with a fan and my Kindle. There were too many bugs outside to really enjoy lounging around reading out there, and I have no idea how some people could live this kind of island life for weeks. I had enough, and after venturing out for dinner I booked my bus ticket out of here to the next destination.