Si Phan Don
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Si Phan Don is the 4000 island riverine archipelago and it is at the most southern point of Laos.
Nakasang, the mainland dock of Don Det is around 3km from the "highway" 12.
- I hitched a tractor-type-of-thing and waited by the intersection. I wanted to head north towards Pakxe to see a national park but traffic was so limited that I ended up hitching south towards Cambodia. I tried at 2 different spots for an hour before a pick-up took me until their house along the road. They charged me 10 000 kip (1 euro) for like 4km but I indicated that I didn't understand and they let me go. I actually took the bus my friends were in when it stopped for 10 000 kip to the border. From there I filled out everything but got scammed on the Laos side as they asked me for $2 to get a stamp. Later on I got asked for $1 on the Cambodian side for a "medical check" but they let me go on when I asked for a receipt (should've done the same on the other side.) After getting a visa for $25 (I heard it was supposed to only be $20) I waited for a bus to Stung Treng as a "tour operator" had offered to take me for $5. However, 2 hours and a fried rice later I decided to walk along the deserted road and test my luck. An ancient man with an even older bike picked me up on the NH 7. The villages around here are more like hamlets and you are glad to see a vehicle pass every 10 minutes. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful walk along plantations of trees. The old man took me for around 4km. I waited by the road for 20 minutes and the second car stopped. Very friendly locals working for SMART took me all the way to Stung Treng and gave me their number to meet up for a beer later (they didn't ask for money but I've heard from many others who got charged hitch-hiking in Cambodia.)