As I wrote earlier on, I was seeking peace and quiet to rest from my very busy arrival to Asia. The 4,000 Islands (Si Phan Don) turned out being perfect for that. On my first evening there, after an quick dinner I went straight to bed. The place was quiet enough and I slept until 8 am the next day, and woke up feeling really refreshed. Accomodation is more basic than in Siem Reap (although about the same price, 9$ for a double room): a small room with really thin walls, a noisy fan and leaking plumbing.
I didn’t get much done that day: I simply rented a bike and cycled around the place. It turned out being more tiring than expected. The bike was not adapted to the bumpy, sandy pathways and of course the heat (38 degrees and high humidity) added to the challenge. But it was definitely worth it, with a couple of nice waterfalls, isolated villages and a stunning view on the archipalego on the way. Although most families probably live off tourism, they all have some animals (mostly hens and perhaps a cow) and a lot of men go out fishing. There are two primary schools on the island (and a lot of young children around, they enjoy giving visitors a high-five), and a couple of monasteries.
Most travellers who land on the islands take a one-day kayaking and sight-seeing tour, so I decided to do the same, also to meet fellow travellers. This took most of my second day here. I didn’t want to risk getting my camera wet so no pictures! It was a great mix between paddling, waterfalls (including the largest in terms of water flow in Southeast Asia, quite a sight. But we just looked at it, obviously) and swimming. Note to self: a t-shirt is not enough peotection against the sun… (I ended up with a mild sunburn although I stayed covered most of the day). The touring company also advertised we would see an endangered species of dolphins (the irrawady dolphin, named after the longest river in Myanmar where they can also be found), but no luck…
At this tour I met two other people heading to Tadlow (Tat Lo) on the next day (Saturday 25th, I’m a bit late posting because I couldn’t find wifi). That’s also my next destination! I’ll probably see them around.