Kayaking in Don Det – 4000 islands, Laos

kayaking in Don Det

What I like about drawing my travel experiences, is that it allows me to picture things that are impossible to catch on photo.

Like when I arrived in Don Det, a popular island in the Mekong river in Southern Laos.

Don Det is a backpacker magnet. The backpackers outdo the local population by at least 7 times, and the island has turned into one long strip of fairly cheap, river overlooking bungalows, bars and restaurants.

“Happy” (meaning: containing weed) shakes, muffins, pizza’s or whatever are sold on every corner, and Beerlao is sold more than bottled water here.

While backpackers cycle or walk their way across the island, the locals lay around dazy in their hammock all day and seem not to care: all the travelers deliver good money after all. But do they really don’t give a shit about how turning into a traveler’s hot spot has instantly faded local Lao customs? I doubt it.


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  1. Bernie Hooper

    Tourism is a two-sided coin…while many underdeveloped countries welcome it as source of industry, there is always the danger that traditional culture will be edged out. Let’s hope that some of the out-of-the-way places remain untouched.

  2. Treffend weergegeven Lilian en mooi gebruik van kleuren hier. Is die weed waar je over schrijft trouwens wat ik denk dat het is (marihuana)? Benieuwd! Verder natuurlijk helemaal eens met wat (tante?) Bernie schrijft. Wij dit weekend onze eigen tradities: paasbrunches en eieren all over!

  3. John

    hey Bernie, can you read dutch reactions with google translates? I use now and then at work for the German language. It’s pretty good.

  4. Joke Swaalf ( Amsterdam)

    Ik snap wel dat het daar zo populair is onder de backpackers! šŸ˜‰
    Wederom heel mooi de sfeer omschreven, samen met je tekeningen schets je kort maar krachtig een duidelijk beeld!

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