Without an H

Photography from south-east Asia by Jon Sanwell

Blue skies and green fields


At the southernmost point of Laos, the Mekong river widens and splits into countless channels and streams as it encounters thousands of small islands in its path. It’s like a dress rehearsal for the Mekong delta to the south. The exact number of islands varies with the seasons, as the water level rises and falls, but the area is known as Si Phan Don, or Four Thousand Islands.

There are several little tourist enclaves dotted around the waterfront areas of the islands, particularly on Don Det, while inland there are tiny villages, and acres of rice paddies. I spent my days reading and relaxing, sheltering from the sun, before venturing out for some late afternoon cycle rides. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Laos before heading on into Cambodia.

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