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Home before supper and satellite television | by B℮n
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Home before supper and satellite television

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Please take your time... and enjoy it large on black


Don Khong is the main island in the South Mekong river region know as the 4000 islands, one of the most scenic areas in Laos. The interior of Don Khong is almost entirely given over to rice cultivation. The major pastime on Don Khong is cycling around the countryside. Both in the early morning and late afternoon, this is an excellent way to pass a few hours, though it's best to avoid the middle of the day when the heat is oppressive. There are a few small villages scattered around the island's edge along with some interesting little temples and pleasant riverside scenery, but overall the main attraction here is the gentle pace of life. The floodplains of the Mekong River provide the country's only lowlands and its major wet-rice fields. Laos has a centrally planned economy based primarily on agriculture (including rice, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, cassava, and opium poppies) and international aid. Women hold dual responsibility for farm at home. In rice farming women in Laos have a substantial role. Traditionally, men plough, make bunds and prepare seedbeds, and women do more than half of the transplanting of rice, weeding, harvesting, threshing and post-harvest operations. In some areas the traditional task division has changed due to lack of male labour.


I think the best way to explore Laos is by bicycle or feet. Meeting friendly Lao people in the small villages, like here on the Mekong island Don Khong, along the way and enjoying its countryside. I had to stop many times to make a photo. A beautiful scenery of paddy fields and it's gentle pace of life. A ploughman coming home probably before dinner and satellite television. His son is taking care of the buffalo under the wooden house on stilts. Television came to Laos in 1983, and satellite television arrived in the mid-1990s. Fuelled by imports of cheap satellite dishes, satellite television brought scores of channels from around the world, with Thai channels, particularly Thai dramas, and Asian MTV among the most popular. Satellite dishes are now common sights outside even the most modest homes. They bring viewers previously inaccessible knowledge of the world. In spite of the potential of this influx to overwhelm locally produced culture, access to such information holds the promise of broadening awareness and understanding.


Si Phan Don, ook bekend als 4 duizend eilanden is gelegen in het zuiden van Laos. Hier is de Mekong op sommige gebieden wel 14 km breed. Het grootste eiland in de Mekong is Don Khong en meest ontwikkelde van deze eilanden. Eerst zijn we met een klein bootje naar het grootste eiland gegaan: Samengevat: peace & happiness. Voor de gemiddelde toerist is er erg weinig te doen, maar voor mij is de omgeving schitterend en heel rustgevend. De omgeving nodigt uit tot het maken van flinke wandelingen, maar je kunt het eiland ook prima per fiets verkennen. We hebben onze slaapplaats gevonden in een prachtig hardhouten chalet, waar alles oude klassieke rijkdom uitstraalde. We hebben dan ook maar een fiets gehuurd en een rondje gemaakt. Werkelijk prachtig en heerlijk om door onbedorven dorpjes en de prachtige groene rijstvelden te rijden waar iedereen ons zwaaiend met Sabaidee begroette. Opvallend is de sterke positie die de vrouwen binnen de familie innemen en ze doen zelfs het meeste werk op de rijstvelden. De mannen ploegen de rijstvelden meestal met hun hand tractoren of met waterbuffels. De natte rijstbouw is het voornaamste middel van bestaan.

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Taken on July 21, 2009