We met a Chinese traveller at Don Det (Si Phan Don) when we first arrived to the island. “Do you know how to get to Cambodia?” He asked in Mandarin. “Lao Lu is very bad. They lied. I was cheated to come here.” ‘Lao Lu’ is generally how the Chinese call the Lao people.

He looks like a typical Chinese, a white polo shirt, black pants and a pair of leather slippers. At first glance I thought he was a business man doing a day trip to this island.

“Lao Lu is very bad! Laos is not fun to travel. A street in Canton is better than Laos the whole country…” He complainted. He was sweating and obviously had tried to walk to the other end of the island in hope to cross over to Cambodia.

He has been travelling for a month, made his way from China to Laos, and now to Cambodia. We were all amazed by his ‘luggage’, which is not more than a medium size ‘office-like’ carry bag.

“Only 2 sets of clothes, what else do you think I need?” He said while I was poining at his bag with my eyes and mouth wide opened.

Actually he was right, most guesthouses provide shower towel, soap and shampoo. However, he needs at least 2 more items – toothbrush and toothpaste. I think.

He speaks only Mandarin, so I helped him to arrange the necessary transport connections (a boat ride followed by motorbike ride) to the Laos-Cambodia borders.

I really hope that his crossing to Cambodia has been successful. A few days later, I realised that the travel agency I engaged for him wasn’t an honest folk… Just as he said, “They are all liers…”

Jing

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