Don Det and Don Khon, 4000 Islands in Laos

The 4000 Islands, Laos, a small paradise where local life mingle, tourism, waterfalls and lazing on the banks of the Mekong. There are very few vehicles and you have to drive there by bike.

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Between Don Det and Don Khon, the real difference is the tourist infrastructure. Generally, houses on Don Det and we ride bike on the two islands. Don Det in a festive reputation and noise, this is not really the case. The bar is concentrated around the pier but away a few hundred meters, there is the quiet calm of the Mekong Islands.

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Don Det

Pretty small island. It contains almost everything you need. Guesthouses offer for most of the small individual bungalows with a terrace and hammock. Those on the other side of the river (opposite the pier) have stunning views of the sunset.

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At Don Det, you relax, you can chill in small bars on stilts, overlooking the Mekong. One glass of milkshake on comfortable mats.

Local life is also there. Wooden house raised, mobile merchants, fishermen sailing in their motorized canoes. Some will tell you that two days are enough on the islands but by if you live on the local pace, it is rather 4 or 5 days to spend on this islands.

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Children seen everywhere playing with banana leaves. Others play by running their thongs as a marble.

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In the afternoon, people bathe in fresh water or we let ourselves go with the low flow on a giant rubber ring, it is refreshing! You can also rent a bike (10000 Kips, 1 euro per day) for island tour and even cross the bridge to Don Khon.

Attention crossing the bridge is FREE of charge unlike anything you hear. It is the Li Phi Falls which are not free. If you don’t plan to visit them, don’t let yourself do when require you to pay the crossing between the two islands!

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Don Khon

It is an island that I would call desert. We meet a few people and the red dirt roads stretch away in a wild and barren landscape. There are few guesthouses and they are scattered, quiet. For drinks, you have to go on Don Det and it is far!

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The main attraction of Don Khon, these are Li Phi Falls. Rapid Mekong flows on an impressive extent. Entry is expensive (45000 Kips, 4.50 euros), but it’s a nice view. One can also go and see the dolphins (not sure of seeing) for 7 euros, again, it’s expensive.

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The stroll is nice and you can easily make the two islands in a day of cycling. Prefer early morning to avoid sunstroke in the hot sun in the afternoon. For the less brave, there are tuk-tuk that offer tours in the day.

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Recommandations

  • On arrival on the island, no rush to find accomodation. There are a multitude of bungalows between 5 and 8 euros directly overlooking the edge of the Mekong where you can enjoy the sunset from the terrace, quietly installed in a hammock.
  • To eat or drink being in a nice subdued atmosphere, go 5 minutes walk from the center, at Papa and Mama. Their food is divine and really friendly owner. It even serves kebabs, delicious, the best view of the island (it’s good sometimes to change a bit of food style!). If you wish, you can even listen your own music. A cozy place.

Inescapable Laos, the 4000 Islands (Si Phan Don) are a haven for the traveler.

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