"Don Det - It's near Don Khong!" Top 5 Page for this destination Don Khong by steevie_wanders

Don Khong Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 93 photos

Island in the stream

I had heard a few things about Si Phan Don (Si = Four, Phan = Thousand, Don = Island), and read a few things, but it was like nothing I could imagine. The words go: an area of the Mekong river, which in rainy season is up to 5 miles wide and has approximately 4000 islands!
The eyes go: Mmmm wow mmm zzzzzzz mmmm wow!
I found it all rather spectacular. After a brief visit to Don Khong, we made a snap decision to push on south to Don Det. We soon found a boatman willing to take us, and emabarked downstream. Very soon we were slipping between islands of varying sizes and I had to admire the local knowledge of our driver, as we had soon lost sight of the true banks of the mekong, and were lost in between almost identical looking islands. Fisherman pulling nets waved and called. Children swimming and washing waved and splashed. People bathing in the water next to their huts shouted 'sabaii dee!'. Everyone smiled...

river time, and the living is easy..

Don Det is probably fast becoming another backpacker must-go hangout. In two consecutive visits a year apart, accomodation prices had doubled - from around $1 to $2 for a bamboo hut, with river views and your own hammock. Internet had arrived, and the bar/restaurants were only visited by backpackers, but nonetheless, for a real pretty slice of paradise, in one of the friendliest and cheapest countries, there were no complaints!
A perfect place to enjoy a few Beer Lao's, watch the sunset, watch the boat traffic, and have a few more Beer Lao's..

boats and more boats

the local people live on these islands year round, living on fishin, a little rice growing and a little tourism! All travel occurs on boats, except for the bridge which links Don Det and Don Khon. Most boats have long tail engines, but some were just paddled by hand. Having hired a narrow boat to paddle, I can attest to the effortless boatmanship of the local people. They really do make paddling upstream look very easy, not to mention navigating between islands..

A favourite moment: swimming out at night, far enough not to hear any generators, and then lying on my back gazing up at one of the clearest night skies I've seen. Occasionally a boat would glide past in the gloom, almost silently. How do these people see?? They have no lights on their boats, and most of the islands are unlit. I guess if you're sailing boats from the age of 5, you get pretty good..

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Everything
  • Cons:nothing
  • In a nutshell:A beautiful place I hope remains relatively unspoilt for a long time
  • Last visit to Don Khong: Apr 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (9)

Comments (2)

  • Lunaina's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2008 at 8:26 AM

    Great tips.... now I am even more looking forward to my trip to this Khong Island area!

  • LakeFever's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2007 at 2:39 PM

    Great pages....my buddy was there a couple years ago and said it was amazing...not much to do but drink beer, swim and relax....just what we are in for. Did you continue down through Cambodia? A


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