"Don Khon" Laos Things to Do Tip by worldtraveler55

Laos Things to Do: 298 reviews and 556 photos

Don Khon

There must be some rule in Laos that says the further south you go the more relaxed it becomes, because just when you thought your blood pressure couldn't drop any more, you arrive in Si Phan Don.
The name literally means Four Thousand Islands, and the few you are likely to visit on this scenic 50 km-long strech of the Mekong are so chilled you're liable to turn into a hammock-bound icicle.
During the rainy season this section of the Mekong fills out to a breadth of 14 km. During the dry months the river recedes and leaves behind hundreds (or thousands if you count every sand bar) of islands and islets. The largest of the permanent islands are inhabited year around and offer fascinating glimpses of tranquil river-oriented village life.
The islands off Don Det & Don Khon were an important link for supply lines between Saigon and Laos during the French colonial era. In order to bypass the rapid and waterfalls in the Mekong River, the French built a narrow-gauge railway across the two islands, linked by an attractive arched bridge and terminating in concrete piers at either end. Small engines pulled cargo across the islands but the French dream of making the Mekong a highway to China never really materialised.
In the main village Ban Khon, there are several crumbling French buildings that are about 100 years old.

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  • Updated Jan 5, 2008
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