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Don Det, 4000 islands and Khong Island

The 4000 islands and Don Det are famous in Laos. Here you can find a little tropical paradise in the middle of the Mekong river. Nearby are the Khong Phopheng waterfall and you can, if you are lucky see fresh water dolphins, although I was told there's only a few left. Further north you will find the little Khong Island

Sunset at the Mekong at Don Det

Sunset at the Mekong at Don Det


Don Det and the Khong Phopheng waterfalls are located almost at the Cambodian border. For those who desire to cross into Cambodia, the Veun Kham border is 15 km away.

Khong Island is some kilometers further north.

In Kangkhong Village 4000 Islands Laos
Left: In Kangkhong Village
Right: Khong Phopheng waterfalls

Getting There

From Cambodia:

The Cambodian border at Veun Kham is only kilometers away. You need to go back to National Road 13 and cycle south.

There are buses doing the trip too. The next town in Cambodia with accommodation is Stung Treng, 57 km from the border with pleasant guest houses and restaurants. You can get visa for both Cambodia and Laos here.

4000 Islands Laos, Khong Phopheng waterfalls

Khong Phopheng waterfalls at 4000 Islands, south Laos near the Cambodian border.

When I was in Stung Treng, there was no boat available to go to Laos and in Laos it seemed there was no boat service anymore to Stung Treng.

From Pakse

Pakse is still about 145 from Don Det. Should you come from Stung Treng, Don Det and Khong Island are both very well to do in a day trip.

Boats to Don Det from Khong Island
Boats to Don Det from Khong Island

In case you do not want to take the same road back, you can either take a boat from Pakse or, even more interesting, cycle National Road 13 south and from Khong Island, use small local and excellent to cycle roads on the west bank of the Mekong to Champasak and Pakse. There is a ferry to the west bank at Khong Island.

The only train in Laos at Khone Island
The only train in Laos at Khone Island

Khong Island

Khong Island is located several kilometers north of Don Det. It's a rather sizable island of 8 by 4 km and perfect to get your bike and explore. You can take a boat from here to Don Det and the waterfalls. The Kangkhong village is primarily a set of guesthouses and hotels with restaurants at the Mekong (west bank of the island, so no beautiful sunsets here).

Kangkhong Village, Khong Island
Kangkhong Village, Khong Island


As Don Det is the main backpackers hub, I recommend staying at Khong Island. It's more quiet and relaxed then the busier Don Det. Expect to pay US $4-10 for rooms with/without air-con/bathrooms.

The Soukan Hotel, Khong Island
The Soukan Hotel, Khong Island, rooms 50.000 Kip, good clean hotel.

Recommend at Khong Island... Villa Muong Khong Hotel Champasak but there are many cheaper, though less comfortable. I stayed in the Soukan Hotel where I stayed in October 2010, though I can't offer any booking facility. 

Continue into Cambodia to Stung Treng

Other pages about Laos:

North Laos Central Laos South Laos

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