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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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Map of Laos