Don Khone, Laos 24th Mar - 29th Mar

Trip Start Dec 13, 2012
Trip End Apr 02, 2014

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Sunday, March 24, 2013


At the very south of Laos is an area called 4000 islands. Perhaps it adds up to 4000 in the dry season if you count every slight mound sticking out of the water as an island – who knows! There are three main islands to visit though and we stayed on the one on the most southern point of Laos called Don Khone. We took a 2 hour bus and a 30 min boat down the Mekong to get there – phew no more 7 hour rides!


Don Khone

This island is one of the quieter islands of the three. When we first set foot off the boat it really didn't feel like we should be there, it felt like we had just walked into a rural village….and we had! The dirt roads were lined with wooden houses. The residents were just going about their day to day business making fishing nets, cooking, sewing, sleeping. Each house had its own vegetable garden and farm animals wandering around freely everywhere – chickens, roosters, pigs, cows, and buffalos. Some of the houses had set up little restaurants in front of their homes where they serve the guests of the island. Home made Laos food - delicious.

We stayed in a bungalow overlooking the Mekong river complete with a balcony and hammocks to relax in. It was such a beautiful setting. Each morning we would get woken up by the rooster underneath our bungalow and in the evenings we would sit out on the balcony watching the sun go down.

There was little too do on this island except relax! It was also incredibly hot (upwards of 35 degrees) so we did any exploring either early in the morning or in the evening. There were a few waterfalls on the island to visit so we did some big walks to go and see them. A LOT of our time though was just spent soaking in the chilled atmosphere and visiting different home restaurants.

We realised this was probably the closest we could get to living in a REAL village with no tourist hype – just friendly people. Who knows how much longer it will stay like that though!


At the southern point of the island there is a beach and from there we hired a boat (and driver) for an hour to go dolphin spotting. Irrawaddy dolphins are fresh water dolphins with stumpy heads. In this part of the world they are endangered, there used to be thousands of them, now there are only around 60 and they can only be found in this particular strip of the Mekong. We crossed over into Cambodia waters an sat watching them – we saw about five come to the surface.

Don Det

This island is the main one that travellers stay on as it’s dubbed as a more livey atmosphere. It’s connected to Don Khone via an old railway bridge. We walked over there for a day to check it out. It was very similar to the island we were staying on except a lot more run down& set up for tourists a bit more with convenience stores etc – we were glad we picked the island we did to stay on!

We sat and watched the travellers having a swim in the river sharing the water with friendly buffalos. Perhaps at night this island comes to life a bit more – but the day time seemed pretty chilled.

Food & Drink

New Tastes: No new tastes – just good home cooked Laos food though

International McDonalds Meal: No McDonalds

Local Beer: Beerlaos

Strangest Thing to Happen

Watching all the goings on in the river. Swimming, fishing, chucking rubbish, disposing of dead chickens, washing clothes, people bathing – anything goes really.


Kham Phueng - $10 a night riverside bungalow. No air con though so really hot during the day!!


                Meals: $2-$3

                Water: $0.70 per 1.5 litres

                Alcohol: $1.20 for a long neck

                Dolphin Boat Trip: $11

Average Daily Spend per person: $20

Transport there for both of us: $16

Total Spend for both of us inc. Transport: $210

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G/Dad Gordon on

Its snowing here--you are so lucky --be safe XXX /

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