Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands), Laos

Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands), Laos

Sunset at Don Det
As I was saying .. the boat from the jetty somewhere out of town from Pakse brought me to Si Phan Don. There are three islands that are of tourists' interests: Don Det, Don Khon and Don Khong. Cheapest accommodations are found in Don Det and that's where I settled. 

The boat will land you on the beach by the tourist stretch in Don Det. Walk up the beach and you'll find yourself plenty of accommodation options.

There isn't really much to do per se at Si Phan Don. Chillin' by the beach, sipping on a bottle of BeerLao watching sunset is what keeps tourists coming to the islands. However, you can also rent a bicycle all over town to cycle all around the island, pass padi fields and rivers. Bicycles come cheap, and most guesthouses offer rental services at 10,000 kips (S$1.25) for a full day of rental. Remember though to check the brakes because as evident from all the bikes on rental there, most are old and look on the brink of shattering.

Cycling in Si Phan Don
Even the cows were chillin'
If you settle in Don Det, there is a bridge that connects Don Det with Don Khon, which you can cross at 35000 kips (S$4.50), so you'll have more places to cycle to and you'll also get access to the Mekong Falls which I'll write about below. 

Bridge connecting Don Det with Don Khon
At the edge of the bridge in Don Det, you'll be able to find a man-made pool offered by Long Island Guesthouse. You won't miss it because you'll hear English chart toppers blasting in a place that local cultures still prevails. You can use the pool for 25000 kips (S$3.20) if you're not a guest of the place, but why would you when you have plenty of water around you to swim in?

Long Island Guesthouse
You can also cycle to the magnificent Mekong Falls, also called the Donkhone Somphamit Waterfalls Park. It is created by the Mekong River gushing downstream through this channel, bashing into cascading boulders along the way. Just imagine millions of gallons of water rushing down into one channel at the same time, it's hard to even describe the grandeur of it. It might not compare to Niagara Falls but it sure has its own charms.

Mekong Falls
You can also cycle to the northwest of the Don Khon to take a boat out to see the Irrawaddy dolphins, a species that habits in the Mekong River, between Laos and Cambodia (closer to the Cambodia, actually). They do offer boat rides, but I didn't take it up or ask how much, as I didn't have intentions on putting further risk unto this endangered species, but the view was pretty spectacular there, so there's no harm popping by.
Irrawaddy Dolphin Watching
The river overlooking Cambodia at the Irrawaddy Dolphin Watching viewpoint
That's about all that is to the islands but of course, you can slowly explore the islands to find its unspoiled and hidden charms, and sunsets are definitely a must.

Phnom Penh, up next!

Next Post »