Go with the relaxing flow down the Mekong River as you drift lazily past the luscious green countryside!
Many stores and guesthouses rent tubes for around $1.00 at the current Kip exchange rate (roughly 10- 15,000 Kip). While most people start their tubing experience from the “Don Det Beach” on the island’s North end by the boat pier, it is possible to be pulled further North by a long tail boat to begin your experience. Tubing is the most fun on the sunrise side of Don Det. There are plenty of opportunities to pull in for a refreshing Beerlao along the way, but be careful not to get too intoxicated as water and alcohol don’t mix well and are the origin of most of the severe accidents on the river.
Most people are ready to get out when you get to the Old French Bridge between Don Det and Don Khon. That’s not a bad idea since 500 meters beyond the bridge, and you are already in frightening rapids that quickly deposit into the deadly and dangerous Li-phi Falls!
Near or far, better than a car! One of the best ways to get around the island! Most guesthouses rent bicycles, and some are better than others. They cost around $1 a day (10 – 15,000 kip). Biking will be a breeze with the new roads soon to circle the island! All streets on Don Det lead either to the bridge (South) or the town (North).
A tourist’s path follows the Mekong river 7.2 km or 4.5 miles around the island. A more significant road (the old railway path) cuts Don Det through the rice fields in the middle. That road’s used mainly by songtaews, tuk-tuks, and motorbikes and is not very shaded.
If you want to go from the bridge into the town, you can easily follow the path on the sunrise side.
A full day kayaking tour is a perfect means to admire the beauty of Si Phan Don and its breathtaking landscapes.
You begin around 8:30 in the morning until your return to Don Det just before sunset.
The tour usually starts from the North end of Don Det downstream past some small islands nearby Don Det, for about 40 minutes, after that you will enjoy shooting through exciting rapids (grade 2-3), but don’t worry, you’ll be fine! You’ll stop at a nice swimming spot for a Lao picnic (lunch). This place is quite deserted, except by the occasional local fishermen. In the afternoon, you’ll continue paddling downstream for about one hour. After spending a while relaxing and taking photos, the kayaks go on for 40 more minutes to Veun Kham. They load up your kayak and take it to Nakasang while transportation is arranged to take you to the lovely Khone Phapheng Waterfall (the largest volume water falls in all of S. E. Asia!) After your visit to Khone Phapheng you’ll be driven to Nakasang, where you’ll enjoy paddling into the sunset, and back to Don Det.
There are two travel offices that arrange kayaking tours on Don Det: Green Paradise Travel with Mister Boun in the center of Don Det, and Mister Mo Guesthouse. Both programs are similar and the two groups are frequently mixed during the cruise.
The package usually costs $26 USD in 2022 and includes :
• A breakfast in Don Det (coffee, tea, bread, juice, pancake), and a lunch in another island (barbecue fish or meat, grilled potatoes, salad, fruits, drinking water).
• The equipment: (kayak, paddles and life vests)
• Two guides, who speak some limited English, but are very helpful. They know well the waters and the difficulties.
• The entrance fee to the waterfalls.
The departures usually set at 8:30 am from Don Det. You will be quickly briefed to learn how to navigate. It’s not very difficult, even for non-adventurous sportive persons, but it needs a bit of skills.
We strongly suggest you bring a hat, sun blocking cream, sunglasses (with a strap), clothes and shoes that can get wet, and a camera in a waterproof sealed bag.
There are no half-day tours.
Kayak rentals for free paddling without guide are not available. The reason is some areas are extremely dangerous, with strong currents.
These tours are usually highly appreciated by most travelers. It’s an immersion into the wild nature of the 4000 islands, with beautiful scenery. So, if you’re healthy enough to give it a try, do not hesitate. All tours must be booked in advance, generally the previous day. Enjoy the challenge!
Looking for something quite a bit more adventurous than kayaking? Interested in seeing parts of Laos that few ever do? Then your best bet for fulfillment is a remote tour with Mike Horn of the Boathouse Guesthouse & Restaurant. He has experience exploring deep into the remote areas of the 4000 islands for years and is still finding places few people have ever seen. Mike supplies all you will need for a successful journey. Catch your fish and prepare your meal in the Laos traditional style. Sleep under a blanket of stars like you will never see in a world of so much light pollution. Experience nature like you have never known. Custom-tailored for your needs. Go talk to Mike at the Boathouse for details.This unforgettable lifetime adventure awaits you.
It seems like there is always a party or something interesting going on around the island! Happy Bar schedules a lot of off-island barbeques! Swim, relax and fire it up! Word gets around fast! Join in on the fun and meet new people!
Fancy a proper Sunday Roast? Well, King Kong Restaurant has you covered! Roast beef with gravy, roasted potatoes, apple sauce, and two vegetables. Usually around 4:00pm. You may want to make a reservation because it can be very popular!