24/03/2018 – 28/03/2018
A few words about the Four Thousand islands
Si Phan Don – The 4000 islands, are clusters of islands located in southern Laos, close to the Cambodian border. There are plenty of them around (most of them remain unhabited), but definitely not 4000 :p The two biggest ones are Don (Island) Det and Don Khone. On Don Det, there is nothing to do except chilling out in cheap accomodations, while on Don Khone, you will find resorts and Somphamit waterfalls.
This is the last place we are going to stay before heading to Cambodia (there is a border at 14km from the islands), which is quite famous among travellers to be the best location to chill out in a hammoc.
Transport from Pakse
As we mentionned in a previous post (clic here to read our post on Pakse), it is possible to book your seat in a bus at the « Laos Adventurer Travel », for 50.000 LAK/pp (5€). From Pakse, it takes 3 hours to get to the closest Bus station (Nakasang town, 500m from the pier). Boat fee is 15.000 LAK/pp (1,5€) to Don Det and 20.000 LAK/pp (2€) to Don Khone. At « Laos Adventurer Travel », it was included our bus ticket.
PS: We strongly advise you to book your bus to Cambodia here, as it is more expensive on the islands (it’s possible to pay tickets by credit card, but there is a 4 to 6% fee if you do!), if you plan on crossing the border later on. « Laos Adventurer Travel » sells tickets without specifying the date (you can decide to go whenever you want) to all major Cambodian cities (Ban Lung, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, …).
We will speak about that in details (fees and tickets costs) in another post.
There are plenty of accomodations on the islands because that’s all there is to do over there 😀 We unfortunately can’t really give any intel abut Don Khone because we did not look for it there. However, on Don Det, all of the bungalows are located either on the western coast, either on the eastern one. You can have a look at both, but, in my opinion, the eastern coast is way better (cleaner and a bit more lively). Don’t expect any luxury for the price they ask (40.000 – 50.000 LAK/night), but make sure you have your own hammoc :p
There are many restaurants along the coasts. They are slightly overprices compared with the ground, but generally writing, you can find basic diishes for 15.000 – 30.00 LAK (1,5-3€). Beers are sold at 12.000 LAK (1,2€) instead of the usual 10.000 LAK (1€) evrywhere else in Laos.
We tried a few, but these are the ones we liked the most:
- Pudi restaurant (delicious cheap food, but don’t take milkshakes there)
- Mama Phouwan (average food, but they make tasty milkshakes for only 8.000 LAK (0,8€))
- Tubing (Get tanned on a rubber on the river)
- Tad Somphamit waterfalls on Don Khone (35.000 LAK/pp entrance fee – 3,5€) – More expensive, but they are really worth it
- Rent a bicycle to see around (10.000 LAK/day – 1€). We didn’t because we prefer walking :p (15km to see everything)
- Get tanned on small beaches (there is a good one south of Tad Somphamit)
- Hammocking… As you know/will see, Laos is a really unstressed country, but here is another level of lazyness :p Sometimes, you even get the feeling that they would want you to cook yourself 😀
A few pics of the islands
Tad Somphamit pics
Next step: We will take minvans and a bus to cross the Cambodian border and reach Siem Reap, famous city with the Angkor Temples!