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An update from Evaneos
Don Det

Don Det (Laos)

Practical information about Don Det

  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Island
  • Viewpoint
  • River
  • Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
  • Waterfall
3 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
3 hours by bus and boat from Champassak
When to go
From November to March
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Don Det

David Debrincat Travel writer
459 travel articles

Don Det is one of the biggest of the 4,000 Islands floating in the Mekong, in the south of Laos near the Cambodian border. 

My suggestion:
I advise you to cross the bridge on foot and leave Don Det as soon as possible so you can stay on its more authentic neighbour, Don Khône.

Although the area has everything that you love, a bit like Van Vieng, Don Det has become everything that I detest about tourism in Laos. Don Det is nothing but an endless row of guesthouses, bars, and restaurants, all stuck together. It's a shame because without all that Don Det would be heavenly.

I came here to enjoy wonderful sun sets, see the pink Irrawaddy dolphins, and the waterfalls at Li Phi and Pha Peng. Only marvellous sights. But, oh how disappointing! But don't leave straight away. Luckily I've tested it for you and I can give you an answer to the problem. One piece of advice and you don't have to go far for it. I found the happiness I had been expecting by crossing the bridge and going over to Don Khone which is much wilder. Paradise is there, right opposite Don Det.

Don Det
Silvia Garcia & François Vioud Travel writer
26 travel articles

Situated at the far south of Laos, Don Det, an island surrounded by 4,000 others in the middle of the Mekong, is a peaceful retreat, where you can take a stroll or laze back in a hammock by the riverbank.

My suggestion:
Try to rent a bungalow facing the setting sun - the view is stunning, you won't feel too hot when the morning sun rises and you'll be protected from the noise of boats.

Don Det is the perfect place to unwind and, even though you can swim (as most Laotians do), we decided to give it a miss - the water didn't seem that clean...

It's a great place to stretch out in a hammock with a good book, whilst watching fishermen and children enjoying life on the Mekong in their canoes. If that sounds too lazy, you can always hire a bike, ride around this little hillock, cross over to Don Khon, the island next door, and see its (paying) waterfalls or banana plantations before stopping for a glass on the riverbank.

We loved our time on the river and the lifestyle along the Mekong: why not end your day with an evening stroll under a star-filled sky once the sun has set?

Finally, if you want to explore Laos or are deciding where to go in southeast Asia, then Don Det is a great entry point into the country, as it's only a few kilometres from the Cambodian border.

Sunset on the 4,000 islands at Don Det