7 Things to do in Don Det

Don Det is one amongst the most visited islands in the southern area of Laos, bordering Cambodia. Although reaching it is not easy, the peace and rural environment that you will find there certainly compensates for the difficulties of the road. As soon as you arrive at the town of Ban Nakasang, full of shops, ramshackle bars, and shabby travel agencies, you have to go to the pier to be taken by boat (1 dollar) to don det island.

Don Det is a perfect blend of beauty and adventure. It offers a range of activities, as well as very impressive landscapes. The entire environment is cool, fun, friendly and has a permanent party atmosphere. As a result, 7 things to do in don det include:

explore don det

Tour the island on a bicycle

In the island of Don Det, there are hardly any motor vehicles which is appreciated, and much so the absence of motorized noise makes this place even more special. Therefore, renting a bicycle for a dollar a day and touring the island at your leisure is the best way to feel the rural atmosphere. Also, do not forget to bring a raincoat, mosquito repellent and water for the road.

See the Irrawaddy dolphins

One of the attractions and reason why many people come to Don Det is to see the Irrawaddy dolphin, a curious dolphin in danger of extinction (there are less than a hundred in the Mekong) that usually live in coastal areas near rivers. To see them there are morning tours that can be hired on the island and the best time to observe them is the dry season, from December to May.

things to do in don det

Visit the  Railroad route

If you like hiking in palm sugar, you have a 5-kilometer route that runs through the old train tracks that the French set up here: lots of vegetation, rice fields, water oxen and small villages. But beware that the humidity and heat usually make it difficult to venture for 3 or 4 hours on foot!

Experience how palm sugar is produced

If you want to see how palm sugar is produced, this process is very famous in the area, as you have to go to the village of Ban Hinsiew, on the island of palm sugar.

Visit the waterfalls Li Phi (the trapped spirit)

The waterfalls of Li Phi in Don Det is not the most visited, but it is highly recommended to see since its proximity makes it very accessible. It’s as easy as renting a bike and taking a walk to the west island of Don Det, where they are located. There are seasons of the year that the flow drops violently, but in the dry season, there is a small beach equipped for bathing although the locals never bathe as they believe they would be entrapped by the evil spirits when they bathe in the river.

what to do in don det

Explore the Don Det Bars

You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to eating in Don Det; as there are many restaurants that tickle all the fantasies. There are traditional and simple dishes from Laos, as well as Western and Indian cuisines. More or less, everywhere offers delicious and refreshing fruit, and you might even find fresh coffees from the Bolaven Plateau.

Some of the bars and restaurants further offer great views of the river, but if that’s not enough and you’re not prone to motion sickness, you can always try a floating restaurant!

Enjoy the waterfalls of Khone phapheng

On the island of Don Det and with almost 10 kilometers in length are the Khone phapheng waterfalls. They are also the longest in Southeast Asia and an excellent attraction to visit within a few hours. To go to see them, you have to go by boat since they are on a little-traveled island. And a warning: do not even think about bathing because it is totally forbidden because the flow and strength of the water is such that it makes it one of the most violent waterfalls in Southeast Asia.

bars in don det

In conclusion, although Don Det remains a destination off the beaten path of Laos, it has gained popularity through the range of fun activities and great attractions it has to offer as highlighted above.