Photo: Late light by the river.

Accommodation

Sunset Side

The sunset side of the island is generally more undeveloped than the sunrise side, with a luxury hotel at the northern tip and then shacks all the way to farms in the south. These places all offer stunning sunset views, though in the run-up to dusk, can be unbearably hot -- don't forget your sunscreen.


Little Eden Guesthouse (formerly Mrs Noy's)
Midrange - US$20 to 50
Don Dhet
T: (030) 534 6020

Little Eden, located right on the peninsular, is the most luxurious hotel on Don Dhet and has the best sunset views because of its location, which allows unobstructed views to the horizon. Starting life as Mrs Noy's, Little Eden has transformed from bamboo shacks to a concrete monolith housing dozens of rooms in two storeys. The rooms are beautifully appointed and feature colourful fabrics slung... Read our full review of Little Eden Guesthouse (formerly Mrs Noy's).

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Mr B's Sunset View Bungalows
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet
T: (020) 5418 1171

Mr B's hasn't made many improvements over the past half decade and the rooms certainly are beginning to feel well-used. The wooden and bamboo structures on the water command sensational sunset views, however, and are worth every cent. The cheapest rooms share cold water bathrooms and the most expensive have private cold water bathrooms with bucket flush Western toilets. If you can get a river... Read our full review of Mr B's Sunset View Bungalows.

Sunset Bungalows
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet

These confusingly named bungalows will win no awards for original name. The best way to find them is to not look for the sign, but for the big blue concrete buildings right on the edge of the water. Make no mistake, these are expensive bungalows but they're perfect for the sort of traveller that wants a waterfront bungalow experience, but without the crumminess that comes with the cheapest types.... Read our full review of Sunset Bungalows.

Jhony Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet
T: (030) 994 7576

The older bungalows at Jhony have been joined by a couple of sparkling concrete rooms which come with air-con and soft beds. Although we found the rooms to be a bit bare because they are so big, they also feel icy cold when the air-con is pumping – beautiful! The wooden bungalows are run of the mill with bucket flush Western toilets and cold showers. It's at the northern tip of the island near... Read our full review of Jhony Guesthouse.

Souksan Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet
T: (020) 5469 1168

Souksan at the very tip of the island has a couple of rooms in a concrete building that we once thought were going to have air-con installed. Now that electricity has come to the island, we return to find that the rooms are unchanged and still fan-cooled. The wooden bungalows are more stuffy, however, but it does nothing that the attached cold showers won't fix. This place is a little expensive... Read our full review of Souksan Guesthouse.

Tena Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet

Tena is a fair way south on the sunset side and after it, most guesthouses are usually empty because people just don't bother to check out what are essentially property after property of similarly priced and designed bungalows. The half dozen bungalows here are simple wooden and bamboo affairs with shared cold water bathroom out the back. They're popular, probably mainly due to them being on a... Read our full review of Tena Guesthouse.

Sunrise Side

This is the most developed part of the island. At the northern end of this strip it is pretty much a bungalow village with bungalow after bungalow after bungalow running down for a kilometre or so. The quality ranges tremendously: from flimsy bamboo huts with shared bathrooms that will blow away in the next storm, to concete air-con jobs with hot water.


Mama Tanon Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet

The rooms at Mama Tanon are a bit dodgy, but for the price they represent great value. The rooms all front onto a large balcony with hammocks which overlooks the river. The rooms oddly slope so that you have to walk downhill to your private cold water bathroom with Western toilet. The slope also affects the beds so that they also slope to one side – be careful not to roll out of bed during the... Read our full review of Mama Tanon Guesthouse.

Mr Tho's
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet

The rooms at Mr Tho's are bungalow style and sit right on the edge of the river. The large communal balcony is equipped with hammocks for lounging in and is perfectly shaded throughout the day. The rooms are bare, but come with attached cold water bathroom and bucket flush Western toilet. The owner is a friendly chap who tries his best to make your stay as comfortable as possible. It's located... Read our full review of Mr Tho's.

Paradise 2 Bungalows
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet

Paradise 2 is located right in Don Dhet village, half way down the island. The bungalows here don't have river views but are good value nonetheless. Each comes with big balcony, a bed with mosquito net, cold water shower and bucket flush Western toilet. The build quality here is better than many further north which are the same price and this quality can make a difference to your stay – less... Read our full review of Paradise 2 Bungalows.

Dalom Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet
T: (030) 955 1099

If you're looking for an air-con room in Don Dhet, there isn't a lot of choice, but Dalom Guesthouse represents fair value. The large concrete rooms are bare and a few of the fixtures are broken, the sheets have a few holes, but the floors are clean and the air-con icy cold, although electricity problems sometimes short out all the power, including the air-con. The rooms also come with hot water... Read our full review of Dalom Guesthouse.

Don Det Bungalows
Flashpacker - US$10 to 20
(020) 2300 4959;(030) 955 3354
T: Don Dhet

These are some of the most expensive bungalows on the island mainly due to their quality construction, spacious balconies and large interiors. They're located on the main sunrise strip across the road from the inhouse riverside restaurant and as a result get no river view. But what they lack in views they make up for in design. You get neat hot water bathrooms with Western toilet and a proper... Read our full review of Don Det Bungalows.

Keo Inpeng Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet

Keo Inpeng has four rooms in a concrete building which are beautifully tiled and come with fan, cold water shower and Western toilet. They're inland from the river and don't have any views whatsoever, which is its biggest downfall really as everything else about it is perfect for the budget traveller. It's a little bit hidden so ask around at the northern end of the island. A riverside bungalow... Read our full review of Keo Inpeng Guesthouse.

Phouvang Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet

Phouvang's bungalows are neater than some others in Don Dhet with well-painted wooden walls and solid wooden floors. The balconies here overlook the river and it's a top spot for lounging in a hammock. Unfortunately bathrooms are shared at the back of the property about 50 metres away and are cold water affairs. Because of this, they're not particularly great value for money and you might find a... Read our full review of Phouvang Guesthouse.

Saengchanh Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet

There are two styles of bungalow at Saengchanh – those with private bathroom and those with shared. All the bathrooms here, whether shared or not, are cold water jobs with Western toilet. The bungalows are perched on the edge of the river and have some good views especially when swinging in one of the lazy hammocks. The rooms are unremarkable except that they are made of wood instead of rattan,... Read our full review of Saengchanh Guesthouse.

Don Khon Side

This is the least-developed part of the island -- just a handful of sleepy spots that don't get the sunset or the sunrise. They're a good alternative if you want something cheap but away from the crowds.


Bountip's Eastside Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet

These days you don't find too many guesthouses in this price range and those you do are on their last legs. There's a bit of life left in this guesthouse yet. The riverside bungalows are very basic with rattan walls, grass roofs, a simple bed with mosquito net and a fan. The cold water bathrooms are shared around the back. The restaurant area is a nice little spot to hang out if you don't feel... Read our full review of Bountip's Eastside Guesthouse.

River Garden
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet
T: (020) 7770 1860

River Garden is a lovely haven down near the French bridge. Bungalows here are fronted by a tiny grassed garden area with the river immediately in front of that although the views are somewhat obstructed by the onsite restaurant. There's a choice of two different types of rooms here. Small with cold water bathroom or large with hot water bathroom. Both are tastefully decorated and are some of the... Read our full review of River Garden.

Santiphab Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Don Dhet
T: (020) 5461 4231

Santiphab has upgraded its bungalows over the years and now is home to a handful of solid wooden bungalows on the river right next to the French bridge. It's a peaceful out of the way place and the only noise you will have to contend with is the odd motorbike crossing the bridge, a few boats and the local chickens. Bathrooms are attached here and come with cold water showers. It's incredible to... Read our full review of Santiphab Guesthouse.




Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Don Dhet? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Laos.


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