The largest island in the Si Phan Don area, Don Khong is nowhere near as popular as the more southern islands of Don Dhet, with its chilled-out atmostphere, and Don Khon, with more activities on tap. The interior of Don Khong is almost entirely given over to rice cultivation while just about all the accommodation is crammed into and around the sleepy town of Muang Khong which is situated on the east coast of the island.
The major pastime on Don Khong is cycling around the countryside. Both in the early morning and late afternoon, this is an excellent way to pass a few hours, though it's best to avoid the middle of the day when the heat is oppressive.
There are a few small villages scattered around the island's edge along with some interesting little temples and pleasant riverside scenery, and those with the time and money could scare up a multi-day trek or two, but overall the main attraction here is the gentle pace of life.
Another option is to ride 8km west to Muang Sen where there's a marketplace and some floating restaurants with views of the setting sun.
Some of the local hotels are working on offering treks of the mountains in the interior, but to date none are running. When they do get going, expect them to be pricey.
Other options from Don Khong include trips that are easier to stage from Don Dhet but worth it if you're only staying on Don Khong. You can always visit Don Khon on a day trip and visit the Li Phi Waterfalls, see the irawaddy dolphins, and the remains of the old French railroad. Trips to the much larger waterfall, Khong Phapheng, can be arrange from Don Khong for 80,000 kip -- a return trip by motorbike taxi should cost about 150,000 kip.
Most everyone arrives in Don Khong via the main boat landing, which is near most of the guesthouses and restaurants, on the east side of the island.
Internet is available at Pon's Guesthouse near the boat landing, and at Alpha Internet right near by, open daily from 07:00 to 21:00. It’s also available at Muang Khong Villa 600m south of the boat landing, and there's also a place if you turn left after Souksan Hotel a kilometre to the north which is only open from 16:00 to 22:00. All charge 1,000 kip per minute.
The Post Office is located south of the boat landing, after the first bridge, open weekdays 08:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 16:00, T: (031) 212 073. There's also a police station near the post office.
You can exchange money at the Agricultural Promotion Bank behind the Mekong Hotel, open weekdays 08:30 to 15:30, T: (031) 213 028.
Accommodation: Muang Khong
Auberge Sala Done Khong | Done Khong Guesthouse and Restaurant | Kangkhong Villa Guesthouse | Mekong Hotel and Restaurant | Phoukhong Guest House and Restaurant | Pon's Guesthouse and Restaurant | Souk Sabay Guesthouse | Souksan Hotel | Villa Muong Khong Hotel |
Text and/or map last updated on 10th August, 2009.
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Back to the Basics
If you want a truly out of the western world experience that will take you so far from the hustle and bustle of North America, this is that place. You will be transported to a world that has never been touched by first world luxuries, and it will be an amazing experience.
This island is almost barron with only nature surrounding you. There is a very small main village where all the hotels and resturants are. They have patios that over look the water, and are completely isolated and quiet. I never knew a place like this could even exist. Its rare to see North American foreigners on this island.
You can rent a bicycle and ride along the banks of the river around the island. You can sit in peace and enjoy a good book. You can look out and get more than an eyeful of nature. And that's about it. Not glamorous. Just solitude.
This place is not for everyone,but it is a positive experience for sure.
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- I'll be back (or not)
By Snarf (dabbler)
Written on 5th July, 2011 after a visit to Don Khong in May, 2010
Also reviewed by Snarf: Pakse,
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