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Don Dhet

Orientation

Boats from Nakasang usually dock at one of two landings, depending on where you depart from -- songthaews from Pakse often head to the landing to the south of Nakasang, and the boats that leave from there pull up at the landing about midway along the eastern coast of Don Dhet. There is some accommodation between here and the French bridge to the south (which crosses over to Don Khon). These are good places to get away from the throngs if you're looking for some solitude.

Heading north, there's a long line of places to stay, eventually coming to a junction marked with signs pointing to accommodation on the sunset side. This road crosses the island and continues south for a bit before ending in some rice fields -- enterprising hikers who pick their way through the fields can find their way south to the French bridge.

The eastern road continues from the junction to the top of the island, passing the boat landing at the north end -- the boats here cross back and forth between here and the landing in Nakasang town proper. You'll want to take a boat from this landing when leaving Don Dhet, because songtheaws to Pakse depart from Nakasang town.

The road continues around the top of the island and terminates at Khampong Restaurant and Guesthouse. To get to the sunset guesthouses further south, you'll have to backtrack to the junction and take the sunset road.

Internet is widely available on the island with free WiFi often offered in cafes and guesthouses. At this point in time, it's quite poor and relies on the 3G signal. While this is fine if you have one person connected, we found that groups of people with iPhones would congregate at restaurants and this typically slowed internet down to a snail's pace. Your best bet is to buy your own Unitel SIM card and data.

There is no post office, no police station and no hospital on Don Dhet. The nearest facilities are all on Don Khong.

There are no ATMs on the island, but the town of Nakasang across the river has a BCEL ATM should you be running low on cash. Shops in the north of Don Dhet can exchange foreign currency and Adam's Bar offers a cash advance service from credit cards.

And finally, here's a bit of a hint for the uninitiated: the word 'happy' when it appears next to an item on a menu in Don Dhet has a very special meaning. Ask around before you order.

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