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Don Dhet

Getting there and away

Bus

Most people get to Don Dhet from Pakse -- it's easy enough to book a ticket through one of the many agents on the main road. Minivans leave daily at 08:00 for 55,000 kip. They reach Nakasang at 10:30 where you can catch the ferry to Don Dhet -- the ferry costs 15,000 kip if you do it on your own, but it's included in the price of some tickets. It's important that you confirm whether your ticket includes the journey from Nakasang to Don Dhet on the ferry as well.

If you head out to Pakse's Southern Bus Station at the eight-kilometre market on your own, you're looking for buses to Nakasang. Departures as 08:00, 09:30, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, and the price is 50,000 kip. Songthaews leave when full. The ferry to the southern boat landing on Don Dhet should cost about 15,000 kip per person, as long as there are enough passengers.

Leaving Don Dhet, the departures are many and you'll invariably end up either heading north to Pakse/Champasak or through the Cambodian border – there really isn't any other direction to go.

Cambodia Most services depart at 08:00 and cost US$18 to $35 depending on destination. The claim is that you won't have to change bus, but we continue to hear reports of people having to change buses at the border.

Champasak departs at 11:00 and costs 50,000 kip
Pakse departs at 11:00 and costs 50,000 kip
Pakse (songthaew) departs between 06:00 and 10:00 and costs 30,000 kip
Savannakhet departs at 11:00 and costs 110,000 kip
Tha Khaek departs at 11:00 and costs 130,000 kip
Vientiane departs at 11:00 and costs 185,000 kip

It's also possible to book through tickets to Vietnam and Thailand, but you'll be changing buses in either Pakse or Savannaket where prices are more competitive than those offered in Don Dhet.

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Boat

Don Dhet can be reached two main ways -- by boat from Don Khong or by boat from Nakasang. Don Dhet is connected to Don Khon by an old French bridge where a tourist tax of 25,000 kip is payable even if you plan on staying on Don Khon overnight.

To/from Don Khong
The trip from Don Khong takes around 1.5 hours depending on the time of the year and quality of the boat. From Don Khong to Don Dhet costs 50,000 kip.

To/from Nakasang
The trip takes about 15 minutes and costs 15,000 kip. Add extra for a motorbike, but the cost is negotiable. Aim for an extra 10,000 kip. Last time we rode a motorbike on the ferry across, we had some difficulty getting on and off the ferry on the Nakasang side due to a steep ramp which doesn't meet flush with the ferry. We ended up in the Mekong with the motorbike.

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(Remotely sensible, non-ranting comments are much appreciated. Serial ranters, loons and spammers will be banished!

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