Photo: A restaurant made for snoozin.

Mama Leuah Guesthouse

The best backpacker bungalow on Don Dhet

Don Dhet, 2 km from boat landing

Mama Leuah Guesthouse

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There’s no shortage of riverside bungalows on Don Dhet but finding a clean one that won’t have you hearing your neighbour’s every exhale is another matter. Mama Leuah is such a place.

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Mama Leuah is located away from the main metropolis of accommodation, two kilometres south of the boat landing. This means the property has a relatively wide section of river front and their inexpensive, clean bungalows have the luxury of breathing room between each other.

Solid bungalows all lined up.

Solid bungalows all lined up. Photo: Cindy Fan

The raised bungalows are of a sturdy construction and in good condition, with concrete pillars, a metal roof and wooden walls which allays fears that flopping into the private balcony’s two hammocks won’t collapse the entire building. The interiors are cheerful and tidy, complete with bedside table, mosquito net, fan, window and towels. Five of the bungalows have a private bathroom with cold water shower and western toilet, while two bungalows share a bathroom. Overall it’s great value for money.

The restaurant is sweet—a open riverside wooden terrace with high ceilings. Best of all, the owners (who speak English, Thai, German and Lao) are friendly and clearly take care of their bungalows. We tried to stay here but they had actually closed for a few weeks for annual maintenance (something other joints on the island desperately need to take a cue from) and they were busy painting, fixing and cleaning. Like the rest of the island, WiFi may or may not work, which part of the point of Don Dhet and why being two kilometres from the tourist strip isn’t a bad thing. Disconnect, this is a lovely spot to do so.

Hamocks at the ready.

Hamocks at the ready. Photo: Cindy Fan

The easiest way to get there is to not disembark at the regular boat landing, but at the old French pier, about 1.5 km down the eastern side. When you buy your boat ticket at Ban Nakasang, tell them you need to go to Ban Don Dhet and the “taka pan” (where the small trucks are). It should cost an extra 5,000 kip. Then walk south taking the dirt path along the river 500 m. You may even be able to charm the driver into dropping you off directly at Mama Leuah for a few more kip.

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Walk-in rates at Mama Leuah Guesthouse

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Bungalow fan share bathroom
60,000 kip
60,000 kip
Bungalow fan private bathroom
70,000 kip
70,000 kip
Room: Bungalow fan share bathroom, low season: 60,000 kip, high season 60,000 kip. Notes:
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: 70,000 kip, high season 70,000 kip. Notes:

Where is Mama Leuah Guesthouse

Mama Leuah Guesthouse
Don Dhet, 2 km from boat landing
Coordinates (for GPS): 105º55'41.36" E, 13º58'37.26" N
Room rates: Under US$10

Map for Mama Leuah Guesthouse

Map for Mama Leuah Guesthouse

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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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