Photo: Late light by the river.

Eat and meet

The food scene in Don Dhet consists primarily of restaurants attached to guesthouses serving similar menus of cheap and bland food such as fried noodles, fried rice and omelettes. There are a few places standing up on their own, however, but don't expect a cheap feed at these places. They're more interested in serving good food with quality ingredients and that tends to cost more money.

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The restaurant at Little Eden serves up a range of Belgian influenced dishes such as pork stew and pork steak with gravy and chips in a location which has perhaps the best sunset view of them all. Right on their outdoor deck, you can snack on one of the best quality meals on the island while watching an unobstructed view of the sun dipping below the horizon. Prices are high for Don Dhet, but nothing like what you might pay back home.

Street View cafe up in the northern end of the main strip is run by an Aussie expat and serves Western food to Western standards. If you ask for a hamburger here, the meat patty is quality, the bacon is quality and so is the cheese. The chicken schnitzels are some of the best we have had anywhere. Again, this is a pricey place compared to the budget shacks along the river, but you do get what you pay for – quality and diversity.

Ms Ning Restaurant has built a big new concrete building in the centre of the main tourist area and serves up a standard menu of Lao and Western food. We found the quality of food here to be above average and the setting to be quite pleasant, but no river views. That said, the average in Don Dhet is not that good.

At about 17:00, even if you're on the sunrise side, you should head over to any of the riverside places on the western side. The sunsets here are some of the best we've ever seen anywhere, and every night a completely different picture is painted on the sky -- make it a daily ritual.

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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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