Photo: Merde!

Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall

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Called the “pearl of the Mekong”, thunderous Khone Pha Pheng is Southeast Asia’s largest waterfall (by volume) and one of the widest in the world.

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It’s located on the mainland, about seven kilometres shy of the Cambodia border. Don Dhet is the closest tourist base, but it can also be visited from Don Khon, Don Khong or Pakse.

The path first leads visitors past the top of the falls, the rising mist from the pour over giving a hint of what’s to come. Carefully take the stairs down for a closer look at the raging, boiling torrent of angry water squeezing through boulders. Also follow the path all the way to a wide covered pavilion for a great view.

Not recommended with a kayak. Photo taken in or around Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall, Don Dhet, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Not recommended with a kayak. Photo: Cindy Fan

What you are able to see is a fraction of the wide and long falls and the many islands creating many cascades. Khone Pha Pheng should give you a clear idea of what French colonialists faced in trying to create a shipping link between Cambodia and China and the reason why they turned to building a railway on Don Khon and Don Dhet. See our Don Khon history section to learn more.

Khone Pha Pheng is usually one of the stops on Don Dhet’s popular kayak tours, an economical, good value way to tick the falls off your to do list. It includes transportation, lunch, some kayaking, dolphin watching (though there are hardly any dolphins left), Khone Pha Pheng and another smaller waterfall on Don Khon. We were quoted as little as 170,000 kip per person.

All that topsoil... Photo taken in or around Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall, Don Dhet, Laos by Cindy Fan.

All that topsoil... Photo: Cindy Fan

For do-it-yourselfers coming from Don Dhet or Don Khon, take a boat to Nakasang. If solo, the most economical way is to head out at either 08:00 or 11:00, the two waves of exodus from the island. It’s 15,000 kip per person from Don Dhet, 20,000 kip from Don Khon. Otherwise, for two or more, it’s 30,000 kip for the boat from Don Dhet, 40,000 kip from ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall
Around 6km south of Don Dhet
Admission: 55,000 kip for foreigners

Location map for Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Don Dhet.
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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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