Photo: Big skies, Don Kho.

Don Kho Island, Ban Saphai and Wat Chompet

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Just 17 km north of Pakse and only accessible by boat, the small rural Mekong island of Don Kho whisks visitors back in time.





The traditional way of life persists here, remarkable given its proximity to Laos’ second largest city. Locals rely on growing rice, fishing and weaving, a craft that the village has become known for.

Just a quick boat trip away. Photo taken in or around Don Kho Island, Ban Saphai and Wat Chompet, Pakse, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Just a quick boat trip away. Photo: Cindy Fan

Legend has it that the island was originally settled 400 years ago by a group of families from Attapeu. Looking around the island today, it’s hard to believe that during the French colonial era it was the first administrative centre of Champasak, serving for a decade before it was moved to Pakse. Known then as Khokavin, Don Kho’s protected location was ideal and French ships venturing up from Don Dhet to Savannakhet would make a pitstop at this island.

Ban Saphai on the mainland is the jumping off point. The village on the banks of the Mekong is also known for weaving and visitors can ride around the village, houses with weavers are marked with a little sign. The jetty also has a handicraft centre with the locally made goods for sale. However, you’ll easily see a lot of weaving activity once on ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Don Kho Island, Ban Saphai and Wat Chompet
17km from Pakse

Location map for Don Kho Island, Ban Saphai and Wat Chompet

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