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Si Phan Don

Si Phan Don or 4000 islands is an archipelago in the Mekong River system in Khong District, Champasak Province, Laos, which includes islands and parts of the land where half are submerged when the Mekong River is in flood. The largest main islands are Don Khong, Don Som, Don Det and Don Khon.

The islands have different sizes in the tidal systems of rivers formed by the rainy and dry seasons. A beautiful set of islands lined the lazy and winding part of the river system that creates the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia with friendly locals.

Xvlor Si Phan Don in Champasak, Laos Si Phan Don in Champasak, Laos

Beautiful area of 14 kilometers from a small creek creates a labyrinth of islands, rocks, and sand dunes. The land serves as a natural barrier and preserves southern Laos culture from outside influences including French colonialists and then the American War.

During the rainy season, the Mekong River in the vicinity of Si Phan Don meets the area up to 14 kilometers where the widest stretch of the 4350 kilometer long river from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea. During the dry months the river receded and left hundreds of sand dunes to form the islands.

Location: Khong District, Champasak Province, Laos

Routes and public transport: Flights to Pakse International Airport in Pakse City. Most visitors will buy a ticket at Pakse for a minivan away to Ban Nakasang Town for 145 kilometers to reach Don Det Island and Don Khone Island or Ban Khinak Town for 134 kilometers to reach Don Som Island.

Advice: Tourists usually adventurous to the main islands are Don Khong, Don Som, Don Det and Don Khon who have become stoppers in Southeast Asia backpacking circuit. Activities include cycling, swimming, tubing, cruises, kayaking, and exploring traditional villages as a "native Lao" culture.

The Si Phan Don Islands are also home to rare wetland flora and fauna, including endangered freshwater dolphin species and sometimes it is possible to catch a glimpse during the dry season. Waterfalls Khon Phapheng and Somphamit as the largest and most spectacular place in Southeast Asia. Si Phan Don in Champasak, Laos

Xvlor Si Phan Don in Champasak, Laos

The remains of French-rusted colonial railroads and locomotives, built to transport passengers and cargo through obstacles, can still be seen in Don Khon and Don Det. The area is surrounded by traditional villages, rice farms and many farm animals, especially cattle.

Some small temples are simple and also strangely populated by domestic dogs and cats that roam from one place to another to look for the rest and more. Most of these animals are sweet, friendly and mostly clean especially when fed. Islanders will be happy if people take animals as pets, but it may be difficult and expensive to import animals from Laos.

Scam alert: Make sure the bus ticket has the promised service. Book a ticket at Pakse or find a way to get an official ticket. Always bring enough cash. There is no problem in immigration if you choose to come from Cambodia. Take care of your own visa and stay away from brokers. Official administration will not charge any additional fees.

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