Been there, Don Det!
Have you Don Det yet? Haha, if not, enjoy my post and you might put it on your “to go” list!
A little info on Don Det paradise
Don Det, is an island in the middle of the Mekong River in Si Phan Don (4000 islands) in Laos.
After i had finished the Tha Khaek loop, i went to Pakse with the American guys from the loop, from there we took a truck (40000 Kip/5 U.S dollars), straight to Ban Nakasang (a town where you take a boat straight to Don Det)!
The truck ride was crazy, i was standing on the edge of the truck for the whole ride, holding the rails and hoping for the best. Luckily, the road was in a pretty good condition and the ride took only 4 hours. On one of the stops we were approached by local ladies selling meat, cheap and tasty!
After arriving to Ban Nakasang, we went out to the ATM to withdraw some cash (Don Det does not have ATM machines on it), i suggest you taking a big amount of money so you can stay on the island longer without going back to the main land (There is a service of money withdrawal with a visa in “Adam’s Bar” 6% fee). Then we went to the pier, where we got a prepaid boat ticket (15000Kip/2USD per person) and off we went to the amazing island Don Det!
What happens in Don Det..
Getting accommodation in Don Det is easy, the island is full of small and basic guesthouses, in the past few years higher level hotels were built, expect to pay more if you want to sleep there. The price per room is about 40000Kip/5USD and doubles in the peak season (for the basic guesthouses). Me and the American guys found a triple room for 100000Kip/12USD and we took a nap after arriving.
You know guys, I’ve spent a full week in Don Det and i could easily spend a few weeks more, it is great, great, great! So after we woke up from that nap, we went to get some food and i had to get some weed, luckily, one Israeli guy i met in Muang Ngoi (a village in the northern part of Laos) was on the island, he told me where i could score. You can get bags of weed for 50000kip/6USD in “Adam’s Bar”, the bar also has a place to watch T.V, play Xbox, darts and food/alcohol is also there, paradise. I have spent many hours (or even days) chilling in that bar! That night we got extremely baked, played xbox, “Yaniv” (Israeli backpackers card game) and ate amazing desserts at “Adam’s”.
In the morning of the following day we rented tubes (10000Kip/1USD~), and went for tubing down the Mekong river, stopping in a small island, chilling out with beers on the tube and catching some good Lao tan. The evenings in Don Det are pretty chilled, lots of socializing with other travelers, weed, beer Lao, and generally tremendous vibes.
Don Det to Don Khon
We decided on cycling around on day number three, bicycles were cheap and old (10000Kip/1USD~) but did the job, more or less. Don Det is really small, you can cycle it around pretty fast, most of the people also go to Don Khon, a neighbour island. Getting to Don Khon is easy, you just need to cross the old French bridge, pay the entrance fee (35000Kip/4USD~) and there you are. Don Kon has amazing beaches, waterfalls and you can also visit the Dolphin View Point.
Chilling and kayaking
The American guys left Don Det the day after, i had amazing times with them and even got to meet them again in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
I switched rooms on day number four and got a basic room for 40000Kip/5USD per night. Day number four was all about chilling out, i got myself a new book, “The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared“, such a great read. That day i was tanning on one of the beaches of Don Det, there i met two Israeli girls, we were hanging out through out the day and agreed on meeting the next morning for a kayaking/trekking activity.
Kayaking in the Mekong was a great experience, we were battling against one of Asia’s longest rivers, at some point our kayak flipped over and we fell, luckily all our belongings were inside a waterproof bag, phew. The group was amazing as well, people from all over the world were sharing stories, laughing and helping each other reach the end of the trek. The Israeli girls left the next morning too, me on the other hand, i was enjoying Don Det so much that i could stay a lot more (i think i have mentioned that XD), time left in the visa was the problem though. I had three days left in Laos and i decided on spending all of them on that terrific Island.
In these days i met many more amazing backpackers, laughed a lot, swam in the Mekong, tanned the hell out of my skin, visited two jam sessions and even spent my last night in the island with a gorgeous French girl. Been there – Don Det.
It was really sad leaving that lil piece of heaven, but i had a new adventure upcoming, i booked a bus to Kratie, Cambodia, and off i went for a new escapade!