3 Days between 4000 islands in Don Det

3 Days between 4000 islands in Don Det

An unplanned trip to Don Det to the 4000 islands ended as one of my favorite memories of my time in Southeast Asia.


I spontaneously decided to travel from Siem Reap to Laos. I had hardly informed myself about my destination Don Det and had to take everything as it came. The journey with the mini van took almost the whole morning. In the past few days, I had to travel a lot with buses and minivans and therefore had no desire for long hours in the car. Still, I had to go through there. During the rides, buses often stop at restaurants or shops. There, the tourists should then buy something at overpriced prices. That’s why I do not particularly like corporate bus tours like this.

Border crossing Cambodia to Laos

Finally arrived at the border everything was quite atypical. The officials often demanded some fees, which we had to pay. One who traveled with me on the bus did not even want to let her into the country. We quickly realized that corruption was the finest at this border crossing. They demanded that I pay for a visa, even though, as a Swiss citizen, I do not need it for a stay of less than 30 days. I persisted and could handle the payment. Other not, she was shamelessly exploited.

After this experience at the border crossing my good mood was pretty much in the basement. But nothing helped, I just had to take the situation as it was.

Don Det and the 4000 islands

When we arrived at the harbor to take the boat to Don Det, the bad events were already forgotten. The sun was just setting and the mood was breathtaking.

I booked a bungalow at Mr. Phao Riverview Bungalow before leaving. The bungalows belong to a loving and young family who loves life in Don Det. The bungalow was minimalist and in the garden where cows and chicken running around. The bed had a mosquito net, whited saved my life. Even though I really enjoyed my days there, I can also recommend to book your accommodation with Mama Leuah. Many friends have recommended this calm place and also the reviews say only good things.

All Don Det had cast a spell on me. It is a relaxed village. People are in a good mood and very relaxed. If you order a coffee, you may have to wait 30 minutes for your order, because the host has to milk the cow first. The island blooms from all sides and the only means of transport are bicycles. The idyllic place is there to relax. There is not much to do in Don Det, except for a bike ride to the waterfalls or a sunset cruise on the Mekong.I really enjoyed the days in Don Det with reading and relaxing.

Where to go next

Most of the other attractions in Laos are located in the north of the country but a bus ride there may take over 13 hours. I didn’t know that at this time and I ended up following a friend with a four hours ride to a city called Pakse. A not worthwhile city in my opinion. Anyways, we did a part of the 3-day loop with the motorbike which startet in Pakse. We visited the coffee plantations and saw breathtaking waterfalls. Even though I really enjoyed my time there, I would probably not go there again. There are so many other places, which are way more interesting to explore.

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Olivia Maurer

Olivia is a Swiss Journalist with a passion for traveling and a mindfull living. I hope you enjoyed this post! Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you all.

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