Don Khong

Don Khong is the largest of the Mekong islands at 16 km long and 8 km wide. It’s the place to relax or explore by bicycle. Visitors might be surprised by the smooth asphalt roads, electricity and general standard of amenities that exist on the island but two words explain it all – Khamtay Siphandone – Laos’ former president, who has a residence on the island.

Around the island Don Khong’s ‘capital’ is Muang Khong, a small former French settlement. Pigs and chickens scrabble for food under the houses and just 50 m inland the houses give way to paddy fields. There are two wats in the town. Wat Kan Khong, also known as Wat Phuang Kaew, is visible from the jetty: a large gold Buddha in the mudraof subduing Mara garishly overlooks the Mekong. Much more attractive is Wat Chom Thongat the upstream extremity of the village, which may date from the early 19th century but which was much extended during the colonial period.

Ban Hin Siew Tai Palm Sugar Trees

Ban Hin Siew Tai Palm Sugar Trees

Although sugar palms can be seen across the island, Ban Hin Siew Tai is southern Laos’ sugar capital....

Don Khong History Museum

Don Khong History Museum

When the local governor built this two-story French colonial-style home in 1935, he was so proud of...

Tham Phu Khiaw

Tham Phu Khiaw

Two kilometres north of Muang Khong a trail leads to Green Mountain Cave, a small, shallow shelter in...

Wat Jom Thong

Wat Jom Thong

At the northern end of Muang Khong is Wat Jom Thong, the oldest temple on the island, dating from the...

Wat Phu Khao Kaew

Wat Phu Khao Kaew

About 6.5km northeast of Muang Saen, Wat Phu Khao Kaew was built on the site of some presumed pre-Khmer...

Frequently asked questions

Khong island or other name is Dong Khong is the largest island in Si Pha Don at Mekong River. Although Laos don’t have sea, here is regarded as the small beach in Laos. the island covers approximately 144 sq km2, Khong Island is noted for its natural beauty and is a growing tourist destination. Khong Island has also become the home of nearly 60,000 people living in the two main villages Muang Sae and Muang Khong. One of the special points which makes Don Kong is different from other islands, there are some hills rising above sea level, which makes the view of the island more idyllic.

1.Don Khong History Museum

Most of the famous areas in Laos owns the museum at that place, and Dong Khong is too. Dong Khong History Museum is an ideal place to gain more knowledge about the islands. It’s two – story hose which was built in Frech colonial style by the local government Kou Abhay in 1935. It is called the Brick House or Sathannavoudthi which means Garden of Eden by some villagers. The first floor is the place where you can get information about the history of the island, houses, and families and see the traditional instruments. The upper one is used to display the original furniture. It’s really interesting and worth your time.

2.Wat Phou Khao Kaew

Sited in the hilltop temple overlooking the Mekong River in Ban Muang Saen Nua, Wat Phou Kao Kaew is a famous temple in Dong Khong. Visit the temple, you will back to the past due to the pre – Angkorian stone line which is put at the base of the stupa. Additionally, the temple with its honor displays the stunning carved wooden deities in which some of them were found in the downriver and used to ornament the ledges. There is a legend from the locals that this temple becomes the home of a naga since an entrance might lead down to the lair of this creature.
From far away, you can see a gold Buddha lies on the top of hills. Besides Wat Pha Kaew, you can visit Wat Chom Thong and Tham Phou Khiaw, a small cave which has the Buddism in the Green Mountain are also available for you to visit.

3.Muang Khong Market

When you come to Dong Khong, don’t miss the local market in Muang Khong where you can see the fresh fishes in the pots and the local’s products such as palm sugar, Palm leaf hats, and Lhao Khao Gum – potent alcohol, displayed in the store. The seller is very friendly if you are a foreigner, you can buy the cheapest price, even they can give you more.

4.Khon Pha Pheng Waterfalls

In fact, the Khone Falls and Pha Pheng Falls located in Champasak Province on the Mekong River, near the border with Cambodia. Known as the largest fall in Southeast Asia, the Khone Falls always attract the tourists whenever traveling in Dong Khong. The falls are characterized by thousands of islands and countless waterways, which makes its name the 4,000 islands.

5.The Impressive Villages

The country life in Dong Khong villages is the same with other villages, really slow, which offers the visitors the chance to have a meaningful cultural experience and get a better understanding of the Laotian’s daily life. Therefore, the villages are always listed on many tours in Laos. you only can find the feeling of hustle and bustle in the port towns of Muang Khong and Muang Sean where accommodation, cafes, and shop are located. Go deeply into the villages, you can see the large rice fields, the green forests, and the rolling hills.

Under the shadow of big trees in the forests, you can see some houses where you can take short cycling tours to explore the local life, it’s amazing to see the chin of villages lining to form the South Loop. Riding on the narrow path or along the trails which snake between the bamboo forests, feel free to enjoy the local cuisine and contemplating the traditional wooden houses painted white and blue colors might be your memorable experiences when spending your time to visit both loops.

Overall, Khong Island is the best place you should go if you travel in Laos. Visit the wonderful waters, the temples, or explore the slow local life sure that make your trip in Laos become more meaningful. Come to Khong Island to find something which you may lose in this hurried life.

A morning drive takes us 140km the city center to the southernmost part of Champasak province, along the border with Cambodia. Here, the Mekong river spreads to a width of up to 14km during the rainy season, forming hundreds of islands and islets. The larger islands are inhabited with the largest one, Don Khong, even having an old disused 5km railway.


The river can not be navigated south of Don Khong because of the Khone Falls. These waterfalls are made of the smaller Samphamit Falls and the larger Khong Phabeng Falls: the biggest in Asia, and maybe the widest in the world. Near the falls the endangered lrrawaddy dolphins can be found. Lunch is at a local restaurant before being driven to town.

Don Khong has several good, well priced eaeries, a couple of which are standouts. It’s far better eating here than in Don Dhet, which excels at mediocre Lao food and even worse western food. If staying on Don Dhet, make the effort to venture over for at least one meal.


The Garden Restaurant is an absolute must. Located at the same named spa (and ironically the only place in town NOT boasting a huge sign), the pretty terrace is a restful spot to wait as the meal is prepared in the outdoor kitchen. Every dish is made fresh from scratch (don’t arrive starving) and your patience will be rewarded with a sensational tom yum soup for 35,000 kip.
If it’s your first foray into Lao cuisine, try the laap, also 35,000 kip, or mok pa fish steamed in banana leaf for 45,000 kip. Our favourite was the crazy good Massaman curry. Find it on the non-Mekong side of the road, across from Somphamit Guesthouse.

Chez Fred et Lea is slice of western comfort, acting as a restaurant and cafe with proper tables, chairs and in the evening, a cozy welcoming vibe. This friendly spot has sandwiches, salads, homemade yoghurt, smoothies, coffee and tea made from natural ingredients like lemongrass, ginger and hibiscus. Those in need of a heartier meal can go for laap, curry or mok pa (35,000-45,000 kip), those in need of something stronger can enjoy a cocktail.
Like all eateries on the islands, WiFi is intermittent and dishes are made one by one and take some time. The owners can arrange things like boat trips, transport and are good for helpful advice. Usually open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


The restaurant at Sala Don Khone is one of the best spots for a sundowner—that wide open view of the Mekong will have you sighing. The food covers the classic Lao, Asian and western fare, dishes starting at 30,000 kip. The hotel caters to higher end small group tours, so it’s a safe bet if you’re not on a stringent budget. Another great riverside spot for a drink is Sengahloune Resort’s wide restaurant terrace looking onto the bridge.
For a loungey spot, sprawl on a cushion at Mr Happy’s Bar & Restaurant. Movies are shown every night.

All these places are found on the main tourist strip and have erratic opening hours, definitely more reliably open for each meal during high season. For a getaway from “town”, both Li Phi and Khone Pa Soi have nifty spots for relaxing with a beer and perhaps some chow. From Li Phi follow signs to “The Beach” for a hangout spot with bar, loungers, pool table and volleyball. Less popular Khone Pa Soi waterfall has a great little restaurant perched on the edge of the river and the remote feeling of the place makes for memorable downtime. It’s worth the bicycle or motorbike ride out here for lunch, or if food not available, a drink but it’s not an option at night.

1.Spring (March through May)

Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel very warm. Highs range from 97.5°F (36.4°C) and 92.6°F (33.7°C) with similar temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 1 to 10 days of significant precipitation per month. Spring is the second busiest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for things to do.

2.Summer (June through August)

The middle-year months have very comfortable weather with high temperatures that are quite warm. These months see the most precipitation with 14 to 18 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Don Khon, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than usual.

3.Fall (September through November)

Fall daily highs range from 90.8°F (32.7°C) and 87.6°F (30.9°C), which will feel very nice given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a significant amount: 3 to 17 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be affordably priced.

4.Winter (December through February)

Weather is perfect this time of year in Don Khon to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 96.7°F (35.9°C) and 88°F (31.1°C). On average, it rains or snows a insignificant amount: consistently 0 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists.

Khong Island or Don Khong is the main island of Si Phan Don. Khong Island is famous for its natural beauty and is a growing tourist destination. Many tourists combine their visit to the island with a visit to nearby Don Det and Don Khon islands, where it is possible to view the Khone Phapheng Falls.

The island has a population of approximately 55.000 people, mainly concentrated in the two villages Muang Saen (west) and Muang Khong (east). The former President of Laos, Khamtai Siphandon has a residence on the island, and explains the surprisingly high-quality of infrastructure, such as asphalted roads and electricity, on the island. Locals tend to travel on longtail boats.

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