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Places to Visit in 4000 Islands (Si Phan Don) Places to Visit in 4000 Islands (Si Phan Don)

4000 Islands

Island hop your way to paradise in the 4000 Islands, Laos! Picture laid-back vibes on countless charming islands scattered across the mighty Mekong River. Dozens of outdoor activities await: relax on sandy beaches, rent a bike to explore, take a refreshing kayak trip and spot rare Irrawaddy dolphins! Discover our tours to 4000 Islands to enjoy the simple pleasures of island life.

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Overview 4000 Islands


As true as its name, this area consists of 4000 islands of all sizes that are beautifully scattered in the vast Mekong River. 4000 islands (Si Phan Don) mark an epic end to Laos when you cross the Mekong River to reach Cambodia. Right in the very south of Laos, part of Champasak province: 4000 islands have made the faraway land become a hotspot to tourists. The 3 main attraction stops in Si Phan Son are Don Khong, Don Det, and Don Khon islands.

overview of 4000 Islands

Overview of 4000 Islands

You can get to 4000 islands by bus from Pakse and take a ferry/ boat to either Muong Khong Town (gateway to Don Khong) or Ban Nakasong Town (gateway to Don Khon and Don Det). The bus ticket can go around $ 8 USD including bus ticket and boat fee.


The time that has the most tourist arrivals is from November to March. During this dry season, sunny days and cool air usually take place, so the sun won’t be so burned. You can also visit 4000 islands in its hottest season from March to May, due to the fact that you can jump to the chill Mekong water at any time you like, temperature won’t be a matter.

best time to visit 4000 Islands

Best time to visit 4000 Islands

From March to October, the region starts its monsoon, it peaks in July and August. During this time, floods may take place, water rate goes high so tourist river activities are mostly not available. In short, you shouldn’t visit the spot in this season on your Laos tour package.


Be amazed by the Magnificent Waterfalls

The area is home to numerous waterfalls, among them all, Asia Links Travel highly recommends you to visit these epic cascades.

Li Phi waterfall. Located in Don Khon which can easily be reached by bicycle, Li Phi waterfall owns a spacious space of water flow that rushly falls to terraces. The rock seems to get in the river way but the water just twists to it like that. Together, they create a breathtaking view that you have never imagined for such a stunning waterfall. You can relax and have a swim at the beaches nearby.

Waterfalls in 4000 Islands

Waterfalls in 4000 Islands

Khone waterfall is the largest waterfall by volume in Southeast Asia. This waterfall has impressive rock hills and massive water pouring into a large area. Water flows in different lands creating smaller waterfalls. It is on cloud nine to swim and take some astounding pics of this landscape.

Go Boating to See Irrawaddy Dolphins

4000 Islands is the remaining location where freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins live. Though the fact is sad for this reason, they had protected those creatures in very good condition and also brings us the best view of the wild and no machine traveling. Common means of transport to get to Irrawaddy dolphin spotting is by wooden boats of locals or boats for kayaking. Along the way you flow, a fantastic view silently provides a chill atmosphere and relaxing air.

Go boating to see Irrawaddy Dolphins

Go boating to see the Irrawaddy Dolphins

Try the Mekong River Cruise and Have a Cup of Coffee

When it goes a little down low in the evening, you should pay for a ticket to enjoy the air and try the Mekong cuisine on a nice yacht. If you like, contemplating the sunset on the river provides an idyllic and romantic view, you should spend time enjoying that moment as well. Or make it less expensive, you can choose a coffee shop with a nice riverside spot to enjoy a cup of coffee with your friends.

Mekong River Cruise in 4000 Islands

Mekong River Cruise in 4000 Islands

Outdoor Activities in 4000 Islands

A countryside region but still provides “quality” ways of doing sports. How about half-day cycling on leafy, dusty countryside trails of Don Det island? The rustic rural view is always there on every road you go with stunning rice fields and beautiful palm-lined fringes. Swimming and sunbathing on the rivers near the waterfalls are also a great idea for a relaxing day.

Sunbathing in 4000 Islands

Sunbathing in 4000 Islands

Moreover, you can also make your group a small camp by the river bank and spend a day there in enjoyment. If you are keen on water sports, kayaking, tubing, and small boat traveling are also available.

Visit Vat Phou Temple

It is not on 4000 islands, but just a little outside the region, there’s a temple that really worth visiting: Vat Phou stupa, which is believed to have been built in the period of the 11th - 13th century. It is not really a full form of a temple, but rather a remains of historical evidence. It is part of the ruined Khmer Hindu temple complex in southern Laos. You can find that it has lots in common with the famous Angkor in Cambodia.

Visit Vat Phou Temple

Visit Vat Phou Temple

This ruin gives us an astounding perspective of the historical buildings that lived through time. As people say: it is one masterpiece of engineering of ancient times.


Since the place is rather rural, there aren’t many items to buy, you can go to the market and buy small things like knitted baskets, simple necklaces, and bracelets but the soul of 4000 islands is hidden in every local dish. You should try these dishes out:

  • Tropical fruit of mangosteen, grapefruit, star fruit, sugar apple, mango, guava, tamarins, caimitos, etc.
  • Fish dishes like steamed fish in banana leaf, fried fish, fishes served with sticky rice and vegetables (laap fish)
  • Green papaya salad (tam maak hoong)
  • Coconut curry soup

Things to know before visiting 4000 Islands

Things to know before visiting 4000 Islands

People here won’t be so strict to tourists, just be nice to show your friendliness and remember these tips to enjoy best your vacation.
Say “SA-BAI-DEE” to say hello to Laos

  • Take off your shoes if you enter Laos home
  • You can give tips to locals that serve you
  • Ask first if you want to film Laos cuisine that is homemade, manufactured at a workshop
  • Prepare a lot of money first, ATMs are rare in the region
  • Wifi is available at almost every accommodation but it is rather slow
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