Don Dhet and Don Khone sights and attractions

As if long periods of swinging lazily in a hammock -- punctuated by the excitement of taking a 4-metre plunge into the Mekong River -- weren't enough to occupy anyone, you can also rent an inner tube and lazily drifting down the Mekong for a few hours

Kayak rentals are available.

Every evening before sunset, a boat leaves from the northern landing to take in the view from the water -- US$2 and you get a free Lao Cocktail.

From Don Dhet, you can arrange boat trips to the 'big waterfall,' Khong Phapheng, about 10km further down the Mekong river for US$6. A raft trip to both waterfalls Liphee and Khong Phapheng, include lunch, a guide and a ride over some grade 2 and 3 rapids, go for US$10 per person.

It's also possible to book other tours: Elephant riding in Ban Khiet Ngong, mountain bike treks, etc., and if there's something in particular you want to do, someone will be willing to hook you up for the right price.

You can also easily get to Don Khon by crossing the French Bridge, where there are great waterfalls, rusty trains, and the occasional glimpse of an Irrawady dolphin.

Khong Phapheng Waterfall

The Liphee waterfall is a sight so see -- a roaring collection of powerful falls spilling down at odd angles along a branch of the characteristically coffee-coloured Mekong river. To get here, take the first right after the French Bridge and follow the signs -- it's bikable and walkable. If you haven't paid the 9,000 kip admission fee at the gate, you'll have to pay it here, but your ticket will be good for the whole day.

To the right of the road that leads off the bridge, an old steam engine is on display with a sample bit of the small gauge track that was used to transport mostly teak wood down to the French port at the southern tip.

There's a road now that transects the island where the railroad used to be -- the tracks are long gone but it's still paved in golf-ball sized gravel. The road terminates at the southern tip of the island, near the old French Port.

There you can hire a boat for US$5 that can carry up to three passengers out to a rock in the middle of the Mekong river. From there, you'll be looking across into Cambodia side, which is where the rare Irrawady dolphins make there appearance with surprising frequency.

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