Located in southern Laos, the 4000 Islands are, you guessed it, made up of 4000 islands. Many of them are tiny and would be completely submerged during the wet season.
There’s two main islands: Don Det and Don Khong. Most of the action is on Don Det, but both islands are connected by a bridge.
I stayed on Don Det, right in the backpacker hub. It has a cute island vibe, with lower accommodation prices when compared to those on Don Khong, but it was anything but cultural. It felt like a beach town somewhere from the Western Hemisphere.
I rented a bicycle and rode around Don Det and Don Khong, completely manageable within 4-5 hours. There are a couple waterfalls to visit and a beach, but we couldn’t swim in it because the current was too strong. You can also rent a boat and try your luck at pink dolphin sightings in the area. These dolphins are native to the Mekong River and are unfortunately near extinct.
Be wary, the ride can be tough and bumpy. Most of the path is made up of small (some not so small) rocks. There are also plenty of shops on the side offering tire repair services, so take the hint!
- There are no ATMs on the islands. Get your money on the main land before taking the ferry across.
- When booking your bus to the islands, make sure you get one that includes a ferry ride. It might be cheaper to get the ferry ticket on location, but if no one is going to the islands, you’ll either have to wait or charter your own boat, which costs around 150,000 kip!