Don Khone and Don Det Islands are located14 km south of Don Khong and accessed by ferry from Route 13’s Nakasan Visitor Centre to piers on both islands’ upriver shores. The centre offers longboat tours from Hang Khone Pier to see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins, investigate the maze of downriver channels, and visit villages with homestays. Ban Khone offers clean, simple guesthouses while Don Det features more upscale rooms. Some sites can be reached by foot or the island’s tram, while rented bicycles and scooters open access to all attractions.
The islands’ highlight is the French colonial infrastructure built to bypass the obstructive rapids, including remnants of piers, steam locomotives, the 7-km railway route, and a railroad bridge connecting Don Khone and Don Det with its gantry. You can also explore the rapids and falls that blocked navigation on the Mekong, while presenting natural and cultural attractions such as Li Phi Waterfalls and Pa Soy Village, where bamboo fish traps are built across the rapids.
A short drive south of Nakasan and near Cambodian border checkpoint is Southeast Asia’s largest waterfall by volume, Khone Pha Pheng. Immigration facilities at Cambodian Pier near Ou Svay, allow visa-carrying passengers to cross the border.