4,000 ISLANDS (Si Phan Don):
The Mekong’s 4,000 Islands (Si Phan Don) region lies about 2 hours by van south of The River Resort, close to the Cambodian border. It has unique geology, French colonial-era history and a quiet rural lifestyle, now sometimes adversely affected at night time during High Season by an excess of carousing backpackers. Highlights of a one-day visit include: the Khone Phapheng Waterfalls, the largest in Southeast Asia, with a succession of raging rapids; the highly endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins, viewed by small boat near the Laos-Cambodia border; remnants of French colonial architecture and of an early 20th century narrow-gauge railway, built to allow cargo vessels to circumvent the rapids and waterfalls that abound on this section of the Mekong. Canoeing, kayaking and bicycling are also available.
Guests generally cross the Mekong in the morning on the Resort’s Riverboat, a van waiting on the other side to carry them to the Islands, and transfer there to small inter-island boats; and at the end of the day return to the Resort by van in time for dinner and a good night’s sleep. If guests wish to spend a night in the 4,000 Islands, there are only a few guest houses and hotels that are up to international standard. Bookings should be confirmed in advance.
Alternatively, a pleasant riverine day-trip downriver to the 4,000 Islands (about 4-5 hours), starting very early in the morning, can be made by local longboat from the Resort’s private dock; and at the end of the day returning to the Resort by van. However, if guests are not traveling in a group of 6 or more who will share the cost of the longboat, it may be a very expensive journey. To avoid surprise, it is best for guests to confirm the price in advance with our Front Desk Manager, who will speak with the Operator of the longboat to ascertain availability and the current rate.