Sala Done Khone : Muang Khong : Champasak, Laos

Sala Done Khone is a series of bungalows in a fantastic location on the bank of Done Khone, one of the Mekong River’s ‘4000 Islands’. From the moment you arrive by long tail boat from the mainland, you feel that you’re part of the island’s village community: the bungalows are surrounded by tropical gardens and banana plantations and there is a family of chickens outside.

The hotel offers 8 Floating Rooms, moored into the Mekong where you can enjoy air conditioning and electricity while being as close to the river as possible. However, we also love the land-based accommodation and the hotel’s 6 French Rooms (3 Old style, 3 New) really are the pick and maintain a quaint colonial feel to them with use of dark wood and stained glass. The 11 Baan Lao rooms are a bit simpler than the French Rooms but still offer cosy and comfortable accommodation. A sundeck out the back of the Baan Lao rooms overlooks nearby vegetable patches so you can relax in the evenings and watch the world go by.

The whole area has a rural farm feel to it and Done Khone itself has plenty of activities. It is possible to hire bicycles from the hotel to ride through bustling villages and along sandy paths to see a beautiful waterfall on the island. A slightly longer bike ride will take you right to the tip of Done Khone where you can see across the expanse of the Mekong to see the faint outline of Cambodia in the distance. From here a local boat can take you out to see some of the Mekong’s rarest and most precious inhabitants: the Irrawaddy river dolphins.

The hotel has one super laid back Lao-style restaurant but as there are other restaurants nearby we recommend that guests get out and about and enjoy some Lao Mekong island food in one of the many establishments along the river.

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