Don Det

Don Det (Lao: ດອນເດດ), is an island in the Mekong River in the Si Phan Don ("Four Thousand Islands") archipelago in Champasak Province of southern Laos.[1]

Don Det

Dwellings, Don Det
Dwellings, Don Det
Don Det is located in Laos
Don Det
Don Det
Location in Laos
Coordinates: 13°58′32″N 105°55′22″E / 13.975463°N 105.922660°E / 13.975463; 105.922660Coordinates: 13°58′32″N 105°55′22″E / 13.975463°N 105.922660°E / 13.975463; 105.922660
 • Religions
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)


The Don Det–Don Khon railway was a 7-kilometer (4.3 mi)-long narrow-gauge portage railway on the islands of Don Det and Don Khon, opened in 1893 to transport vessels, freight, and passengers along the Mekong River, and closed since the 1940s.[2][3]


The walking path around the island is 7.2 km (4.47 mi). Don Det is linked to its twin island Don Khon by a bridge. Don Som, the closest island accessible by pirogue, is 250 m (820 ft) from Don Det.[4]

There is a Buddhist temple and two primary schools on the northern part of the island.[5]


Don Det features a tropical wet and dry climate. While the city is generally very warm throughout the year, it is noticeably cooler during December and January. Don Det also experiences wet and dry seasons, with the wet season from April until October, and the dry season during the remaining five months. Temperatures range from 15°C to 38°C.[6]


The Khone Phapheng Falls, a succession of impassable rapids that gave rise to the construction of the railway, are among the main features accessible from Don Det.[4][7] Freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins (pakha), an endangered species, can be viewed by boat.[8][9]


Irrawaddy dolphins[8][9], water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis), common House Geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus)[10], bronze grass skink (Eutropis macularia)[11], and bioluminescent beetles[12] can be seen in Don Det.



  1. ^ "Don Det and Don Khon". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  2. ^ The Railway Atlas of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, White Lotus, 2010.
  3. ^ Mad About the Mekong: Exploration and Empire in South East Asia, Harper Collins, 2005.
  4. ^ a b "Don Det Google Map". Google Maps. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  5. ^ c:File:Food offerings in Laos.jpg
  6. ^ "Don Det & Don Khon in detail – Climate". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2020-03-28.[not specific enough to verify]
  7. ^ "Waterfalls". Tourism Laos. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  8. ^ a b "Irrawaddy Dolphin". World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  9. ^ a b "Status Of Irrawaddy Dolphin Raised To 'Endangered'". The Irrawaddy. 2017-12-08. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  10. ^ c:File:Hemidactylus frenatus mating, ventral view.jpg
  11. ^ c:File:Eutropis macularia (bronze grass skink) eating a frog.jpg
  12. ^ c:File:Close-up view of a bioluminescent beetle Elateroidea.jpg

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