You can stop along the way to try fresh fruit, coconut or sugar cane juice. Visit Buddhist temples, an ancient forest stupa located in the middle of the island, or walk along rice fields, as buffaloes, cows, and goats cross your path. Greet the local villagers as they slowly drive by on motorbikes or old mini tractors called “doc doc” or stand on one of the beaches and go for a swim.
Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere in one of the eight villages found on this 8km long island. A ferry or a small boat will usually drop you at Ban Hua Don Daeng at the northern tip of the island where you will find a path that leads around the island. At the southern tip you might also find a boat back to Champasak but there is no guarantee, so it is better if you return to the village in the north of Don Daeng to head back to Champasak or stay there overnight.
For the cycling round trip start from the northern tip of Don Daeng, head towards the south (either along the west or east coast), after about 3 to 3.5km take the path that cuts through the middle of the island past Wat Pha (forest temple) until you reach the other side of Don Daeng and turn to head back towards the north to the starting point. Duration: approx. 2.5h. From the north you can also head south all along the west coast for about 6km and then follow the path leading to the east coast of the island to find yourself at a small beach (during dry season only). Or, make the full west coast of about 8km to get a feeling of the island’s size.
How to get there:
Take a boat from Champasak. Ask at your guesthouse or restaurant or go to the visitor information centre. You can also go directly to the pier at the northern edge of the village called “Phaphin”, where the ferry crosses to Ban Muang and ask for a boat to Don Daeng.
Where to stay:
You can spend a night in the basic community guesthouse or in a comfortable bungalow at the up-market La Folie Lodge on Don Daeng.
What to bring:
Although there are a few small shops in the north of the island it is advisable to bring some sun-protection, and some water for the start of your trip. It is also better if you bring a bicycle from Champasak as there are only a few available on the island. If you stay at La Folie Lodge, they have bicycles and can provide you with a cycling itinerary map. If you want to have a swim at one of the beaches, be careful of the current. and please see the Do’s & Dont’s leaflet in the Facts section of this website.