Take a walk across the existing 3km of tracks and see the 130-year old railway that allowed, for the first time, a continuous trade route between French Indochina bases in Vietnam and Cambodia and Laos.
Built by the Mekong Exploration Commission in the late 1800s and operated by Lao State Railway authority, it transported goods, cargo and passengers along the Mekong River between 1893 and 1940. Before this, travel via the Mekong River in Southern Laos had been impossible due to the River’s waterfalls. The French continued to extend the railway until the early 1900s when the Second World War and the subsequent Japanese bombing in Indochina forced its closure.
See and do:
Walk along the 3km length of the railway tracks across the bridge between Don Ket and Don Khon
Learn about the history of the French colonial period in Southern Laos
Marvel at the engineering ingenuity of navigating the Mekong’s impassable waterfalls by building a railway over water more than 130 years ago
Food and drink:
Food can be purchased on either island
How to get there:
You will automatically pass the locomotive on Don Khone island if you come from Don Det, as it is situated just after the bridge over the Mekong on your right. If you come from Don Khone pass underneath the bridge and take the first little road on your left. To get to the lift on Don Det, coming from Don Khone, just follow the little path along the river or continue the road after you have crossed the bridge.