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Si Phan Don

Si Phan Don (ສີ່ພັນດອນ) is where Laos becomes the land of the lotus-eaters, an archipelago of islands where the pendulum of time swings slowly and postcard-worthy views are the rule rather than the exception. Many a traveller has washed ashore here, succumbed to its charms and stayed longer than expected.

Down here the Mekong bulges to a breadth of 14km – the river’s widest reach along its 4350km journey from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea – and if you count every islet and sandbar that emerges in the dry months the name, which literally means ‘Four Thousand Islands’, isn't that much of an exaggeration.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Si Phan Don.