The area near Wat Phou where the Mekong River is at its widest point, some 14 kilometres, is the vicinity known as 4000 islands or Si Phan Don. The islands range in size with Don Khong being the largest. You can stay on some of the smaller remote islands but the accommodation is extremely basic. There are a few rustic style guest houses that we use such as Sala Don Khon and Sala Phae, but our favourite it the Senesothxuen Hotel on Don Khong.
The islands are home to a few reminders of the French colonial past, with an old French railway and a hospital (now part of the Sala Don Khon Resort) as well as the Khone Phapheng waterfalls and rapids – the largest on the Mekong. The area is also home to some of the rare and elusive freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin.