rice planter laughing

Healthy rice planter.

Mosquitoes and malaria

There are a few mosquitos in Don Det early morning at 6 am, and in the evening between 5 and 7 pm. You can avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeved clothing and optionally socks, or by using mosquito repellents like creams or sprays.

Malaria is reported in Laos and there's only a few areas spared in the country. The malaria species are P. falciparum 65%, P. vivax 34%, P. malariae and P. ovale 1% combined. However, according to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the estimated relative risk of malaria for travellers is very low, even lower than in Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam.
You may feel really safe by taking prescription medicine as Atovaquone-proguanil or doxycycline, but statistically infections are very rare in the 4000 islands and the province of Champasak.
Read the Health Information for Travelers to Laos.

Hospitals and pharmacies

To call an ambulance everywhere in Laos, compose the 1195.
Contact the Lao Red Cross.

For little injuries or allergies, there's a small medical dispensary in Don Khone, near the bridge, 3 km from Don Det center, and another one in Nakasang near the market place and the banks, 500 meters from the Mekong.
To heal headaches or stomach diseases, you may find basic medicines at Phouvanh guesthouse, next to BABA guesthouse in the center, and a small pharmacie at sunset side.
Three pharmacies are established in Nakasang.

From Don Det, the nearest hospitals are in Pakse, 148 km away, and in Stung Treng (Cambodia), 247 km away.
The standard of the main hospital in Pakse is quite low and the staff not fluent in English. Some travellers say it's better at the Poly Clinic of Pakse, just next to this hospital, in the center.


Champasak hospital, Pakse center.

For quality health care matching the western standards, go to the Ubonrak hospital in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. Tel +66 45 429 100, email: , see on Google map.

Before ordering a «happy» drink / dish

Be informed that nearly all the drinks and dishes called «happy» in Don Det are prepared with marijuana. So don't be surprised if you feel like stoned when finished your happy meal :-) It's illegal and the weed can be very strong.
More worryingly, some special shakes may contain psychoactive substances like mushrooms, or what is available.
Be very careful before ordering any kind of cocktails in bars opening later than scheduled, because there are serious and fatals accidents every year.
1) The more you drink, the more you feel relax, until you sometimes lose control objectively,
2) While you enjoy drinking, the staff may enjoy drinking too, until they go easy with what they are supposed to put in your glass,
3) Even if your stomach is luckily surviving, then your soul, behavior, or body may cause all kinds of accidents, some you wouldn't even expect.
Rules and controls in Laos are not the same as abroad, especially in the countryside where we are. Security norms on roads, paths and buildings are not the same as abroad either. Enter a local hospital as a guest / visitor will be very instructive before you enter as a patient / sick person.

Warnings / other dangers

One foreigner per year in average drowns in the river in Si Phan Don. Avoid beers while tubing, and remember to go out of the water before the French bridge, because there are dangerous rapids after, with fatal waterfalls.

If the island may seem peaceful, safe and secured, be aware there are burglaries sometimes in some wooden bungalows of the island. Keep your precious belongings with you.

Remember to drink enough water everyday in Don Det to hydrate yourself, especially if you absorb alcohol. The weather is particularly hot and rude on the island, and some visitors get headaches or fever after a while. Don't panic if you meet this disease, it's more frequent than you'd imagine. But drinking regularly enough mineral water while your stay may prevent you from being sick. We recommand the national Tigerhead mineral water.
Try to stay away from the sun rays for the same reason, since you might become more pale than suntanned :-)

There're a few snakes in Don Det, but only really few dangerous ones. The bite might be painful, but most likely not serious. Scorpions and tarentulas are also present although rarely spotted, and not dangerous.

If you go out in the evening, on foot or by bicycle, bring a flashlight to find your way back!

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