kon phapheng waterfalls

Khon Phapheng falls © Baba Don Det.

Khon Phapheng waterfalls (mainland)

Near the border with Cambodia (map), the Khon Phapheng Falls (or the "big falls") are the largest in southeast Asia and they are the main reason that the Mekong is not fully navigable from Cambodia into China.
The highest falls reach to 21 meters, and the succession of rapids stretch 9.7 km of the river's length.
In the late 19th century French colonialists made repeated attempts to navigate the falls but their efforts failed. This difficulty led to the construction of the Don Det / Don Khon narrow gauge railway.

How to reach them from Don Det ?
The first possibility is to subscribe a kayaking tour, that includes the Khon Phapheng Falls in the program.
The second option to see the huge Khon Phapheng Falls from Don Det is to cross the river to Nakasang (the main land, see the map), if possible in the morning when there are more tuk-tuks (read the section transportation Don Det > Nakasang). The Phapheng Falls are located 12 km from Nakasang. You can take a go and a return with a local driver who will wait for you 2 hours on the place. The price of the course depends on the number of passengers, and the length of the wait. Entrance fee to the Falls is 3 USD in 2024.
You can also ask Bounmie (near Baba Guesthouse) to drive his boat towards the Phapheng falls. The price is approximately 20 USD /course for 3 hours. Bounmie can also organize tours at sunset to visit Si Phan Don.

Somphamit / Liphi Waterfalls (Don Khone)

The Liphi waterfall (map) is a collection of powerful falls spilling down at odd angles along a branch of the brown Mekong river. To get there, on foot or by bicycle from BABA guesthouse, just go straight on the main path towards South, following the Mekong, during about 3 km, until the old French Bridge. Cross that bridge, then take the first right immediately after, and follow the signs. Entrance fee to Liphi Falls is 30'000 kips in 2024. A short walk down river from the waterfall is a place called the beach: simply a sandy section of the river, where you can have a dip.
To go by tuk-tuk, ask Bounmie, who owns a comfortable vehicle, near Baba Guesthouse.

liphi waterfalls

Liphi waterfalls at dusk © Baba Don Det.

Watch this 55 seconds Youtube video to get a preview.

Bridge between Don Det and Don Khone

Don Det is joined with Don Khone by a historic railway bridge built by the French in 1910. Read the complete article concerning this Don Det-Don Khone narrow gauge railway on Wikipedia.

locomotive with goats

Historic locomotive used as podium by goats © Baba Don Det

Next to the bridge sits an old locomotive, one of the last remnants of the railway, and another one is located near the old French landing pier (map).

photo bridge

Old bridge between Don Det and Don Khone © Romain Brengues.

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