2015 - North-Eastern Thailand and Laos - Day 11

North-Eastern (I-San) Thailand and Laos, 16 Nov - 10 Dec 2015 (25days)
Sri Isan Hotel air-well and court-yard.

Day 11 (26 Nov) Ubon Ratchathani to Pakse to Si Phan Don in Laos (291km)

At 9.30am we took a bus from Ubon Ratchathani directly to Pakse, Laos (140km). At 11.30am we arrived at the border crossing town of Chong Mek for immigration check. At 12noon we departed Chong Mek and arriving at Pakse bus station at 12.40pm for lunch. 

From here at 2pm we took a big songthaew to Nakasong Pier (151km) arriving at 5pm, where we took a boat to Don Det Island, one of the islands in Si Phan Don or four thousand islands. I must say that today was the longest traveling time as we started at 9.30am and arriving at our destination at about 7pm - almost 10 hours of traveling time. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed the journey and at day-end we had more Beer Lao during dinner to reflect on the long journey.

Sleeping at Lebijou Guesthouse, Don Det Island

The beautiful ambiance of this Sri Isan Hotel, Ubon Ratchathani.

Sri Isan Hotel reception area.

Sri Isan Hotel music and reading area.

Sri Isan Hotel dinning hall.

Self service breakfast on the hotel.

A photo shoot at the air-well court-yard before we left for Laos.

The 3Cs: Chan Meng Fye, Chew Leng Soon and Ching Neng Bin

Road crossing by: Chew Leng Soon, Chan Meng Fye, Ching Neng Bin

The bus departures from Ubon Ratchathani directly to Pakse on the Thai-Lao International Bus at 9.30am and 3.30pm. The total distance is about 140km. A passport or border pass is required when purchasing tickets.

At the Thai immigration office in Chong Mek. The path from the Thai immigration building to the Lao immigration counters is not well marked once you pass through the gate between the two countries. The Lao immigration building is about 100 meters down a dusty trail from the fence.

Chong Mek duty free shops.

The road in front of Laos immigration office.

It takes about 2 hours to get the border crossing at Chong Mek where you have to get off the bus and get a visa. Passengers have to walk across to the Lao side then get back to the bus again after the visa is granted. As for us Malaysians we need not apply visa.

At Pakse small bus station which is 8km away from Pakse town.

The bus or songthaew to 4,000 islands depend on where you go - the 3 main islands (Don Khong, Don Det or Don Khon). Don Khong has a different departure point where else both Don Det and Don Khon take boats from Ban Nakasong pier.

We took a truck bus or songthaew to Nakasong pier before taking a boat ride to Don Det island in Si Phan Don, Laos. On the far side was Mr Minnie and children, a Brit from Liverpool, and managed the King Kong restaurant & guesthouse in Don Det island. He had been very helpful in giving us information about the Si Phan Don islands.

Vendors selling fried chickens at one of the stops.

This is boiled balut, a half-hatched duck egg eaten by a passenger.



Sunset view when crossing to Don Det Island on the Mekong River.

The beautiful evening view of Mekong River from the Don Det beach and jetty.

We had dinner at Khamphong Restaurant beside Don Det jetty.

Khamphong Restaurant. Don Det is a backpacker's island. It has the most restaurants and accommodation.

Sleeping at Lebijou Guesthouse, Don Det Island.

Lebijou Guesthouse, Don Det Island.

Map of Si Phan Don or 4,000 Islands Laos.

By boat from Nakasong pier to Don Det Island.

Click below to view:
Day 01 (16.11.15) AirAsia AK 856 KUL. 12.45pm to Chiang Mai, (1738km)
Day 02 (17 Nov) Chiang Mai to Loei to Phu Kradueng to Khon Kaen (691km)
Day 03 (18 Nov) Khon Kaen City walk around
Day 04 (19 Nov) Khon Kaen City to Kalasin (80km)
Day 05 (20 Nov) Kalasin to Sakon Nakhon (129km)

Day 06 (21 Nov) Sakon Nakhon to Nakhon Phanom (92km)
Day 07 (22 Nov) Nakhon Phanom - day trip to Thakhek, Laos (62km)
Day 08 (23 Nov) Nakhon Phanom to Mukdahan (125km)
Day 09 (24 Nov) Mukdahan - trip to Phu Pha Thoet National Park (108km)
Day 10 (25 Nov) Mukdahan to Ubon Ratchathani by bus (194km)

Day 11 (26 Nov) Ubon Ratchathani to Pakse to Si Phan Don, Laos (291km)
Day 12 (27 Nov) Si Phan Don - a long walk to Somphamit Waterfall
Day 13 (28 Nov) Si Phan Don to Ubon Ratchathani by bus (291km)
Day 14 (29 Nov) Ubon Ratchathani to Si Sa Ket by van (67km)
Day 15 (30 Nov) Si Sa Ket to Buri Ram by train (148km)

Day 16 (01 Dec) Buri Ram - day visit to 3 places (219km)
Day 17 (02 Dec) Buri Ram to Nakhon Ratchasima by train (129km)
Day 18 (03 Dec) Nakhon Ratchasima - day trip to Phimai (120km)
Day 19 (04 Dec) Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok by train (264km)
Day 20 (05 Dec) Bangkok - Chao Phraya River boat ride to Khaosan Road

Day 21 (06 Dec) Bangkok - rest day and dinner at Royal Bangkok Sports Club
Day 22 (07 Dec) Bangkok to Prachuap Khiri Khan by train (320km)
Day 23 (08 Dec) Prachuap Khiri Khan
Day 24 (09 Dec) Prachuap Khiri Khan to Hatyai by night train (660km)
Day 25 (10 Dec) Hatyai to Butterworth by train and to KL by bus (555km)