When to go
Visiting kayakers, you should be proficient in Class 5 whitewater, will find more safe channels in December/january when the river level is dropping. At most other times, the volume is simply too large.
How to get there
The quickest way in is to fly to Pakse in Southern Laos then catch a bus for the four-hour ride to the 4,000 Islands. However, the expense and poor connections mean many choose to travel from larger airports in neighbouring Cambodia or Vietnam.
Where to stay
Choose the sunset or west side of the islands. The plush Mama Luerth’s Guest House is the top end at US$10 a night, while there are mid-range places like Oi’s Place or Tena One for US$5 a night, and even cheaper options with shared bathrooms and no hot water. The further south you go, the more ‘hippie’ the demographic becomes.
Keep in mind
While relaxed, Laos is a communist country. Respect any house or island rules or traditions as the authorities may punish your host family for your behaviour.
For a range of videos from the Si Pan Don expedition please visit follow-the-river.com