Image of Khon Phapheng © freeikon / Creative Commons
Located in southern Laos in the province of Champasak close to the Cambodian border, the Khone Phapheng waterfalls is one of the country’s most spectacular natural attractions. It covers a remarkable stretch in the Mekong River with a series of cascading waterfalls. The highest descent extends to more than 20 metres and mighty rapids go on for almost 10 kilometres. Its immense size and aggressive rush of water intimidate, but it’s also a sight that lures many visitors.
To see Southeast Asia’s widest waterfalls, Don Khon and Don Det islands in the riverine archipelago of Si Phan Done (also known as the 4,000 islands) are popular jump-off points. Don Det is well established in the backpacker trail for its budget digs and eateries and Don Khon is preferred for a more serene, Lao village life. From the two palm tree-fringed islands, you can take a tour to see the Khone Phapheng waterfalls, visit other islands, kayak navigable rapids, and see the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins.
When you make the trip to Champasack, remember that it’s also home to other beautiful waterfalls such as the majestic Pha Suam, the “twin torrents” of Tat Yeuang, and the 120-metre high Tad Fane falls, among others. It’s best to visit before the onset of the monsoon season in May when the raised water level of the Mekong submerges the rocks and rapids.
Image of Khon Phapheng © freeikon / Creative Commons.
Similar Southeast Asia Experiences
You’ll find an abundance of natural wonders to see in Southeast Asia. Visit the Philippines’ El Nido archipelago, take a cruise on Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, or swing by eastern Malaysia to Sarawak and Sabah, to venture into Gomantong Caves and Gunung Mulu Park. On the other side of Malaysia, you can also check out the natural treasures of Langkawi island.