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Kratie to Laos, Don Khong

Kent, United Kingdom
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13 posts
47 reviews
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Kratie to Laos, Don Khong

Hi there. We'll be in Kratie next week. Can anyone recommend a reliable etc trip we can book to get us across into Laos and to Don Khong island please? We will need to get visas at the border.


London, United...
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2 posts
33 reviews
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1. Re: Kratie to Laos, Don Khong

Hi there, we have arrived today having just completed that journey! Word of warning, be prepared to wait, and expect some problems at border. First of, we stayed at the very nice river dolphin hotel in kratie , its nice, just out of town, but they offer free tuk tuk lifts into and back from town. The hotel has small pool, and is well run, in that slightly shambolic Cambodian way. The manager arranged 18 dollars each for us to get two minivans and ferry to don khong.

What she didn't say, (and we tried to be clear, to no avail) how that would be, how long would we wait in stung treng ? for example, it was very vague. We got dropped off at nearby cafe at 715am and got a mini van to stung treng. It only became clear as we got to stung treng that a fellow passenger ( Cambodian) was a friend of the river dolphin hotel and it was his job to use his connections to get us there. We arrived after a gruelling journey at 1015.the bus was loaded up half way with scuptured dolphins, with the removal of our bags, then a rearrangement of various people, if the road to stung treng was bad, then then the 64 k trip to the border was dire! Sometimes it appeared impossible that would come out of the other side of the lunar sized pot holes. The trip was 64 k but it took 2 1/2 hours. Our newly acquired guide stated that the Cambodian border required 1 dollar for their Christmas fund, they merely stamp your outgoing visa, and the lao border also require 1 dollar plus $35 for visa. It was completely straight forward but our river dolphin man did the negotiating, in our presence. You could try not paying the bribe, but personally, I thought it was worth it, not good, but vital for oiling the rusty wheels of Cambodia and lao.

We did wait nearly 2 hours at stung treng for a mini van, there are infrequent minivans plying this route, so try to establish that you'll have a connecting bus, our ' guide' made a few calls when we got to stung treng. But speak to the river dolphin owner, and mention me, she will remember us, I'm certain. My advice would be seek this guy out from the river dolphin manager, be prepared for major vagueness, and be clear with all concerned that the $18 covers the 10 min ferry from the mainland. We understand from the hotel manager of pon areana on don khong that the road bridge has been open a week, so that is an option. The going rate in kratie is about $16 to go to don det, so an extra 2 dollars seems right. The road though from stung treng is diabolical, I have travelled in Senegal and Mali on bad roads but this one takes the biscuit. PS its blimmin lovely in don khong once you get here, its worth the bum ache and hassle.

2. Re: Kratie to Laos, Don Khong

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