All of Don Khong’s guesthouses serve food, and, as you might expect, fish is the island’s staple. The islanders have dozens of recipes, all worthy of a place on your plate – from the traditional làp pa (a Lao-style salad of minced fish mixed with garlic, chillies, shallots and fish sauce) to fish steamed in coconut milk – but whatever you do, be sure to try the island speciality, mók pa. Steamed in banana leaves, this sublime fish dish has the consistency of custard and takes an hour to prepare.

For this and just about anything else, Pon’s River Guesthouse stands out as having the best restaurant in Muang Khong. If it’s Chinese food and a perfect river view you’re after, head for the restaurant at the Souksan, which stands on stilts above the Mekong. Done Khong Guesthouse, once the only place to eat in town, remains popular and its banana crepes are divine. Most restaurants and guesthouses rustle up tasty Western breakfasts.

The people of Si Phan Don are very proud of their lào-láo, which has gained a reputation nationally as one of the best rice whiskies in Laos. For those who haven’t taken a liking to Lao white lightning, you’re in luck: Muang Khong has devised a gentler blend known as the “Lao cocktail”, a mix of wild honey and lào-láo served over ice with a dash of lime.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Laos features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

16 captivating pictures of hill tribes in Laos

16 captivating pictures of hill tribes in Laos

Professional travel photographer Tim Draper has shot images for 24 Rough Guides guidebooks, visiting far-flung corners of the world. Here he shares some of his …

07 Sep 2017 • Tim Draper insert_drive_file Article
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

1. Thailand There’s a reason why Thailand remains so popular with backpackers – it’s got idyllic islands, a rich culture, beach-huts aplenty, tantalising…

21 Aug 2015 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
6 special places to stay in Laos

6 special places to stay in Laos

Until the 1990s, Laos remained shut off from the outside world, and largely unknown to Western travellers. Since then, more and more visitors have come to disco…

19 Dec 2014 • Site Editor insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month