The freshwater Irrawaddy Dolphins of the Mekong River are said to have come to the rescue of travellers and locals struggling with the strong current. If you are lucky, you will see these dolphins off the southern end of Don Khon.
There are two launching points to charter a boat to the Irrawaddy dolphins playing ground. One is most famous at Ban Hong Khon, the other is at Long Beach. It’s much quieter at long beach and the boat drivers will try to charge more than the 60,000 KIP per boat (max 3 people) charged in the main town. Early in the morning or after 3pm is a good time to go for the chance to see the dolphins. The ride out from Long Beach is a very scenic one full of bright green trees that have been blown or shaped by the strong river current as they all have this lean-to effect. Water buffalos continue to mulch without being bothered by the loud engine noise of the long tail boat.
Drivers usually kill their engine as they approach the area and allow passengers to climb up onto some perfectly located rocks as a viewing point in the middle of the river (this will change depending upon the time of year). Stand or sit patiently and watch the dolphins surface every once in a little while or play with each other. It’s nice to see them even if they are off into the distance. Our driver was very good as he’d slow down if any of us pulled our camera up to take a photo. A very enjoyable experience for the scenery and the chance to see these endangered mammals.