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Southern Laos Adventure

Southern Laos is the worthiest destination to visit in Laos. The area has its all to offer to tourists including the mountainous area of Bolaven Plateau with plenty of colorful hill tribe village, amazing waterfalls, and green nature; the World Heritage Site of Wat Phou; or the exciting of 4000-island area. All will be included in the 10-day Southern Laos Adventure.

HIGHLIGHTS

Various activities on sites

  • Trek to explore waterfalls in remote area in Bolaven Plateau
  • Jeep tour tracing the Coffee Trail (Coffee Trail Experience)
  • Tuk Tuk tour around the 4000-island area to explore some interesting spots
  • Hiking up to the top of Wat Phou Salao to enjoy the panoramic view over town of Mekong and the city of Pakse

Unforgettable moments

  • Driving through the Bolaven Plateau with special jeep
  • Learning about the coffee production in Laos, something you cannot miss
  • The panoramic view from Wat Phou Salao over the city of Pakse and Mekong river
  • The leisure cruise along the mighty Mekong River

Nature exploration

  • The scenic green mountainous area of Bolaven Plateau with various watefalls, and plantation
  • The untouched and beautiful nature along Mekong River
  • The amazing Khone Phapheng waterfalls, one of the biggest waterfalls of the world

Culture experience

  • Visit plenty of local village in Bolaven Plateau, especial the 1-night stay with the local family during jeep tour
  • Visit some temple and museum along the way to learn about the culture of Laos
  • Explore the ruin of mysterious temple of Wat Phou to learn about the history of southern Laos

Map

Detailed schedule

Day 1 - Welcome to Pakse

On arrival at the Pakse international airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel (early check in upon availability)
Founded by the French in 1905 as an administrative post, the capital of Champasak Province is a relatively new town at the confluence of the Mekong and Se Don rivers. 
If time permits, we will first visit Ban Khoh, which specializes in stone carving, and walk to the nearby Wat Chomphet, which hosts the biggest sitting Buddha in Laos.
Late afternoon, we will ascend to the top of Wat Phou Salao to admire the panoramic view over the town of Pakse, and the nearby area, whilst the dark is falling over the city.
Overnight in Pakse

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Day 2 - Pakse - Bolaven - Fandee Island

After breakfast, we head east to Pakse and onto the Bolaven Plateau. The Bolaven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. 
Stop at a tea plantation, followed by a brief visit to Tad Fan Waterfall, a picturesque twin chute waterfall. 
We then visit Tad Yeung, where we can take a refreshing dip before continuing further into the mountainous area.
Visit Tha Teng colourful ethnic minority food market. 
Next explore a couple of fascinating minority villages, Ban Bong Neua, an Alak village that boasts a sacrificial altar, and Ban Kokphung, a Katu village where they keep coffins under their houses. 
From there, we drive further to Tadlo Waterfalls, upon arrival, we will trek to visit waterfall and other minority village near by Tadlo area of Ban Kiengtanglae and Ban Nanong. 
from there, we will transfer to the nearby Fandee Island, where we will spend the night on a treehouse or the lake side bungalow.
The owner of the guesthouse is a French couple, who first came to Laos in 2007 an felt in love with the friendly hospitality of the local people. 
During the dinner, you have plenty of time to talk with them and learn more about their efforts in helping local people cope with daily life and have a better future.
Overnight at Fandee Island

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Day 3 - Jeep Tour to Mystic Moutain

09:00Am, we will meet the Jeep tour specialist at Chai Coffee, and have some discussion with him there when enjoying a cup of coffee.
After that, we will hop on the Jeep and drive 30 minutes to Tad Moun Waterfalls, where we can enjoy the fresh cool water, and visit the nearby vegetable farm.
11:00 Am, we continue driving to the Coffee Farm of Mr. Khamsone via the 10KM bumpy and muddy road, which will take you 01 hour with your special Jeep car.
Upon arrival, Mr khamsone, the Coffee farm’s owner will take 1hr to demonstration about coffee Roasting step and finishing by a coffee cupping to Savor the different kind of coffee (Robusta, Arabica and Typica).  
We will have the picnic lunch on the farm at around 1:30PM before walking to the nearby refugee cave, which is used as the hidden place by the local villagers during the war time.
After that, we will continue walking along the farm to see the volcano mountain named Phou Sanark where we can enjoy the view over the farm and the nearby villages during the sunset.
You can learn to cook Lao foods with the wife of Mr. Khamsone while preparing the dinner with her. Overnight at the tent camp at the coffee farm

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Day 4 - Mystic Moutain - Tad Tayicseua

09:00 am: After breakfast we continue driving by JEEP for 14km or 1hr to Laven village name’s B Setkhord. In this village there are 500 families living in around 100 years old.
So, during the France Indochina, these plateau call Laven plateau, which means: An area or the hometown of Laven people living. Upon arrival, we can walk around, and our guide can tell you more stories about this village.
We then drive to Tad Say Waterfall where we will have the picnic lunch 
After that we will drive to a Suay Village named B Darsia, where you can see many traditional house. 30% of the house here is still the traditionally built long house, and 60% is the traditional house. 
The house is the place, where many generations will share together. The family use the house for all daily activities such as cooking, eating, and sleeping.
At around 4PM, we arrive in Paksong and hop on the waiting minivan to transfer to Tad Tayicseua, which locates in the remote area, so called the big Bolaven loop. The transfer will take around 1 hour.
Upon arrival, check in your simple guesthouse of Tad Tayicseua.
Free for the rest of the day to relax.
Overnight at Tad Tayicseua Guesthouse
 

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Day 5 - Waterfalls trek - Back to Pakse

Wake up early morning, we will walk to the nearby Ja Rou Kiet Oak waterfall, where we will enjoy the view over the surrounding area.
After breakfast, we will continue with the official trekking route made by the guesthouse owner. The trek will take at least 3 to 4 hours depending on your level of fitness.
As you begin, you will hear Ja Rou Ha Lang, perhaps the most magnificent waterfall of the Bolaven Plateau, calling out to you. You can go so close to the falls that you can cool off in the refreshing mist. The journey takes you through vividly coloured flora and banana trees, which in the breeze seem to dance to the tune of the falling water.  
Continue the trek and you can explore more elusive waterfalls nestled deeper in the forest like Ja Rou Man Druen! Further on, the canopy of the forest will open completely and lead you out into open valleys with great swimming options – such as Ja Rou Tha La Leui. Immersing yourself in the cool water truly enhances the experience.
The picnic lunch will be served in the middle of nowhere whilst the sound of nature is the only thing you can sense.
You have ample time to enjoy and take a dip if you wish before walking back to the guesthouse.
We then transfer back to Pakse to spend the night.

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Day 6 - Pakse - Wat Phou - Khong Island

After breakfast, transfer by road to Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer religious complex dating back to the 5th Century. 
Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Wat Phou is a spectacular pre-Angkorian temple that sits amidst the rice fields and waterways of southern Laos, which was built by the rulers of the Khmer empire before the construction of Angkor Wat. 
The temple served as the most important economic and political centre of the region and still is one of the Lao people’s most revered temples.
Pass through the small town of Champasak, where French colonial buildings offer a great contrast to Wat Phou. Continue south, stopping at the wood carving village of Ban Nong Bune.
From there, we will transfer further south to 4000 Island area. Called “Sipandon” in Lao language, this area is where the Mekong stretches to over 14km wide. The river flows between an unknown number of islands, creating waterfalls and rapids. 
Today, we will stop at the biggest island of Done Khong, where we will spend the night

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Day 7 - Kayaking 4000 Islands

After breakfast, we paddle down the Mekong passing by peaceful island villages and forests until at a small island beach where we enjoy a picnic lunch and spend some time relaxing. 
In the afternoon, we continue onwards to Don Khone Island passing plenty of small islands and islets. There are also many fishing boats of local people looking for the day catches.
We arrive in Done Khone around mid-afternoon, transfer to your hotel to take some rest.
If time permits, we head our for a walk around the island to see the local lives and admire the sunset along the bank of the Mekong River
Overnight in Khone Island
 

Notes

Approximately: 2.5 hours transfer, 4.5 hours kayaking

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Day 8 - Walking & Kayaking 4000 Islands

After enjoying breakfast, we take a short morning walk to visit some of the colonial buildings on the island before continuing onwards to the see the spectacular Liphi Waterfall, we stand watching as the waterfall and listen as the water crashes down over the rocks. 
Picnic lunch will be served near the waterfall.
We then paddle on downstream to Ban Hang Khone which takes us through some much more tranquil waters and through the gorges giving you the chance to take in the beautiful views. 
Arriving at Ban Hang Khone, we paddle onwards for a short while to an area inhabited with dolphins. 
After spending some time in the area and hopefully spotting some dolphins we return via boat back to Khone Island to spend the night

Notes

Approximately: 2.5 hours walking, 2.5 hours kayaking, 30-minute boat ride
 

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Day 9 - Khone Phapheng - Pakse (Cycling + Kayaking)

After enjoying breakfast, we cycle to the end of Don Khone Island, from here we enjoy a short boat ride to Don en Island and begin paddling, from here we head downstream for around two hours to Thakhe village, passing through some exciting rapids along the way! 
After stopping at the village for a while we board an awaiting tuktuk which transports us to the spectacular Khone Phapheng Waterfall, we take some time to take in the amazing views and enjoy lunch which is served amongst the breathtaking background! 
After lunch we take a short walk to view the falls from above which gives a completley different perspective and another amazing set of views, the sheer power of the water at such a close range is truly staggering!
We then transfer back to Pakse to spend the night
 

Notes

Approximately: 2 Hours cycling, 2.5 hours kayaking and 30 minutes boat ride
 

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Day 10 - Pakse - Departure

You are free to stroll around the town for your own exploration before taking the departure flight.

Notes

Tip: It is worthwhile taking a short visit to Dream Weaver, which is dedicated to showcasing and selling local textiles which are made using ancient weaving techniques.
In addition to the fabric pieces on sale, you will also find some other souvenirs such as carvings.
All the proceeds of anything you buy are then funneled back into the local community and many of the pieces are made by victims of human trafficking who have been rescued.

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We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Laos, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

PLACES TO VISIT IN Laos
Luang Prabang
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The ancient capital of Lane Xang Kingdom

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Vientiane
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The ancient capital of Lane Xang Kingdom

4000 Islands
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Phonsavan
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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Laos PLANS BY TIME FRAME
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Laos BLOG ARTICLES

Though opened to tourism since the last 20 years, Laos still has many hidden places or gems that are waiting for the curious explorers. 

Xe Champhone Loop is one of the places.

Early September 2022, we made an Educ tour here, under the operation of Tetraktys Organization to explore the loop, which was an effort to promote the area to the international tourists.

We were impressed with what we saw and learnt here. The area is full of interesting nature spots, traditional culture, and hospitable hosts.

Below is everything you need to know about the area.

Stay tuned!

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The romance of train travel is alive and well in Laos. The recently-completed high-speed railway that stretches from Vientiane, through Laos, and into southern China is operating ‘full steam’ ahead. 

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Luang Prabang will celebrate the boat racing festival (Boun Souang Heua) in Namkhan River during Buddhist Lent Period, on August 26th, 2022.

A notice issued by Luang Prabang provincial office says that Luang Prabang will arrange Boun Hor Khaopadapdin, an annual festival held to feed spirits with home-made parcels of food, and the boat racing activities along Namkhan River. 

The province intends to promote the traditional festival and practices in hopes of attracting more domestic and foreign tourists, generating revenue for locals.

Traditional racing boats are made of a single tree and can accommodate up to fifty rowers.

The boats are considered sacred, are cleaned, and are given offerings which are believed to bring victory to the team.

In the downtown heart of Luang Prabang, there will also be gatherings and markets.

The festival will be held on August 26th, 2022, the same day with Boun Khao Padapdine.

Covid-19 put a stop to traditional customs and festivals for almost three years, but now that the measurements have been relaxed, tourist destinations in Laos expect to recommence festivities and offer hope for travelers.

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How long to spend in Laos may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out. 

How long can you stay in Laos? 

Well, as long as you like! From 7 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Laos and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Laos is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Laos with its neighbor countries. 

Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Laos.

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The Rocket Festival (Boun Bang Fai) is a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people near the beginning of the wet season in numerous villages and municipalities, in the regions of Northeastern Thailand and Laos. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians on the second day, and culminating on the third day in competitive firings of home-made rockets. Local participants and sponsors use the occasion to enhance their social prestige, as is customary in traditional Buddhist folk festivals throughout Southeast Asia.

The festival in Thailand also includes special programs and specific local patterns like Bung Fai (Parade dance) and a Beautiful Bung Fai float such as Yasothon the third weekend of May, and continues Suwannaphum District, Roi Et on the first weekend of June, Phanom Phrai District Roi Et during the full moon of the seventh month in Lunar year's calendar each year. The Bung Fai festival is not only found in Isan or Northeasthern Thailand and North Thailand and Laos, but also in Amphoe Sukhirin, Narathiwat.

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A report from Andy Jarosz from BBC Travel about his day trekking to the remote 100 waterfalls in Nong Khiaw 10 years ago (in 2012). The experience that you cannot miss when visiting the area. Check out the details as below so that you have some ideas of what to expect.

In the last four years, the rural village of Nong Khiaw has seen a steady stream of adventure travellers who want to experience the 10km trek before it disappears.

Strictly speaking, the name of the 100 Waterfalls Trek in northern Laos is misleading, since it is impossible to say how many waterfalls tumble through the thick jungle along the steady 10km ascent, with each one tumbling immediately into the next.

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