Authentic Southern Laos - 5 Days / 4 Nights5 5 (1 reviews)
Pakse → Bolaven Plateau → Ban Kiat Ngong → Don Khone
South of Laos is beautiful and must rank as one of the last great pristine travel destinations in Southeast Asia. It is an adventurer's playground & nowhere is that more true than the southern reaches of this country's jungles: cliffs, waterfalls, and rivers of legend & myth. Explore authentic Southern Laos on this 5-day journey through sleepy towns, coffee plantations, temple ruins, wetlands and river villages.
If you are wondering what to do in Laos for five days, look at saolatours.com's exceptional Laos Vacation Packages. Designed to cater to all types of travelers, these packages offer an immersive and unforgettable experience in this Southeast Asian gem. Begin your journey by exploring the mystical city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning temples, serene riverside views, and vibrant night markets. Immerse yourself in the local culture as you participate in an alms-giving ceremony at sunrise or witness saffron-robed monks walking barefoot collecting offerings.
Embark on a scenic boat ride along the Mekong River and visit the awe-inspiring Kuang Si Waterfalls, where turquoise waters cascade down limestone formations, creating a natural paradise. Continue your adventure by visiting Vientiane, the capital city with a rich history and diverse architecture. Marvel at renowned landmarks such as Pha That Luang - Laos' national symbol - and Wat Sisaket, featuring over 2,000 Buddha images within its walls. From there, venture into the picturesque countryside to discover Vieng Xay's hidden caves, which served as secret shelters during wartime, or enjoy kayaking amidst lush landscapes along Nam Ngum Lake – offering tranquility like no other place on earth!
These carefully crafted itineraries presented by saolatours.com guarantee an enchanting blend of cultural insights and breathtaking natural wonders that will leave you spellbound throughout your stay in Laos!
On arrival at Pakse International Airport, meet tour guide and driver then begin your Champasak discoveries with a scenic drive through mountains and winding roads all the way up to the region of Bolaven Plateau. An expanse of highland formed an ancient volcano, Bolaven Plateau is resplendent with lush jungles, rivers, scenic farmlands and diverse ethnic communities. Explore this naturally beautiful and cool climate elevated region. Start with a visit to the Tad Fane Waterfalls, 120 meters high and located in the Dong Hua Sao Nature Reserve. Continue to the Tad Champi and Tad Yeung waterfalls, which drop an impressive 42 meters and are surrounded by lush vegetation. Then head to a tea and coffee plantation and learn why the Bolaven Plateau is an ideal area for these plantations. Enjoy an exceptional fresh organic cup of coffee prepared with a unique technique at the Jhai Coffee House in Paksong and meet some ethnic minorities.
Transfer back to Pakse, the most important town in southern Laos. If time permits, take a short orientation tour of Pakse, explore its colonial and Chinese-style buildings and a local market. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Accommodation: Hotel in Pakse.
After breakfast, check out the hotel and journey south to Kiat Ngong Ramsar site. Stop at Wat Phou, otherwise known as Vat Phou, to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back more than 1,000 years, Wat Phou is a spectacular pre-Angkorian temple that sits amidst the rice fields and waterways of southern Laos. Explore this mythical temple ruins and tumbledown structures.
Then cross the Mekong River and continue by car to the quaint village of Ban Kiat Ngong. The Ban Kiat Ngong Wetlands complex, a part of the Xe Pian National Protected Area, is made up of diverse wetland types, including swamps, lakes, peat lands and marshes.
Check your ecolodge and enjoy lunch here (on your own account).
Later, a guided trek will take you inside the tropical forest that covers the surrounding area of this famous archeological site. You will also visit the enigmatic Vat Phu Asa Temple for stunning vistas over large swathes of Southern Laos, while rain-forest trails yield archaeological ruins and endangered wildlife.
Back to the Kingfisher Ecolodge in Beung Kiat Ngong Village and spend rest of the day at leisure. Life in this remote area is peaceful and simple. Time slowly glides by while enjoying the ordinary things, water buffalo grazing in slow motion, while in the distance a flock of white birds plays in the sky and dazzling stars in the tropical night...
Accommodation: Hotel in Ban Kiat Ngong in Champasak.
Today you will leave the lodge early (before dawn) with your trained birding guide. As soon as you arrive at the Hide, you will have the pleasure of enjoying the bird activity in the day's early light when birds are most active. The Ban Kiet Ngong wetland is considered to be one of the most important areas in Indochina for waterbirds. Here you have opportunities to find the vanishingly rare Giant Ibis, the White-winged Wood-Duck, the Sarus Crane, the Lesser Adjutant and the White-shouldered Ibis. With over 320 species of birds present on the wetlands, it is certainly one of the best places in Laos to view such a wide variety of wetland dwelling birds.
Return to the ecolodge after a 3-hour bird watching experience. Enjoy delicious and light Laotian noodles and salads are served in the restaurant overlooking the lake.
Spend a couple of hours to relax as long as you like or discover the surroundings yourselves. Then head to the Si Phan Don – otherwise known as the "4,000 Islands" – dotted along the Mekong River. The remainder of the day, you are free at leisure.
Accommodation: Hotel in Don Khone.
There's only one way to really explore the waters surrounding Don Khone and that's by kayak. This morning you can do just that with the assistance of a local guide who can show you where the calmest and most picturesque waterways are. Alternatively, go to the river with an experienced kayaker and tackle some of its more challenging eddies and rapids.
In the afternoon, embark on a traditional boat and cruise amongst the Siphandon riverine archipelago. Discover this peaceful rural island where locals live out a simple life. Once a minor 19th century French Indochina settlement, Don Khong reveals a handful of colonial-era buildings including an old French railway station. Visit awesome Liphi Waterfalls, nicknamed the "Corridor of the Devil", a natural border between Laos and Cambodia and habitat of the rare Irrawaddy dolphins (sadly, the last known river dolphin in the transboundary pool in the Mekong between Laos and Cambodia was found dead on 15 February 2022).
Enjoy free time of the day at your hotel in Done Khone.
Accommodation: Hotel in Don Khone.
Enjoy the riverside scenes in the morning before making your way to Pakse to catch your departure flight. On the drive back, make one last stop at Khone Phapheng Waterfall, where you can take a moment to enjoy the cooling waters before your journey onward.
Accommodations with daily breakfast.
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
Services of a private driver and an air-conditioned vehicle.
Service of an English speaking guide.
Bottled drinking water & wet tissues.
Private boat trip from Luang Prabang to Pak Ou Cave and from Nong Kiau to Muong Khua
Entrance fees, boat trip & excursions.
International flights into and out Laos.
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary.
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels.
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.).
Tips and gratuities.
Personal travel insurance.
Visa stamp fee.