Spend five days and travel south in Laos to experience areas seldom explored on a Laos tour. Witness the coffee production process on the Bolaven Plateau, explore breathtaking waterfalls such as Tad Fane and Li Phi Waterfalls in the 4,000 Islands region along the Mekong River. Travel through the enchanting Champasak region and see the famed Wat Phou temple. This unique Laos tour can also be combined with travel to Siem Reap in Cambodia.
Explore the Mekong River and its waterfalls and the 4,000 Islands region
Visit the region's small villages which still carry on ancient traditions
Interact with Asian elephants and meet the mahouts, the elephant trainers
Today travel towards the Bolaven Plateau, located between the Mekong River and the Annamite mountains. This region was largely inhabited by the Laven ethnic group in the past, and their traditions still carry on in some minority villages in the plateau. Visit the village of Katu, Ta Oyh, Ngai and some Lao lum villages today. Learn a bit about the tribes and their cultures, as well as visit the famed waterfalls of Tad Fane and Tad Phasuam in this area. The Bolaven Plateau is more recently known for its agricultural production, namely its Arabica coffee. Settle into your hotel this evening.
After breakfast, meet your guide at the hotel lobby. Then take a private transfer to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple that predates Angkor Wat. Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Wat Phou boasts a pre-angkorian temple structure built upon three levels. In its early days, this temple served as the region's primary economic and political hub. The lower level emphasizes the baray (water reservoir) and the promenade connecting to the second level, which includes galleries and quadrangular pavilions. The upper level houses the sanctuary itself.
Following your visit to Wat Phou, you'll continue by minivan to the Don Khong boat pier, where your boat is waiting. You'll cruise on a private local boat (long trail boat) to the serene islands of Don Det and Don Khone on the Mekong River. The journey takes approximately 2 hours to reach Don Khone, providing a relaxing experience.
Don Khone Island was pivotal in the French colonization of South East Asia. However, the waterfalls of 4,000 islands posed a significant barrier to French naval ambitions. During this half-day exploration led by your guide, you'll embark on a biking journey through rice paddies, small villages, and organic gardens. This tour includes visiting the old narrow-gauge railway, constructed by the French colonists to bypass the waterfalls, the Liphi waterfalls themselves, and an exploration of an old railway engine car. Additionally, you'll embark on a river cruise to Cambodia, where you can enjoy an Angkor Beer and observe the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins, one of Earth's few freshwater dolphin species. As the day comes to a close, you'll bike back to the village center to savor a delicious and authentic "Kao Piak" noodle soup before returning to your hotel.
Day 5: Return Pakse
This morning, check out and take the ferry boat to meet your driver and transfer to Pakse Airport for your flight onward.
Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.