Southern SunStart this tour by exploring the waterfalls of the Bolaven Plateau.
Start this tour by exploring the waterfalls of the Bolaven Plateau. All are stunning and each and every one of them has its own character. The twin falls of Tad Lo are most famous, but the ones that really strike us are hidden in the jungle of Bolaven, often only reached by jeep and through treks.
The coffee plantations are of great interest as well. To see and take part of the cultivation of the coffee beans is interesting but to stay at the plantation as the local stay is a memorable experience.
Travel further south along the Mekong and visit Don Daeng. Cycle around and experience some of the most relaxing life you have ever taken part of. The nearby temple of Vat Phou is a UNESCO awarded Khmer structure that overlooks the plains below.
Next up is the Xe Pian National Park, which has a number of special attractions and the Kingfisher Ecolodge. Caring for elephants is a great way to learn more about the role of elephants in Laotian society and why the country is called the Land of a Million Elephants.
The journey ends in Si Phan Don. The Mekong in this area provides for an amazing setting with many islands that are home to many trails for some recreational cycling. Asia’s biggest falls are also situated here and the Mekong islands even have a number of beaches where you can chill out and swim in the river.
Length of Tour: 13 days This tour is perfectly fitted to be extended with a stay in Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane prior to arrival in Pakse. That would make it a tour of three weeks in total. Or opt to add Northern Cambodia to the tour and end at Angkor Wat by adding Stung Treng, Kratie, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to the tour making it a total of about 22 days. Many different extensions are possible that link to more mainstream programs (as suggested here) or to more off the beaten track destinations such as Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri (Cambodia).
Outline of the tour
Arrive in Pakse and enjoy a free afternoon
Transfer to the Bolaven Plateau and visit along the way farms, waterfalls, and villages
Enjoy a trip in a 1960’s military jeep through the jungle visiting waterfalls off the beaten track
Learn all about coffee and trek to amazing viewpoints where you set up camp and campfire
Wake up at a cliff overviewing the valleys and trek through the jungle
Transfer to Don Daeng and cycle the local villages on the island
Visit Champasak district and the UNESCO temple of Vat Phou. Make a trek around the area
Transfer to Xe Pian National Park and take part in elephant caretaking activities
Enjoy a day in Xe Pian and opt to trek, boat or kayak around
Transfer to Don Khone and enjoy a boat trip over the Mekong River with a visit to Asia’s largest falls
Cycle the islands of Don Khone and Don Det and take in authentic Mekong river life
Enjoy a free day on Don Khone
Transfer to Pakse Airport for your flight out
The unique aspects of this tour
- Cultural diversity with many different Ethnic groups
- Camping on a cliff and in the wild, providing for your own fire and meals
- Professionally lead jeep safari through the real backlands of the Bolaven Plateau
- Seeing the biggest and wildest waterfalls this part of Asia has to offer
- Enjoying the most relaxed atmosphere in the area in the 4000 islands area
- Easy going cycling adventures along the Mekong
- Caring for elephants and understanding the role of elephants in Laotian society
- Very diverse stays at local farms, campsites but also authentic lodges offering all comforts needed
- A sunset to remember
What does our expert say about this tour?
“Where Laos is pretty unknown, the south part of our country is even lesser known. Backpackers have found their way for many years to Southern Laos and for good reason. This part of Laos remains pretty much undeveloped and people take their steps even slower than in other parts of our diverse country. This area is rough in terms of nature. Some of the wildest and biggest waterfalls can be found in the south. Next to all that natural roughness you will find local kindness. To be able to take part of village life and explore the national parks by jeep, bicycle, kayak or on foot adds to the experience. I love to actively explore the nature, history and river in this part of Laos. Even though at times I have to step out of my own comfort zone to camp or stay at a local farm, it adds much to the experience I have had in the south. All these different places I stayed, they all have something spectacular to add and each and every place was so different from the other. I definitely recommend this trip if you do not want a boring roundtrip!“
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