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The Charms of Southern Laos

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

FROM $3,400 PER PERSON
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DURATION

9 days | 8 nights

DESTINATIONS

Laos

INTERESTS

Romance

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit coffee plantations to sample the local beans
  • Explore the ancient ruins of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wat Phu
  • Enjoy a stay on the banks of the Mekong on Don Daeng Island Kayak and cruise along the Mekong, looking for Irrawaddy dolphins

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Explore beautiful Southern Laos on this 9-day luxury journey through sleepy cities, coffee plantations, temple ruins, and river villages. Enjoy breathtaking mountain scenery by visiting the stunning Tad Fane waterfall, with its dizzying drop, and taking a dip in the pools of Tad Yeung. In the 4,000 Islands, enjoy the laid-back pace of Don Khone and Don Daeng Islands, explore local villages, and gain an inside peak into local Lao culture.

DAY-TO-DAY

DAY 1: Pakse

You'll start your 9-day luxury tour of Southern Laos in Pakse. This former administrative French colonial city is located at the junction of the Mekong and Xe Don rivers, and sports stunning water and mountain views. Home to ancient temples, French colonial architecture and lazy riverside restaurants, Pakse is a fantastic launch point for exploring the laid-back Southern Laos region. There is a selection of international hotels here – we recommend the Champasak Palace Hotel or the Champasak Grand Hotel. 

DAY 2: Pakse

The Bolaven Plateau, which presides over Pakse, is home to a growing number of coffee plantations, and today you'll embark upon an excursion to the agricultural village of Ban Katuu. Here, you'll get a glimpse of local coffee production and sample fresh Lao coffee. Go on to visit Talat Dao Heung Market near the Japanese Bridge, where you can bargain for coffee and browse colorful stalls of spices, dried fish, fresh fruits, and Lao sweets. In the evening, relax and enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant before retiring to your hotel.

DAY 3: Pakse

Today you'll explore another of the Bolaven Plateau's famous features: Tad Fane waterfall. Situated in dense rainforest, this waterfall has twin streams that plunge from an impressive height of 800 feet. Next you'll drive to Tad Yeung waterfall and the surrounding coffee plantation and enjoy a swim in its cool, clear waters. Return to your hotel in Pakse this evening.

DAY 4: Champasak

Make your way to Champasak today (1 hour's drive) to visit the ancient ruins of Wat Phu. Outdating Angkor Wat by almost 500 years, these ruins offer insight into the region's cultural heritage and still function today as a Buddhist worship site. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features intricate stone carvings bearing Hindu deities and moss-covered remains of shrines and courtyards. After exploring the site, you'll make your way to La Folie Lodge, on the banks of the Mekong. La Folie Lodge's wooden bungalows offer fantastic water, garden, and mountain views.

DAY 5: Champasak

Today, intrepid travelers can enjoy a tour of the river communities of Don Daeng. This area in the Mekong comprises more than 4,000 islands of various sizes, characterized by their laid-back pace the rustic wooden bungalows that comprise them. You'll get a rare glimpse of river life by visiting one of these communities, touring a local school, and meeting village elders. You'll eat with the residents, enjoying a traditional local meal of papaya salad (som tum), sticky rice, and grilled fish. 

DAY 6: Don Khone

The tiny island of Don Khone is your destination today. Measuring only 1.5 by 2.5 miles, this sleepy village sports thatch-roof huts and swaying palms, as well as a collection of old colonial buildings.  Take a tour of the colonial holdovers today, visiting old French villas and the narrow gauge railway that was constructed during World War II. Check into the Auberge Sala Don Khone tonight, a beautiful riverfront property that boasts a restored French colonial house and a floating restaurant offering wide views of the Mekong. 

DAY 7: Don Khone

There's only one way to really explore the waters surrounding Don Khone and that's by kayak. Today 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, you take to the river with an experienced kayaker and tackle some of its more challenging eddies and rapids. In the afternoon, you'll take a local boat ride to spot Irrawaddy dolphins. Numbers of Irrawaddy dolphins in the area are critically low, but tourism drives support to conserve these friendly creatures, who can most typically be seen at the southern tip of the island. Return to your resort in Don Khone tonight.    

DAY 8: Don Khone

Today you'll visit nearby islands, and take a day-trip to the silk weaving village of Ban Saphai. Ban Saphai is the historic capital of weaving in Champasak and it's here where you'll get a demonstration in "mut mee" weaving from local craftspeople and have the chance to pick up a traditional shoulder sash or skirt. Afterwards, explore the islands at your leisure by bicycle – the islands' most popular form of transport. Return to your resort on the riverside in Don Khone tonight. 

DAY 9: Pakse

Today you'll return to Pakse for your international departure flight. 

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TRAVELOGUES

TRAVELOGUES

Laos: Waterfalls of the Bolaven Plateau

Laos: Waterfalls of the Bolaven Plateau

Author : Juanita Pienaar
The Bolaven Plateau just east of Pakse in Laos is perhaps most famous for its coffee, but for hikers who aren't afraid of heights, there are incredible waterfalls to be found.
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Si Phan Don: Kayaking the 4,000 Islands of Laos and Cambodia

Si Phan Don: Kayaking the 4,000 Islands of Laos and Cambodia

Author : John McMahon
It wasn't until recently that kayakers mapped the waterways of Si Phan Don – the "4,000 Islands" of the Mekong's lower reaches. Kayaker John McMahon goes exploring.
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Healing in Style: Luang Prabang’s Luxury Spas

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Author : Nicole Leigh West
Where better to heal than Luang Prabang? These luxury spas in the spiritual capital of Laos will put the wellness bug in every traveler.
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Review: Inside Rosewood Luang Prabang

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Read More
3 Activities for the Animal Lover in Luang Prabang

3 Activities for the Animal Lover in Luang Prabang

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Be it getting some cheese from the local buffalo dairy or patronizing a pachyderm sanctuary, animal lovers in Laos will find a few critter-friendly activities to keep them occupied.
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WHY CHOOSE US

WHY CHOOSE US

Couple from Texas - Aman Jet Expedition, October 2016
“ We have used some of the top rated travel specialists all over the world and, without question, Catherine Heald and Remote Lands are at the very top of the list! ”
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