Laos Island Hopping
Laos Island Hopping
from / to Pakse
Day 1: Arrival in Pakse – Bolavens Plateau – Pakse
Arrive in Pakse. Your guide and private driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for check-in. Then you’ll enjoy a short tour of Pakse town. Pakse takes its influences from far and wide. The Vietnamese community is strong and wandering through the town gives a real sense of Laos’s eastern neighbor.
Old colonial buildings add an element of charm, the French style fitting neatly into the wide and relaxed streets. Yet Pakse is very much part of Laos, and the fabric of life can be discovered at the huge local market. Old women haggle for food, shouts and smells flicker through the air, and the vibrant range of colors are a joy for the eye.
Pakse is an ideal starting point for visiting the main attractions of Southern Laos. Your afternoon tour visits the serene coffee plantations of the Bolavan Plateau and the impressive twin Tad Fane Waterfalls. Two streams of water drop out of the jungle and thunder 120meters down into a deep gorge, spray and mist often rising up from the abyss. Situated at the door to the Bolavan Plateau and Dong Hua Sao protected area, these twin falls offer a vivid contrast to a rich green landscape.
Your immersion in Laos’s sublime countryside continues as you wind into the mountains on your return to Pakse. The green slopes are punctuated by tiny villages and hill tribes like the Lavens, as well as tea and coffee plantations. Laos coffee is almost exclusively cultivated on the Bolavan Plateau and there’s nothing fresher than a cup from up here.
Return to Pakse in the late afternoon and enjoy the town at your leisure. Overnight at Pakse
Day 2: Pakse – Wat Phou- Elephant Ride – Khong Island (B,L)
After breakfast, transfer by road to Wat Phou. Everyone knows about Angkor Wat, but Wat Phou goes back even further in history than the temples across the border in Cambodia. Nestled along the rice fields and waterways of southern Laos, Wat Phou is one of the country’s most revered temples.
Huge galleries reveal intricate carvings and beautiful sculpting, crumbling bricks are enigmatically covered in moss, and the temple’s impressive size always impresses. It was built by the rulers of the Khmer empire and is a UNESCO world heritage site. When exploring this majestic sight it’s easy to imagine how this temple was an important economic and political centre for the whole region. You’ll then drive through cute streets of French colonial buildings in Champassak, stop at the wood carving village of Ban Nong Bune, and continue to the elephants of Ban Kiet Ngong.
Enjoy lunch before your 90 minute elephant ride. This tour is part of a community-based tourism project developed to help the local villagers and provide conservation awareness. (Attention: if the size of the group is too large, the group will be divided into two groups: one will be riding elephant while the other one will stroll through the village to learn more about local daily life). As the elephant plods its way away from the village you’ll have stunning views of the Xe Pian National Park, the forest pierced by wetlands and meandering waterways. Cranes and hornbills often sing from the branches while other elephants and gibbons can sometimes be spotted in the trees. Aboard an elephant is a unique experience, nature’s largest land mammal offering a wonderful traveling experience as it gently takes you deep into the forest.
After the elephant ride you’ll continue to Khong Island, the biggest island in southern Laos and the start of the 4000 Islands Region. As the Mekong River expands it stretches to over 14km wide, and these thousands of islands flow between waterfalls and rapids. The sunsets here linger long in the memory, red and yellow colors dancing on the horizon as you relax into the island’s relaxed rhythm.
Overnight in Khong Island
Day 3: Khong Island – Siphandon – Pakse (B,L)
On Khong Island it’s easy to forget about the rest of the world and enjoy the almost perfect tranquility. Wooden shacks stand beside the river, sandy tracks take you into peaceful parts of the village, and everything here runs to an indelibly slow beat.
In the morning you’ll travel by boat to another peaceful island, Don Khone, where plantations and simple villages are almost all you will find. Bicycles are the best way to explore and will give a real insight into local island village life. From here a short boat trip offers a chance to spot the rare Irrawaddy dolphins. Sightings are far from guaranteed, after all, only 7,000 of these endangered creatures still survive in the world. But their playful antics and unique shape can make every sighting the highlight of your vacation.
These dolphins look more like killer whales than other dolphin species, yet they’ve still got a wonderful sense of play and impressing a watching visitor. The 4000 islands form an important border between Laos and Cambodia, and the French built a railway and bridge to connect some of the larger islands. These narrow gauge lines aren’t in use but they provide the perfect place to soak up the view of one of South East Asia’s most pleasant sights. Relax, take your time, visit the impressive Lippi Falls, and fall in love with the scenery.
Locals believe that the Lippi Falls are a trap for bad spirits so don’t be surprised if you feel that a weight has been lifted from your shoulders after a trip here. Have lunch in a local restaurant before returning to Pakse in the afternoon.
Overnight in Pakse.
Day 4: Pakse- Departure (B)
After breakfast, transfer to Pakse airport for your onward flight.
Rates & Services
Rates: 01.10.2015 – 30.04.2016
|Price per person in USD (private tour)||2 persons in double room||1 person in single room(single traveller)||Single room supplement|
|Hotel Category Standard||814||1.320||146|
Note: On 24.12 and 31.12, some hotels charge for compulsory gala dinners. Please inquire with us to find out whether this applies for your tour.During certain dates, seasonal surcharges may apply, especially during Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year (15.02. – 21.02.15). Please inquire with us to find out whether this applies for your tour.
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