3-Day Pakse Stopover

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Tour type

Tour Level: High level

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: 3 Days

tour highlights

  • Cruise the backwaters of Siphadone
  • Explore the beauty of peaceful Khong Island
  • Travel back in time to visit the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Phu
  • Admire the sunset over the mighty Mekong River
  • Take a relaxing boat cruise and keep a watch out for Irrawaddy dolphins

tour details

This trip brings you the best of Southern Laos from the history of the pre-Angkorian temples to the natural beauty of Khong Island and the Mekong.

Why choose this tour?

Uncover the secrets of southern Laos and create memories of exploring ancient temples and floating through the timeless backwaters of the Mekong River.

You will be picked up at your hotel in Pakse or at Pakse International Airport and transferred to the boat pier.

Board a traditional local longtail riverboat and cruise down the Mekong River, heading south towards the former royal capital of Champasak. On arrival you will take a car to the pre-Angkorian Wat Phu Temple. Wat Phu, a World Heritage Site, means ‘mountain temple’. The temples in this complex are dated between the 6th and 13th centuries. Wat Phu lies on a hillside and offers spectacular views over the surrounding plains and the Mekong River. Hindu Khmer probably chose the site because of the spring that flows from near the top of the hill. Historians say that Phu Pasak was in fact sacred to the pre-Angkorian Kingdom of Chenla (6th century) and may have been the site of human sacrifices. The temple is divided in two parts. The lower part consists of two ruined palace buildings at the edge of a pond, which was used for ritual ablutions. The upper section, the temple sanctuary itself, once enclosed a large Shiva phallus (linga). It was later converted into a Buddhist temple but much of the original Hindu sculpture remains. The lintels feature various forms of Vishnu and Shiva as well as Kala, the Hindu god of time and death. The naga stairway is lined with plumeria (Dokchampa), the Lao national flower.

After visiting the temple, lunch is taken at a local restaurant.

Late afternoon
After lunch we drive to Ban Hatsaykhoune and take a ferry to cross the Mekong River towards Khong Island, located in the scenic Siphandone region (4000 Islands). Khong Island, with its lovely fishing villages, its serene monasteries and its lush vegetation offers a unique opportunity to experience the peaceful Lao way of life. Transfer to the hotel and check in, before exploring Khong Island. Visit Wat Hangkhong, considered as the oldest temple on the island, Ban Huay village and continue to Muang Sene to enjoy the sunset over the Mekong River. Transfer to the hotel.

Estimated driving time/distance:
2.5 hours/150 kilometres

Meal included:
Lunch at a local restaurant
Dinner at hotel
After breakfast at the hotel, cruise along the backwaters to explore Siphandone. During the rainy season, the Mekong River reaches a breadth of 14km, the river's widest reach along its 4,350km journey from the Tibetan Plateau towards the South China Sea. When the river recedes, it leaves behind thousands of islands and islets. Visit the surrounding islands of Don Det and Don Som for a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the local fishermen. Continue to Don Khone Island and hike along the railway built by the French in 1897 in order to bypass the powerful rapids when transporting goods from Cambodia. Continue on to the spectacular Sumphamith waterfall. Its other name ‘Li Phi’, means ‘Spirit Trap’. The locals believe that bad spirits are trapped at the falls and get washed downstream. Return to Ban Khone.

Board a local longtail riverboat to reach Ban Phiengdee for lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, continue by car to visit the magnificent Khone Phapheng waterfall, the largest cascade along the Mekong River. A fault line caused the cascade, which is 6km wide at this point, and the astonishing force of the water has cut dramatic gorges through the brittle bedrock. Continue to Veumkham and take a local boat for a 20-minute upstream trip to the area known for watching Irrawaddy Dolphins (availability to arrange this trip only from October to May). Drive back to Khong Island. Return to the hotel.

Meal included:
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at a local restaurant
Dinner at hotel
Following breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Dongkalor checkpoint border for the check-out to Cambodia or return transfer to Pakse.

Meal included:
Breakfast at hotel

customise the tour

  • Add a Diethelm Moment: Arise early to observe the timeless ritual of Tak Bat or Alms Giving in Pakse
  • Extend your holiday with a deeper exploration of southern Laos and the fascinating 4000 Islands region


  • Accommodation in shared double/twin room with air conditioning (AC) and private bathroom
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= Breakfast, L= Lunch & D= Dinner
  • Transfers and tours with English-speaking guides in private air conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Mineral water available in the vehicles


  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare to / from Laos (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for Lao Pimai (New Year)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditures, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities, etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking or when available
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme


Upon request, a licensed French, German, Spanish or other language-speaking guide can accompany participants for the whole duration of the trip at an additional cost.

Tour code: 3PCTEB

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