5-Day Southern Lao Explorer

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Tour type

Tour Level: High level

Tour Comfort: Luxury

Tour Period: 5 Days

tour highlights

  • Cruise down the Mekong on a traditional longtail boat
  • Explore the lush and peaceful Khong Island
  • Take a glimpse at traditional Laos life on Don Det and Don Som islands
  • Visit the magnificent Khone Phapheng Waterfall
  • See Vat Phu Temple

tour details

Close to the Cambodian border, the idyllic islands of Southern Laos are full of wonderful surprises.

Arrive at Pakse Airport and transfer to the boat pier. Board a longtail riverboat for a 1.5-hour cruise on the Mekong River toward the former royal capital of Champasak then continue by car to the pre-Angkorian Vat Phu Temple, which was active during the 6th to 13th centuries. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, Vat Phu Temple lies on a hillside and offers spectacular views of the surrounding plains and 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. It was later converted into a Buddhist temple but much of the original Hindu sculptures remain. 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.
From there, drive to Ban Hatsaykhoune and take a ferry to cross the Mekong River to Khong Island, located in the scenic Siphandone region (Four Thousand Islands). With its lovely fishing villages, serene monasteries and lush vegetation, Khong Island offers a unique opportunity to experience the peaceful Lao way of life.

Accommodation at Senesothxuen Hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Cruise along the backwaters to explore Siphandone. During the rainy season, the Mekong River reaches a breadth of 14 kilometres, the river’s widest reach along its 4,350-kilometre journey from the Tibetan Plateau toward 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 local fishermen’s traditional lifestyle. Next, continue to Don Khone Island and have lunch at local restaurant in Ban Khone.
Hike along the island’s ancient railway, built by the French in 1897 in order to bypass the powerful rapids when transporting goods from Cambodia. Continue to Sumphamith Waterfall before returning to Ban Khone. From there, board a local longtail boat to reach Ban Phiengdee for lunch.
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 6 kilometres 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 20 minutes upstream to an area where you can spot freshwater dolphins (this part of the journey is only possible from October to May). Return to Khong Island.

Accommodation at Senesothxune Hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Before leaving the island, visit Vat Hangkhong, considered the oldest temple on the island, Ban Huay village and Muang Sene. Transfer by boat and car to Don Daeng Island.

Accommodation at La Folie Lodge.
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge and the full day at your leisure. Relax at the beautiful resort, unwind at the tranquil the pool overlooking the Mekong River or take out bicycles to discover the island.

Accommodation at La Folie Lodge.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer by boat and car to Pakse. If time permits, explore Pakse before transferring to the airport for your onward flight.


  • 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: SLE5

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