This Secrets of Southern Laos tour is perfect for visitors wanting to see all the main sights in this fascinating area of the country. Dominated by the Bolaven Plateau, it is the place where you find thriving coffee plantations and lots of beautiful waterfalls. It's also the area where the mighty Mekong River plunges and spills to its widest point and where you can see the increasingly rare Irrawaddy dolphins.
On arrival at the charming city of Luang Prabang you will be welcomed by one of our tour representatives and taken to your hotel. Relax after the journey then the rest of the day is free for you to go out on your own and explore, meeting the locals and getting an insight into their way of life. Then in the evening enjoy a welcome drink at your hotel and meet your guide who will tell you all about the activities over the coming days.
Today after breakfast you discover the delights of Luang Prabang beginning with a leisurely walk around the old quarter. Start from the vibrant and colourful morning market, then go on to the charming city main street and the National Museum. After spending some time here visit Wat Xieng Thong ‘The Temple of the Golden City’, considered the finest temple in Laos. Then round off the day with a scenic boat cruise watching the sunset over the Mekong river.
Luang Prabang – Kuang Si Waterfall
A short drive to the outskirts of Luang Prabang takes you to the multi-tiered turquoise-coloured Kuang Si Waterfall, deemed one of the most beautiful in South East Asia. Here you can also visit the Bears Rescue Centre to see Asiatic bears. On your way back, get to see the fascinating world of Lao textiles come alive with a visit to Ock Pop Tok Weaving Centre and stop for an ice cream made from real buffalo milk at the Buffalo Dairy. Tonight see a bamboo presentation plus dinner and ‘baci’ ceremony.
Luang Prabang – Bolaven
After breakfast enjoy free time in the morning when you can see more of the sights or do some souvenir shopping, then board your flight to Pakse, the gateway to Southern Laos. Begin your exploration here with a scenic drive through mountains and winding roads all the way up to the Bolaven Plateau. Meet a local coffee farmer and a coffee expert who will take you for an exciting off-road driving adventure in an old army Jeep into the heart of the plantation.
Bolaven – Wat Phou – Don Khong
Today you have the experience of being surrounded by verdant jungles and rolling mountains, at Tad Fane - the twin waterfalls. Then visit the ancient ruins of Wat Phou Tok mountain temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thought to be one the oldest archaeological sites in Laos. Continue along this scenic route until you reach Don Khong and the island of Si Phan Don - the largest of the 4,000 islands in Laos. Tonight you stay at the Pon Arena Hotel.
The 4,000 Islands – Mekong Cruise
Explore an archipelago of islands where time seems to stand still. Feel the fresh breeze while sailing along the Mekong River, passing fishing villages and eventually reaching Don Khone where you disembark. On the island, enjoy a bicycle ride and see the old French locomotive and railway bridge. Later visit the spectacular Liphi Waterfalls, a collection of powerful falls spilling down at many angles branching out to join the Mekong River. Cruise to Ban Nakasang then drive back to Don Khong.
Don Khong – Pakse
Today you continue your adventure with a visit to mighty Khone Phapheng waterfall and the village of Ban Khiet Ngong located in Xe Pian National Protected Area, an extensive wetland which is home to rare wildlife species. Take a short climb to the top of Phou Asa mountain where mysterious columns made out of stacks of plate-like rocks stand proudly as if protecting an unseen structure, believed to be a temple. Then arrive in Pakse and enjoy a farewell Sindad BBQ dinner.
Enjoy a free morning in the city before catching an onward flight or beginning your journey home. Pakse is situated at the confluence of the Mekong and Xe Dong rivers and the central Wat Luang is a lavishly decorated Buddhist temple where monks collect alms at sunrise. The city's past is reflected in its French colonial architecture, especially in the old quarter, and at the Champasak Historical Heritage Museum you can explore the region's culture through jewellery, textile and musical instrument displays.