Explore Southern Laos & Mekong Luxury Wat Phou Cruise

  • Destinations: Four Thousand Islands, Southern Laos
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Type: Culture & History, Minorities, Nature, River Cruise

This short tour offers a complete Southern Laos experience. Spectacular waterfalls, ancient Khmer temples and luxury cruises. The night accommodation is an attraction in itself, as you will spend 2 nights on a luxury river boat.

Day 1

Private Tours & Flexible Services, Except 3Days/2Nights Luxury Wat Phou Cruise (Joint-Group)
By Lao Airlines QV224 @ 1250-1320PM

Welcome to southern Laos. Upon arrival at Pakse Airport, Meet your guide and Transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Pakse.

Day 2

Pakse-Boliven Plateua-Pakse (Meals:Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, Meet your guide and Drive ahead to boliven plateau. The stumbling water and lush vegetation around Tad Fan waterfall of today’s Atacular. We make a stop en route observing the traditional local making tea and coffee, a cup its can be tasted prior exploring the local cultures and its way of life along the way to Boloven Plateau area, the cultivation of rich coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops are being seen along both side of our way. This is allowed time for visitors to venture off the beaten path and explore some of the lesser-known areas of Laos pointing for full exploration of the wild beauty of this southern region. During the boloven plateau tours, You will visit Tadfane and Tad Yeuang. Return to Pakse late evening, check in at your hotel. Overnight in Pakse.

Day 3


(Meals-Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)-Cruise down

Cruise operated every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday

PAKSE – Departing 09h30 – 10h00 –

After meeting at the Sinouk Coffee House in central Pakse at 9:30am, we transfer you to our cruise boat via long tail riverboat, for your 2.5 hour journey to Champassak.

Pakse is the fourth largest city in Laos, after Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Savannakhet, and the largest city in southern Laos.  The town is set on the eastern border of the Mekong River and is close to both the Thai and Cambodian borders. As the capital of the province of Champassak, Pakse is growing fast, with the help of development aid from many countries (the bridge built in 2000 was with the help of Japan).Close to Pakse is the Bolaven Plateau which is famous for Lao coffee. If you have an extra day in Pakse before or after your cruise, you may want to organize a tour to the Bolaven Plateau. At an altitude of 600 meters, you experience cool fresh air, which is a contrast to the heat of the plains. The climate and the fertile volcanic soil make it a perfect location for growing coffee (both Arabica and Robusta), tea, rubber, bananas, rattan and cardamom, many of which were introduced by the French.The bombing raids on the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam War caused a lot of damage in this area. The main ethnic group of the plateau are the Laven people, for whom the area is named. There are also many other ethnic groups including lowland Lao, Alak, Suay and Taoy, who can all be seen trading at the local markets.

Near Paksong, there are two waterfalls that can be visited, with resorts nearby, allowing for visitors to stay the night. Tad Lo is a 10m high waterfall with a deep pool for swimming and a great picnic area. Tad Fane is more remote, amidst jungle and is a 120m waterfall, which is best viewed from a distance.


Upon boarding at the Vat Phou boat, we help you to your cabins to unpack, before serving lunch on deck. All meals are included on the Vat Phou Mekong cruise and our galley produces the finest of Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai dishes, lovingly prepared and beautifully presented. 


– 14h30 –The highlight of the afternoon is the Vat Phou ruins – the majestic pre-Angkorian 10th century temple complex and our boat’s namesake. You have time to visit the museum at the ruins site, walk up to the highest temple and take as many photos as you would like. The Vat Phou (Wat Phu) ruins are eight kilometers away from Champasak township, where the boat will wait while you take a short 30 minute tuktuk ride to the ruins. The Vat Phou ruins are at the base of a curiously shaped 1,416 meter mountain, which has a flat narrow peak and steep forested sides. On the summit of the mountain is a 15 meter high monolith, which is the main reason for the site of the temple as this is a natural lingam or symbol of the Hindu god Shiva.

Built between the 6th to 12th centuries, Vat Phou is a pre-Khmer ruin. The Chenla Empire, a great civilization stretching south into Cambodia, north and west into northern Thailand and as far as Burma was responsible for the building of the original temple in this site. Nothing remains of the once great city of the Chenla Empire, as all but religious sites were built of wood, which did not stand the test of time. Between the 11th and 12th centuries, the Khmer architects restored and rebuilt many sections of the temples and it now has many features characteristic of the ruins at Angkor – stone causeways, decorative lintels and many carvings.  These days the Vat Phou temple complex is slowly being repaired and restored through the UNESCO World Heritage project. Although Vat Phou was built as a Hindu temple, it is now used for worship by Theravada Buddhists. Our Vat Phou Mekong cruise spends around 2 hours touring around the various temples and ruins of the Vat Phou complex. You will also get the opportunity to visit the Vat Phou museum at the bottom of the ruins complex.  Each tour is escorted by a French and English speaking guide to provide the best information possible for our guests.

 SUNSET CRUISE– 17h00 –As dusk falls, we transfer you back to the Vat Phou boat for a chance to enjoy the tropical sunset on the deck. Dinner is served on board, while the boat docks for the night alongside a remote Laotian village.

 Accommodation: Wat Phou Cruise/Standard Cabin


Day 4


TOMO VILLAGE (Meals-Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

– Departing 07h00 – 10h30 –Breakfast is on board as we set sail for the village of Tomo. This is a small village a few minutes walk away from the mysterious hidden forest temple of Oum Muong. Afterwards we rejoin the boat to continue our cruise southwards. The Oum Muong ruins are a short walk through the jungle from Tomo, a small village on the east bank of the Mekong River. Named for the stream running behind the ruins, Oum Muong is a small temple built in the 9th century in dedication to Rudani, a consort of Shiva. The most predominant feature of the ruins is the unusual lingam with four faces at the tip. This rare piece is right now back to the museum for cleaning, it will be back soon. A wall of laterite blocks, once three meters high, surrounds the temple. Beyond this wall is the first, and best-preserved entrance pavilion or gopura, built of laterite with a sandstone door and window frames. Other stone pieces lay scattered amongst the trees, including a boundary stone, a lintel depicting the god Indra and some naga buttresses. The naga is a many headed serpent and inhabitant of the underworld, common in many stories of both Hindu and Buddhist cosmologies. At the center of the enclosure are three east-facing brick towers.


– 12h30 –Lunch is on the deck, while we leisurely sail closer to the wild paradise known as the 4,000 Islands All meals are included on the Vat Phou Mekong cruise and the galley produces the finest of Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai dishes, lovingly prepared and beautifully presented.


– 16h30 –Late afternoon we disembark from the boat to walk through Ban Deua Tia, a small Laotian Village where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries, you will also visit the local school and share some time with the students. Our day’s cruise finishes at the most northern tip of Don Khong, the largest inhabited island in the river archipelago. After dinner, the evening is yours to relax and enjoy.

Your cruise on the Mekong will also take you to Ban Deua Tia located on the mainland of the west bank of the southern Mekong River.  The inhabitants are Lao Loum (the ethnic majority of Laos), lowland Lao people who traditionally dwell near rivers and areas of abundant water.  Their religion is Buddhism and like most Lao people, they still practice some forms of Animism. Ban Deua Tia is an older village, having had people living in the area for over 200 years.  There are at the last count 616 people living in this village. Their main sources of income in this village are farming, cultivation of crops, fishing and also the distillation of Lao whiskey. Produce not required for village consumption is sold to merchants who trade up and down the Mekong River. Ban Deua Tia has one school (up through elementary school level) that we visit and one temple. They have electricity in the village but do not have a water supply.  They have to pump their water up from the Mekong River.

 Accommodation: Wat Phou Cruise/Standard Cabin


Day 5

Don Khone

– Departing 7h00 –While you have breakfast on the deck, the Vat Phou boat cruises down the Mekong to the small village of Ban Veuthong, where you board a small boat to meander among the 4,000 Islands to Khone Island. You will visit the old French railway, the French colonial house and walk across the bridge that links Khone and Det Islands.

 LUNCH– 12h00 –Enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant on Don Khone Island along the banks of the river.


– 13h00-16h30 –This afternoon you will visit the Khone PhaPheng waterfalls, the “Niagara of the East”.  After your visit to Phapheng waterfall you will be transferred back to Pakse by bus where the tour will end. The Pha Pheng Waterfalls have become the border between Laos and Cambodia. These waterfalls separate the upper Mekong from the lower Mekong, completely sealing off the two sections from navigation and the transport of goods, and creating a separate history for each. France annexed Laos into its Indo-China colony in the late 19th century. They hoped to transport valuable goods from Yunnan, in southern China, to Vietnam, for export. The falls of Khone Pha Pheng, and other similar, smaller ones at this point in the river, made that dream impossible to fulfill. The Mekong River roars over a one kilometre long ledge and drops around 30 metres into the lower basin of the waterfalls. There is a pavilion just above the falls which provides a great lookout over the waterfalls. The extremely rare Irrawaddy dolphins reside in the Mekong River in southern Laos and northern Cambodia. They can grow to a length of 2.5 metres, are blue-grey in colour and locals believe they are reincarnated humans, possessing a human spirit. The best time to view these dolphins is when the river levels are low,  around February and March.  Amazingly, the dolphins are able to migrate up the river, past the rapids and waterfalls that defeated all the ingenuity of man. Arrive in Pakse, Meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Pakse.

Day 6

Pakse-Bangkok (Meal-Breakfast) –By Lao Airlines QV223 @ 0920-1050AM

After breakfast, Meet your DRIVER and transfer you to Pakse Airport for your return flight to Bangkok. Wish you enjoy the rest of your vacation.

The following accomodation is included in the package price.