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.
Private Tours & Flexible Services, Except 3Days/2Nights Luxury Wat Phou Cruise (Joint-Group)
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.
PAKSE -CHAMPASAK – VAT PHOU TEMPLE
(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.
CHAMPASAK / LUNCH– 12h30 –
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.
VAT PHOU TEMPLE
– 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
HUEI THAMO-OUM MUONG TEMPLE – KHONG ISLAND
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.
CRUISE / LUNCH
– 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.
BAN DEUA TIA / KHONG ISLAND
– 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
DON KHONE -PHA PHENG WATERFALL –PAKSE (Meals-Breakfast, Lunch)
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.