LAO - T 06: UNDISCOVERED SOUTH, 6 days (L)                                    

Vientiane - Pakse - Tad Lo - Khong Island Khon Island - Pakse

 

Day 1     Vientiane

 

Arrival in Vientiane, meeting on arrival at Vientiane, direct transfer to the hotel. After refreshment, sightseeing in Vientiane - the capital city and seat of government sits in a bend of the Mekong River amidst fertile alluvial plains. Vientiane (pronounced 'Wieng Chan' by the locals) is a laid-back city with interesting wats and lively markets. Visit Pha That Luang - the Great Sacred Reliquary, Patuxai, Ho Pha Keo, Wat Si Saket, Wat Si Muang and free time for shopping at Talaat Sao. 

Overnight in Vientiane

 

PHA THAT LUANG (Great Sacred Reliquary or Great Stupa): built between the 11th and 13th centuries AD, it is the most important national monument in Laos, a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty.

 

PATUXAI: a large monument in the style of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the huge arch at the end of Thanon Lan Xang has a stairway that leads to the top levels of the monument, providing a good view of the city.

 

HO PHA KEO: the former royal temple of the Lao monarchy built in 1565 by King Setthathirat and now converted into a museum containing some of the best examples of Buddhist sculptures found in Laos.

 

WAT SI SAKET: constructed in 1818 by King Anouvong in the early Bangkok style, small niches are carved into its interior walls, containing more than 2,000 silver and ceramic Buddha images.

 

WAT SI MUANG: this temple is one of the most popularly used temple grounds in the city, as it contains the city pillar and acts as the home of Vientiane's guardian spirits.

 

TALAAT SAO: the Morning Market - actually open all day sells a wide range of fabrics, jewelry and electronic goods. 

 

Day 2     Vientiane - Pakse - Tad Lo

 

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for flight from Vientiane to Pakse. Arrival Pakse, drive from Pakse to the Tad Lo Resort. Journey northeast towards Salavan through the villages of Laongam and Ban Laongam in Salavan Province. This province has approximately 256,000 inhabitants, including a number of relatively obscure Mon-Khmer groups, such as the Ta-oy, Lavai, Katang, Katu and Kado. The big attraction in the Salavan Province is the Bolaven Plateau. 

Overnight in Tad Lo

 

Day 3     Tad Lo - Pakse - Khong Island

 

After breakfast at the hotel, continue sightseeing around Tad Lo Resort, enjoy nice scenery of Tad Lo Waterfall, Elephant ride and explores the surrounding area including Katu and Alak villages. 

Afternoon, drive from Pakse via Wat Phu Temple to Khong Island - Journey south in Champasak Province along the east bank of the Mekong River through the villages of Ban Nongsim, Ban Hangdon and Kheo.

Overnight in Khong Island

 

TAD LO RESORT: small private bungalow style resort between Pakse and Salavan.

 

TAD LO FALLS: by the Tad Lo Resort, about 10m wide a good opportunity for a swim.

 

ELEPHANT RIDE: starts at the Tad Lo Resort and explores the surrounding area including Katu and Alak villages. 

 

By vehicle from Tad Lo Resort to Pakse Journey south-west away from and through the villages of Ban Laongam and Laongam in Salavan Province. This province has approximately 256,000 inhabitants, including a number of relatively obscure Mon-Khmer groups, such as the Ta-oy, Lavai, Katang, Katu and Kado. The big attraction in the Salavan Province is the Bolaven Plateau. 

 

CHAMPASAK DISTRICT: small district of 38,000 people on the western bank of the Mekong River. The Angkor-period ruins of Wat Phu Champasak lie 8km south of the town.

 

SI PHAN DON (FOUR THOUSAND ISLANDS): during the rainy season this 50km-long section of the Mekong River just north of the Cambodian border reaches a width of 14km (the widest it ever reaches). During the dry months the river recedes and leaves behind thousands of islands and islets.

 

WAT PHU CHAMPASAK: this Khmer temple site is spread over the lower slopes of Phu Pasak and its name means 'Mountain Temple'. The surviving structures date from as early as the Chenla Kingdom (6th to 8th centuries). 

 

Day 4     Khong Island - Khon Island

 

After breakfast, continue explore Khong Island by boat from Khong Island to Khon Island about a 2-hour journey down the Mekong River. 

Sightseeing on Khon Island. Visit Ban Khon Village, the main village on the island with several old French colonial buildings, Wat Khon Tai, Taat Somphamit (Li Phi Water Falls).

Overnight in Khon Island

WAT KHON TAI: Lao temple built on the former site of a Khmer temple possibly from the Chenla era.

 

TAAT SOMPHAMIT (LI PHI FALLS): raging set of rapids at the western end of Don Khon Island. 

Afternoon at leisure

 

Day 5     Khon Island Pakse

 

After breakfast at the hotel, excursion to Khong Phapheng Waterfalls - the largest waterfalls in South East Asia. By vehicle from Khon Island to Pakse

Overnight in Pakse

 

KHON PHAPHENG FALLS: south of Don Khong Island the Mekong River features a 13km stretch of powerful rapids with several sets of cascades. The largest, Khon Phapheng, flows close to the eastern shore of the Mekong River near the village of Ban Thakho. 

 

Day 6    Pakse

 

After breakfast in the morning, free time to visit local market before transfer to airport for departure. 

 

End of Services    **Note: Itinerary subject to change due to flight schedules. 

 

 

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