Central-South Laos Exploration

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Perhaps you don’t know, but many travelers return to the South and Central part of Laos several times. They have just realized about the diversity, uniqueness and natural beauty of these regions, with countless surprises that are all worth an exploration. Get ready for a fascinating and enjoyable trip!


  • The spectacular Khone Phapheng Waterfall, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia.
  • The picturesque Bolaven Plateau, with its outstanding landscape, tea and coffee plantations and an endless number of different ethnic villages. 
  • Sailing on a local boat through the impressive Kong Lor cave.
  • Exploring the rural life at Don Khong (“4000 Islands”) by boat and bike.
  • Strikingly beautiful nature and/or architecture all along our route. 
Half-day discovering Vientiane

Day 1 Half-day discovering Vientiane

Meals: not included | Accommodation: Vayakorn Inn, Standard room (Vientiane)

Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel.

Our half day city tour, begins with the oldest wat in Vientiane, Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which now serves as a museum of arts and antiques.  We then travel up Lanexang Avenue you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxai Monument, which resembles its Parisian inspiration, the Arc de Triomphe.  The climb to the top offers great views over Vientiane.

We continue onwards down Rue Singha 23 to Laos’ National icon, and most important religious building, the golden stupa of That Luang.  The final visit of the day will be the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting a much overlooked aspect of Laos and a major problem many of the local people face on a day to day basis in the form of unexploded ordnance as a result of heavy bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War area.  We then return to your hotel.

Vientiane - Hin Boun

Day 2 Vientiane - Hin Boun

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Spring River Resort, Riverside room (Hin Boun)

Meet your guide and driver in the morning and travel south along route 13 to the central Lao province of Khammoune. En route we stop at Prabaht Ponsan, a stupa dating back to the 15th Century.  It is also home to the Budhhas footprint, left when, as legend has it, he was crossing the Mekong.

Our next stop is at the interesting Ban Ton Na Mae Hmong Market, then we continue onwards into Khammoune province and into the mountainous area, where a stop at a view point near Khoun Kham offers a breathtaking view over the karst scenery, or ‘limestone forest’. We reach Hin Boun area by late afternoon, where you have the rest of the day at leisure. 

Hin Boun – Kong Lor Cave - Thakek

Day 3 Hin Boun – Kong Lor Cave - Thakek

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Inthira Thakek, Standard room (Thakek)

After breakfast at our lodge, we drive to Kong Lor village and board a small local boat into the famous Kong Lor Cave. We navigate through the cave, which is over 7km long and includes a spectacular cavern over 100m high, as well as a breathtaking stalagmite gallery which you can explore on foot.

On the other side of the cave, we take a short walk past some tobacco drying huts to Ban Pon Ngam, a remote village, where you can enjoy your picnic lunch.Following lunch, we return through the cave by boat, and transfer directly by car to Thakek, arriving there by late afternoon, in time for a stroll along the riverfront to enjoy a sunset over the Mekong.

Thakek – Pakse via Savannakhet

Day 4 Thakek – Pakse via Savannakhet

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Residence Sisouk, Superior room (Pakse)

This morning we leave Thakhek behind and continue Southbound. Just before arrival in Savannakhet, we will stop at the Soundra Salt Factory for an interesting tour on local salt production methods and the sacred That Inhang.

In Savannakhet, we visit some the beautiful old French Quarter which was once the busy city market. Next, we stop at the interesting Don Mak Fai Forest market, where the sellers offer a wide selection of various items, straight from the forest.

After another 2 hours, we make a short stop at the village of Ban Napong which is famous for the grilled chicken. We then continue to Pakse making at Don Khor, a village specializing in Buddha carvings for temples. Arrive in Pakse in the early evening with the rest of the day at leisure.

Pakse – Bolaven Plateau – Pakse

Day 5 Pakse – Bolaven Plateau – Pakse

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: The Boat Landing, Standard room (Pakse)

Today we will head east into the Bolaven Plateau. The Bolaven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. We first visit Tad Fan Waterfall, a picturesque twin chute waterfall, as well as a local tea and coffee plantations where you can try a cup of the local brew.

We then continue to Pakxong where will enjoy a local lunch and visit Jhai Coffee House. This philanthropic coffee roaster buys from the source and reinvests all profit back into the region. Meet the roasters; learn about coffee and their social enterprise. In the afternoon we explore the fascinating minority villages, Ban Bong Neua, an Alak village that boasts a sacrificial altar, and Ban Kokphung, a Katu village where they keep coffins under their houses.

Our final stop is at the beautiful Tadlo Waterfall, where you can go for a swim if you like. After a short rest here we journey back to Pakse, stopping at another picturesque waterfall, Paxuam, before arriving back in Pakse by early evening.

Note: Jhai Coffee House is closed on Sundays

Pakse – Wat Phou – Khong Island

Day 6 Pakse – Wat Phou – Khong Island

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Pon Arena, Deluxe room (Khong Island)

Upon arrival you will be met and driven to Champassak where we continue by car to Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer religious complex dating back to the 5th Century.  This dramatically sited temple is one of the highlights of any trip to Laos.  

In the afternoon you will drive to Don Khong, the largest of the Mekong Islands, known locally as ‘Siphandon’, literally ‘4000 Islands’.  Don Khong itself is a great place to relax and take in the traditional Lao rural life.  We arrive on Khong Island via ferry by the early evening. 


Khong Island – 4000 Islands by boat– Pakse

Day 7 Khong Island – 4000 Islands by boat– Pakse

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Residence Sisouk, Superior room (Pakse)

After breakfast, we board a local private boat for a boat tour of the 4000 Islands.  We reach the picturesque island of Don Khone by lunchtime, and in the afternoon explore the island by bicycle, tracing the route of an old abandoned railway and admiring some of the old French Colonial buildings, and the beautiful Liphi Waterfall.

We then return to our boat and head back to the mainland, visiting the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia. We then transfer by car back to Pakse, arriving there by early evening.


Day 8 Pakse – Departure

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: not included

Depending on your departure flight, you may have free time at leisure before being transferred to the airport for your flight.

Price per person based on a group tour

Price per person based on a group tour 2 pax 3-4 pax
Price per person (Oct. 2018 - Apr. 2019) USD 1385 USD 934
Price per person (May - Sept. 2018 & 2019) USD 1372 USD 920


* Prices valid until Sept. 2019

* Would you like to adapt the itinerary, accommodation or any activity as per your needs and preferences? Then just get in touch with us with your comments at info@handspan.com (we are specialists designing tailor-made trips!) 

* Special prices for groups of more than 4 people and the possibility to connect the tour with other stages of your trip around Indochina, by contacting us at info@handspan.com. 

* A private trip for a solo traveler is also available with a surcharge.


  • Accommodation in shared double room as mentioned on the program (upgrades available with a supplement)
  • Transportation in private vehicle & Boat trip as stated.
  • English speaking guide
  • Activities, visits and admission fee to indicated sights
  • Meals: daily breakfast at hotel, lunch/dinner where stated only 
  • Gov’t tax 

Not Included

  • International flights and visas
  • Personal travel Insurance
  • Child or adult in triple sharing room
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses 
  • Supplements on peak season
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