Southern Laos is the southern region of Laos
The mighty Mekong River – a true lifeline for many people living on the plains – not only offers the exotic Four Thousand Islands and Southeast Asia’s biggest waterfall, but also opportunities to discover traditional riverside village ways of life. You can kayak or cycle along its banks, hop on boats from one island to the other or simply relax and enjoy the river and time going by.
Explore the stunning waterfalls of the Bolaven Plateau, and learn how coffee is grown and processed on the rich volcanic soils before tasting a freshly brewed cup of Lao coffee. Enjoy an easy trek to an ethnic village or go for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure, zip-lining across waterfalls and walking high up above the jungle floor, through the forest canopy.
Vat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple complex and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in beautiful surroundings, where you can immerse yourself in nature and go back in time. Take a break and stop in charming Champasak for some more history, French colonial buildings, the intriguing Shadow Puppet Theatre or go for a relaxing massage.
Explore some options for ecotourism activities in the Xe Pian National Protected Area. Ride on the back of an elephant, go on a forest trek, or simply observe life in the wetlands. Last but not least, discover the cultural and historic treasures of Pakse, Southern Laos’ main city, where the Sedone River flows into the mighty Mekong River and where modernity meets with local tradition. The natural charms of Southern Laos offer you a truly diverse experience beyond the ordinary.
- Vat Phou Salao - Big Golden Buddha Take a tuk tuk up the hill to the big golden Buddha at “Vat Phou Salao” for a stunning view over the Mekong and the town. The light is particularly beautiful in the late afternoon hours,
- Vat Phou Temple, UNESCO World Heritage The Vat Phou temple complex is the cultural heart of a wider historical landscape on the plains of Champasak, ranging from the Mekong River to the Phou Kao Mountains. Temples, water channels, tanks, quarries, field systems, settlement sites, and the ancient road to Angkor Wat are other remains that have been found in the area.
- Jungle Adventure Zip-line across majestic waterfalls in the lush green jungles of the Bolaven Plateau in Southern Laos.
- Kayak the Mekong Paddle along the Mekong to spot the rare and endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins. Or take a relaxing sunset cruise.
- Experience River Life If you wish to delve deeper into local life, go on a Mekong River Life Excursion and experience the local culture. For those of you interested in history, there are remnants from French colonial times that can be discovered and can inform you about the past. The Four Thousand Islands is a truly serene place, so come and stay.
- Shadow Puppetry The Tale of Phralak-Phralam. Get ready to depart on an adventure to the very heart of this Indian epic. Adapted from Ramayana with humour and respect for tradition, this show is a gateway to the Shadow Puppet Theatre of Champasak. The puppets are your guides to discover the original music and songs from Southern Laos, played live by the musicians. The Lum Siphandon song with its enchanting melody will literally take you upriver all the way from the Four Thousand Islands to Champasak.
- Coffee & Tea The Bolaven Plateau hosts the country’s main coffee plantations and tea gardens. The ample rainfall, cool temperatures and rich volcanic soil provide ideal conditions for world-class Arabica and Robusta coffee to grow. You can explore the plantations, learn about the process of coffee production and even participate in a coffee roasting workshop.
- Khone Phapheng Waterfall Southeast Asia’s largest waterfall. Millions of litres of water descend over a set of cascades making it one of the most spectacular sites in Southern Laos. Also catch a glimpse of the extreme fisherman perched on the rocks in the midst of the rumbling falls.
- Traditional Silk Textiles Marvel at the unique and beautiful textile designs of individual tribes. Ban Saphai and Don Kho Island. The villages on the banks of the Mekong and the island just a short boat ride from the mainland, are known for their silk weaving and textiles.
Try Lao food in one of the cities and towns. Some nice restaurants in Pakse and Champasak to enjoy the tasty Lao food.
A cooking class is available on Don Som (4000 Islands) if you want to learn how to cook Lao food yourself.