Laos Southern Highlights

Handcrafted Travel
Daily Departure


  • Culture & Heritage
  • Off The Beaten Path
Day 1 – 2 Pakse – Bolaven Plateau
  • Arrive in Pakse, and stay one night there.
  • Drive 24km to Bolaven Plateau. Discover the agricultural village of Ban Katuu, coffee plantation, Talat Dao Heung Market, Japanese Bridge.
Day 3 – 5 Bolaven Plateau – Wat Phou – Champasak – Don Khong Island 4
  • Transfer to Wat Phou & take a half–day to explore the remains of Khmer history.
  • Transfer to Ban Khiet Ngong, trek 4 hours with an elephant to the jungle. Then, take a scenic drive to Don Khong. Have one full day to discover Siphandon. Visit the impressive Lippi Waterfall and hop on a boat to cruise across to the peaceful island of Done Khone.
Day 6 Don Khong – Pakse – Departure
  • Visit the famous cascade falls of Khon Phapeng before return to Pakse. Board your flight to the next destination.

Customizable itinerary

The southern region of Laos sees fewer visitors compared to the north, but this area is actually a hidden gem with spectacular landscapes. This ‘Laos Southern Highlights’ is created to show you its splendors. Start from Champasak, discover the beautiful sight of Bolaven Plateau – a famous coffee plantation area in Laos. Visit the ruins of Wat Phou, a striking Hindu temple under the Khmer Empire. Next, trek to meet the people in Ban Khiet Ngong village to gain an insight into their lives and traditions. Wrap up your journey by exploring the wonderful Si Phan Don – or the ‘4000 islands. This archipelago is home to some of the most impressive landscapes in Laos with tiny remote islands, stunning waterfalls, and small tranquil villages.

Saibaidee! Welcome to Pakse, Laos.

Arriving at Pakse Airport or at the border gate of Chongmek, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in Pakse town. After checking into your hotel room, spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Overnight in Pakse
Meals: (_/_/_)

After breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel in Pakse and transferred (1 hour) to the beautiful Bolaven Plateau. Upon arrival, embark on an excursion to the agricultural village of Ban Katuu, home to the Katu ethnic minority. The village is within a coffee plantation surrounded by beautiful nature. Here, you will get a glimpse of local coffee production and sample fresh Lao coffee.

After enjoying lunch at the coffee plantation, continue to explore the Bolaven Plateau’s famous features: Tad Fane waterfall. Situated in dense rainforest, this waterfall has twin streams that plunge from an impressive height of 800 feet. Next, you will drive to Tad Yeung waterfall and the surrounding coffee plantation and enjoy a swim in its cool, clear waters.

Toward the end of the day, visit Talat Dao Heung Market near the Japanese Bridge, where you can bargain for coffee and browse colorful stalls of spices, dried fish, fresh fruits, and Lao sweets.

Finish your excursion and transfer to your resort in Bolaven Plateau. After checking into your room, spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Overnight in Bolaven Plateau
Meals: (B/L/_)

After breakfast, depart Bolaven Plateau, you are driven  Champasak to visit Wat Phou, a UNESCO protected temple where you will commence your explorations of the remains of Khmer history in the region.

Upon arrival, you will set out to visit the ruins of Wat Phou, understood to be the most important Hindu sanctuary of the Khmer Empire. Set among the rice fields and waterways common to this part of the country, the spectacular three-level temple is particularly striking. The first temple on the site was built as early as the 5th century, though the current ruins are from the 11th to 13th centuries. Your thorough 2-3 hour visit of the ruins includes a steep climb to holy shrines of worship on the upper level where many sacred Hindu, Buddhist, and Animist elements can be found.

You also visit the Wat Phou Museum exhibition hall on the lower levels to study the rich heritage of Khmer artists and Buddhist sculptures.

After you’re done exploring, transfer to the charming town of Champasak where you will check into your riverside resort. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure. You can discover French colonial buildings, Buddhist temples, or simply enjoy an evening in the Shadow Puppet Theatre

Overnight in Champasak
Meals: (B/_/_)

After breakfast and check out of the hotel, you are picked up and driven to the little village of Ban Khiet Ngong. From there you will embark on a medium trek (4 hours) alongside your elephant through paddy fields and wetlands, you will be led inside the jungle that surrounds the area by your mahout and guide. This activity is now an important source of income for the villagers and it helps them to avoid selling the elephants and discourage wildlife hunting.

Today you will have a chance to eat with the village’s residents, enjoying a traditional local meal of papaya salad (som tum), sticky rice, and grilled fish.

After lunch, take a scenic drive to Don Khong, one of the larger permanent islands in the ‘Si Pan Don’. This area in the Mekong is an archipelago of over 4,000 islands where the pendulum of time swings slowly and postcard-worthy views are the rule rather than the exception. This unique cluster of islands is found in a section of the river that’s over eight miles wide (no, that’s not a typo) and is dotted with rapids and waterfalls.

Late afternoon you will arrive and check into the hotel on Don Khong Island. Here you will be able to get a rare glimpse of river life by visiting one of these communities, touring a local school, and meeting village elders.

Overnight on Don Khong Island
Meals: (B/L/_)

After breakfast, you will embark on a full-day tour to Siphandon. Here the Mekong River is at its widest, stretching up to 12 km during the rainy season. As the waters recede, many small islands emerge, giving the region its name.

On arrival, you will visit the village of Ban Nakasang and then hop on a boat to cruise across to the peaceful island of Done Khone, a small island in Si Phan Don home to rural villages and plantations and where you can spend some time cycling around.

After this, travel on to the impressive Lippi Waterfall, famous for the Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins that swim nearby. Ban Hang Khon is one of the few places on earth it’s possible to spot these endangered mammals. You also view the old locomotive, a railway, and a colonial bridge built by the French in order to avoid navigating the rapids and waterfalls in this section of the Mekong River.

After lunch at a local restaurant, continue with further explorations on the river. By late afternoon, head back to your hotel Don Khong Island in time to watch the sunset.

Overnight on Don Khong Island
Meals: (B/L/_)

After breakfast and check out, transfer to the famous cascade falls of Khon Phapeng, Southeast Asia’s largest waterfalls, and one of Laos’ most magnificent natural attractions. You can hear the thunderous roar and gaze at the awesome power created by millions of liters of water crashing over rocks.

After lunch in a nearby restaurant return to Paske airport to take a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, or taking an overland exit through Chongmek International checkpoint to Ubon Rathani in Thailand, two and a half hours away. From there, board your one-hour flight to Bangkok and connect on to your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.

Meals: (B/_/_)

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Useful Information

This sample itinerary was created by our travel experts as inspiration for your next trip. Ready for your customization. You pick to suit your budget, desires, and cultural experiences. The price of this trip will vary, depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and give us the necessary information to enable us to send you a FREE personalized quote within 48 hours if not sooner!

Sightseeing Highlights

  • The scenic green mountainous area of Bolaven Plateau with various watefalls, and plantation
  • Explore the ruin of mysterious temple of Wat Phou to learn about the history of southern Laos
  • Stroll around exciting 4000-island area and admire the life of the local peaceful village
  • The amazing Khone Phapheng waterfalls, one of the biggest waterfalls of the world

Dining Experience

  • 5 hotel buffet breakfasts.
  • 1 dinner and 3 lunches at well-selected restaurants

Travel Highlights

  • Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
  • Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
  • Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
  • A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
  • Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip

What’s Included?

Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, A/C vehicles, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax, and service charge.

What’s Not Included?

Your international flights from and to Laos, the entry visa to Laos, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.

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Reviews on Our Service

We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.

Incredible Vietnam experience with Tony

Asia Pioneer Travel planned every detail or our 16-day trip across Vietnam, Lao, and Bangkok. Our tour guide in Hanoi, Tony, crafted the perfect few days for us to experience Hanoi, both culturally and historically. He was very flexible since we are a group of six women with different dietary needs who sometimes wanted different experiences. He did it all with a big smile on his face and a happy personality, so proud of his beautiful country. He also made some phone calls for us about clothes we had made in Hoi An and took our laundry to be cleaned at a local service. We are so grateful that he could show us Hanoi!
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Darla R - Waldenbuch, Germany 
Apr 8, 2023


If a traveler was looking for a tour group that was knowledgeable, energetic, patient, flexible and kind, then this is the company. I cannot speak high enough about all of our tour guides we had in each city. Bang Bang was relaxed, friendly and so adaptable to everything we asked of him. Tony, May be the happiest and energetic guide out there. Each city we visited in Vietnam was only improved because the positive influence our guides bestowed on our experience. I am so honored and grateful to have known these people. You cannot go wrong with booking this tour group. Lizbeth
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Lizbeth K - Australia
Apr 5, 2023

Great company, great service

Excellent customer service from Elly Do and Asia Pioneer Travel from start to finish. Elly took the time to come to meet us in our hotel in Hanoi and it was lovely to meet her. We changed our itinerary a couple of times before booking and Elly was always happy to discuss and accommodate. All the guides we had and all of the hotels were great. When you only have a couple of days in each city it was great to have a guide and a driver to whisk you through the traffic. Thanks Elly!
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HelsDavies4 - Canada
Apr 5, 2023

Amazing People and Great Service

We have always been very interested in Vietnam and Cambodia, recently retired, we decided the time was right to make this trip. Living in Canada and booking a trip to SE Asia can be a little difficult given the 15-hour time change. We worked with Mr. Lam of Asia Pioneer travel and we had no issues. In fact, we wondered if he ever slept as it didn’t seem to matter when we sent a question or request, the response was immediate. He kept in touch with us throughout our travels ensuring that everything was as we had hoped. They exceeded our expectations in all areas. The communication, knowledge, flexibility, and caring attitude was incredible.

We travelled for 7 weeks so the tour that we structured gave us a great mix of guided and free time. We were able to see the normal tourist sites, as well as spend some in-depth time in the villages and communities. This gave us a much greater insight into life in Vietnam and Cambodia. All I can say is that they are amazing and incredible people!

Our guides were great. Our drivers were safe and looked after us very well. I would not recommend anyone try driving on thier own if you are coming from a country where people obey the traffic laws. We learned over time that is is actully very organized chaos!

If you are looking for a great agency, we can assure you that Asia Pioneer cares about you and will look after you with every detail!
Thank you to Mr. Lam and the entire staff.

Maria & Tom – BC, Canada

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Maria and Tom - West Kelowna, Canada 
Mar 31, 2023

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