Natural beauty and an intriguing cultural legacy
There are still some parts of Southeast Asia where you can feel like you are not following in the footsteps of a thousand other travellers before you. Your tour of southern Laos will certainly have that off-radar feel.
Tourism is yet to impact greatly on the hill tribes that live here. Your guides can explain how they maintain their traditional way of life in the vast plains where they cultivate rice and coffee.
This is excellent trekking country, with dramatic waterfalls and the mighty Mekong offering refreshing places to cool down en route.
Pakse is the main hub and the perfect base for your southern Laos tour. Here you will find elegant Franco-Chinese buildings, atmospheric Buddhist temples and excellent coffee that has been grown on the nearby Bolaven Plateau.
Take a river cruise along the Mekong, keeping your eyes peeled for the rare Irrawaddy river dolphins and for Vat Phou, one of the few Khmer ruins outside Cambodia. Or travel to Si Phan Don, the 4,000 Islands – a photographer’s delight. This river archipelago boasts traditional fishing villages, rice paddies, rapids and wonderful sunsets.
The Xe-Pian Protected Area is where you can take a canoe trip through the wetlands to see rare wildlife species and support the local communities working here.