- Transportation with air-condition in private
- Accommodation in twin/double shared room
- Boat trip as stated in above sights
- English speaking guide
- Admission fee to indicated sights
- Meals as per program
- Gov’t tax and service charge
- Luggage handling and drinking water
- Visa stamping fee on arrival
- All air tickets quoted separately
- Travel Insurance in all kinds
- Single room (quoted separately)
- Other foreign language guide
- Peak tourist season or special event rates
- Tip, drinks and other personal expenses
Upon finishing the border formality, our guide and driver will pick you up and transfer directly to Muang Khua.
Afterward, we will board on a long-tail boat downstream the Nam Ou River exploring one of the most authentic regions of the country. The picnic lunch will be served at one of the sandy beach along the river bank. We will arrive at the Khmu village of Ban Sopchem mid-afternoon; you have ample time to stroll around the village to get familiar with the local villagers before joining the Baci Ceremony. This rite is performed mostly for family and friends who are going or coming back from a long trip. This is their way of saying thank to you for your visit. Your guides will portability explain more about the ceremony. The dinner will be served after that for you to share with the host family, the best chance to get first impression of Lao culture. Spend your night at Ban Sop Chem.
Distance and travel time: + Tay Trang - Muang Khua: 70KM | 2-hour transfer
Muang Khua - Ban Sopchem | 4-hour boat trip
This morning we take a boat downstream to Muang Ngoi, a picturesque little fishing village in the middle of nowhere.
We then trek to the Tham Kang, where according to the local legend, a Naga resides to the rear.
Continue through rice paddy fields onto the Lao Loum village of Ban Na, which is only accessible by foot, so retains much of its original character.
After lunch, our last stop is the Thai Daeng village of Huay Sen, before we trek back to Muang Ngoi, through a mixture of forest and paddy field scenery.
Return to Muang Ngoi while the sun is setting behind the mountains.
You are free to stroll around the riverbank to admire the sunset or just relax by one of the riverside bars to enjoy a cold drink.
Overnight in Muang Ngoi
Approx: 15-minute boat trip + 4-hour trek
We begin at 8am and start off by boarding a local long boat and head downstream through some fantastic landscape before making our first stop of the day at a small riverside village. Here we take some time to look around and if during a weekday pay the local school a visit to see the charming children as they take part in their classes.
After this we continue onwards to Tad Mork which is located close to the ethnic Khmu village of Ban Sop Kong, an hour trek from the river. At the waterfall, we shall have time to swim and enjoy a picnic lunch.
After that, we will start trekking through the jungle to Ban Phayong, the village of H’Mong ethnic. The trek will take about 2.5 – 3 hours up to a small hill.
Arriving in Ban Phayong before the sunset, take some rest and enjoy the view before having dinner with the host family.
Overnight in Ban Phayong (homestay)
Wake up early, you can help the host to prepare the breakfast, or watch the sun rising over the mountains.
In the morning, we will have 3 hours trekking downhill via the paddy, corn fields to the bank of Nam Ou river.
From there, we board on the cruise downstream to the town of Nong Khiaw.
Along the way, we make a short stop to Ban Sopvan, which is home to the Tai Lue people. The village is located right next to the river, opposite to the village on the riverbank is a farm - home to many different types of animal including pigs, chickens, ducks, and buffalo.
We pay them a visit so it is worthwhile bringing some food along if you would like to feed them and surely very appreciated by both the animals and the villagers. The last part of today is 30 minutes boat ride down to Nong Khiaw. Upon arrival, check in your hotel. It is high time to refresh.
Overnight in Nong Khiaw
Still want to fill up your day?
We recommend the hike up the Nong Khiaw Viewpoint. Start from your hotel at around 3:30PM, you will reach the peak around sunset (not included – payable on spot)
+ Instead of taking the cruise, you can enjoy an afternoon kayaking down to Nong Khiaw in around 2 to 3 hours with the visit to the local villages along the way. Discuss with our guide if you wish to do so (not included – payable on spot – pre-reservation is required)
+ Before dinner, take a short visit to the Sabai Sabai Massage and try a traditional set, which will help you recover from the trekking days (not included – payable on spot)
Start this day of adventure with a peaceful boat ride on the Nam Ou River where you will be able to explore a small Lao village along the riverside. Learn about the villagers and their way of life along this Northern Laos River before beginning the '100 Waterfalls Adventure Trail'! Walking through small streams and rice paddies, you will arrive at the bottom of the 100 Waterfalls which were only first explored in October 2008! For the next few hours you will see only water and jungle and hear the constant sound of clear waterfall cascades. The pools around you are very inviting for a refreshing splash. Your guide will lead you through the cascades and prepare a local style lunch that you can enjoy on the falls surrounded by amazingly green nature. A small village trail on the top of the '100 Waterfalls' will lead us on our hike back down into the valley, offering wide views over the expansive Nam Ou valley. Once back in the village we will have some more time to experience the daily life of the Nam Ou riverside village before heading back to Nong Khiaw (Nong Khiau) by boat.
Overnight in Nong Khiaw 20-minute transfer | 4-hour trek | 2-hour boat trip
Today, we will drive through the most rural and least developed part of Laos via Vieng Kham to Muang Hiam. These back roads are a perfect way to venture off the beaten track and explore the real Laos. We see very few other travelers, mostly rural inhabitants who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are of theirs. The drive can be challenging on some parts of our journey due to poor road conditions; however, the verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population makes a memorable experience. Arriving in Muang Hiam, we will check in the simple guesthouse to take some rest before taking a walk explore this small village. If time permits, we can visit the nearby hot spring, which is very popular among local people. If you wish, you can take a dip to refresh, just like the locals. Overnight in Muang Hiam Distance: 170KM | 4-5-hour transfer
The National Park’s English-speaking guide and driver will meet clients at around 8:30am at the guesthouse in Muang Hiem.
First, visit the National Park’s headquarters and Visitor Center in Muang Hiam. The guide will share a presentation of the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park and introduce the on-the-ground efforts in protecting wildlife.
After a 45-minute drive along a curvy road through gorgeous mountainous landscapes and through the National Park corridor you will arrive at Ban Sakok, an ethnic Khmu Village, situated on the edge of the National Park’s boundary.
The village guide, porters and cooks will be waiting to greet you at the village visitor center, which has beautiful panoramic view of the village and surrounding mountains. The guide will inform you about the itinerary of the upcoming tour.
The trekking starts at around 10.00am, first you will hike through the village’s rice, tobacco, and cornfields learning along the way about upland rice cultivation and rural livelihoods.
At the edge of the fields and forest, enjoy a picnic overlooking fields and the backdrop of Phou Louey Mountain. Here your guides will explain about the different management zones of the park.
After lunch, begin trekking into the National Park following the path built and maintained by the village to the Tad Loy Camp. The trail climbs steadily into mixed deciduous forests. Your local guide may show you medicinal plants along the way.
This first day of trekking is quite short. After approximately 2-3 hours, you will arrive at the Tad Louey and Tad Loy waterfalls. Spend time relaxing, swimming at the two waterfalls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls found in the area before continuing to the camp.
Evening – Dinner
Enjoy a traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cook and porters. After, relax by the campfire and the wild outback of Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park. The guides may tell you Khmu folktales and stories about dragons, wildlife and ghosts.
Optional: After dinner, your guide can take you on a short (around 30min) night walk nearby the camp to see insects and other small creatures of the night.
Overnight in bamboo huts (two people per hut).
Wake up early and before breakfast walk up to a nearby mountain to check for wildlife photos on camera traps set there, bird watch, and possibly to hear the calls of the rare Northern White-Cheeked Gibbons.
After returning back to the campsite, enjoy breakfast. Today you will trek from the foothills of Phou Louey Mountain across the rugged and mountainous landscape to The Nests campsite located nearby the Poung Nied saltlick and the wildlife observation tower.
The route traverses some beautiful forest and landscapes and trench remains from the war. The trek is approximately 12km and takes around 7hours with a steep ascent to the top of Phou Phamai Mountain Pass (Elev. 1’500m) followed by a gradual descent down to the camp.
The top of Phou Phamai Mountain offers great view over the National Park, and you can see far away the Ban Sakok village from where you started your trek. Enjoy a picnic lunch with a view.
You will arrive at The Nests camp in the mid-afternoon and will be shown to your accommodation – the hanging spherical “Nest”. Enjoy free time to relax, bath in the nearby river and enjoy the nature.
Enjoy traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cooking group at around 6-7 PM. Dinner at the camp and is not allowed at the observation tower.
After dinner, you will receive a briefing about wildlife viewing at the Poung Nied salt lick – one of the largest salt licks in the National Park. The guides will inform about the species of animals you may see and explain the rules and expectations for spotlighting.
It’s important to follow the introduced rules, such as: no talking, no eating at the salt lick observation tower. We will stay at the observation tower for a few hours (depending on your curiosity and patience) until no later than 11:30 pm.
The most common animals that you might spot include Sambar and barking deer (AKA muntjak) and various species of civets, although, if lucky, you may see also other protected animals such as bears, dhole, several species of wild cats and others.
Please wear warm clothes as it can be quite cold in the late evening/night time.
Early morning before breakfast, there are two options for you:
First option, wake up at 6:00 AM walk back to the nearby salt lick to identify different wildlife tracks. Spend approximately an hour in the observation platform, as morning is a great time for bird watching. Then, follow the guide to check the camera traps.
Second option, wake up early at 5:30 AM and walk for 20 minutes up the mountain to try your luck to listen to the calls of the critically endangered Northern White Checked Gibbons. Enjoy sunrise and bird watching from a small viewpoint platform in a tree. At 6:30 follow the guide to check the camera traps.
Once back to the camp, enjoy breakfast and view wildlife camera trap photos taken by the camera trap during the previous night.
Twelve surrounding villages involved in this project receive monetary bonuses in the form of a village development fund based on the number and type of wildlife, and wildlife proof identified and viewed in the camera traps. (This fee is included in the tour price.)
Return – trek from The Nests to Ban Nam Poung Village
Your final day of trekking takes you along a 7.5 km forest path. Pass by the ranger substation and trek through thick jungle and mixed deciduous forest. The local guide will show you medicinal plants and spot animal tracks along the way.
The trek has a couple moderate uphill before descending into agriculture fields. At the edge of the forest and fields, enjoy a picnic lunch. From here a tok tok (a small tractor used for plowing rice paddies converted to be a vehicle for transportation) will pick you up and take you through the village rice and corn fields for about 5km to Ban Nam Poung Village, an ethnic Khmu Village, situated on the edge of the national park boundary.
Once in the village your village guides will bid fairwell you and you will be transferred back to Muang Hiem by private truck or van. We will be back in Muang Hiem in afternoon.
We recommend you come back for the hot spring bath which will help you recover from the 3-day trekking.
Overnight in Muang Hiam.
After breakfast, drive about 5 to 6 hours to Xieng Khouang. Along the way enjoy the beautiful scenery and see local village life. Xieng Khouang is a town that has been totally rebuilt after being destroyed during the secret war in Laos. The town is now located 30 km away from where it used to be.
Today, Xieng Khouang, locally called “Phonsavan” is the gateway to the Plain of Jars.
Along the way, we will make a stop at Muang Kham, to visit the town and also the hot spring if you wish We arrive in Xieng Khuang around mid-afternoon.
One more option for you is that you can visit the MAG Center, which is a humanitarian organization clearing the remnants of conflict for the benefit of local communities worldwide. Lao PDR is the most heavily bombed nation in the world (per capita). Overnight in Xieng Khouang Distance: 203KM | 5-6-hour transfer
Visit Ban Phakeo’s Large, Inaccessible and Mysterious Jar Site Travel 45 km from Phonsavan in Xiengkhouang Province to the Hmong village of Ban Thalin (less than one hour) for a visit to the market to have lunch and supplies as the village food is “very local” (meat, rice and no or few vegetables). Meet the Ban Thalin village guide and take an easy-to-moderate five-hour trek along an ancient route, up hills and across streams to the Ban Phakeo jar sites. The Ban Phakeo jar site features nearly 400 jars and many rare stone discs with animal sculptures, and is This is the only jar site with lids. There is also evidence of people using the jars as grinding-whetstones for sharpening knives. Beautiful orchids often bloom in the jars. Witness Daily Life in a Hmong Mountain Village Life in Ban Phakeo remains mostly the same as it has over the centuries for the Lao Hmong who migrated from the South of China. Witness Ban Phakeo villagers cook you a dinner such as duck soup with rice or chicken. In the evening, village women meet at new freshwater taps to do laundry and chit chatting. Stay overnight at the basic village lodge (mats on a wood emporium, pillows, blankets and mosquito nets are provided). Be sure to take some warm clothes for the night as the mountains temperature can drop significantly.
Visit Ban Phakeo’s Large, Inaccessible and Mysterious Jar Site Travel 45 km from Phonsavan in Xiengkhouang Province to the Hmong village of Ban Thalin (less than one hour) for a visit to the market to buy lunch and supplies as the village food is “very local” (meat, rice and no or few vegetables). Meet the Ban Thalin village guide and take an easy-to-moderate five-hour trek along an ancient route, up hills and across streams to the Ban Phakeo jar sites. The Ban Phakeo jar site features nearly 400 jars and many rare stone discs with animal sculptures, and is This is the only jar site with lids. There is also evidence of people using the jars as grinding-whetstones for sharpening knives. Beautiful orchids often bloom in the jars. Witness Daily Life in a Hmong Mountain Village Life in Ban Phakeo remains mostly the same as it has over the centuries for the Lao Hmong who migrated from China. Witness Ban Phakeo villagers cook your dinner such as duck soup with rice or chicken. In the evening, village women meet at new freshwater taps to do laundry and discuss village news. Stay overnight at the basic village lodge (mats on a wood emporium, pillows, blankets and mosquito nets are provided). Be sure to take some warm clothes for the night as the mountains can get cool.
In the morning, drive to Muang Khoun, one place in the old provincial capital that was not been destroyed by the American bombings during the secret war. Muang Khoun is home to unique sitting giant Buddha as well of some old pagodas that lies in ruins. The foundation and columns of Wat Pia Wat are still standing and close to this site, there is also an old 30m stupa constructed in the Lan Xang/Lanna period.
After that, we will follow the southern road via Thathom, and Nam Cap to Paksan. This road is also not explored by the tourist, and you mostly see the local people.
We arrive in Paksan late afternoon. Overnight in Paksan
After breakfast, we continue the journey south along route 13. This first leg of the journey takes around 3 hours and it is interesting to have a quick stop at Wat Prabath Phonsane (‘Temple of the footprint of Buddha’).
You will then leave the highway and enter the Phou Hin Poun NPA (National Protected Area). The scenery will become much more spectacular, featuring limestone karsts, forests and rice paddies. From the highway to your destination will take approximately 2 hours.
On arrival in the small town of Ban Kong Lor you will check in, freshen up and then head out to explore the famous Kong Lor Caves.
You will be given life jackets and head torches before a short walk around to the main entrance of the cave. Upon entering the cave, you will board a long tail boat which will take you through the length of this spectacular cave along an underground section of the Hin Boun River – a length of 7.5km before you see daylight again!
The river flows all year and reveals vast formations of stalactites and stalagmites, which you will explore partly on foot whilst inside the cave. In places the cave is up to 90m wide and 100m high. The cave is still used by local villagers as an access route to the region beyond (it is far quicker than climbing over the mountains which this cave cuts through!).
Once out on the other side you can stop for refreshments and walk to local villages, enjoying the scenery and observing a simple way of life (discuss with your guide how far you would like to walk).
Return by boat, travel ‘downstream’ through the cave, to Ban Kong Lor.
Overnight in Ban Kong Lor.
After breakfast, we will say goodbye to the lovely village and depart for Ban Thalang. After one-hour drive, we will make the first stop in Ban Thabak, and enjoy the 02-hour boat ride along the Nam Theun river. The boat is made from the old aircraft oil tank, and suitable for up to 3 people per boat. During the cruise, we enjoy the tranquil landscape of the along the bank of the river. We may stop at one or two local villages if you wish to see deeper into the local life. In the afternoon, we will drive further to Ban Nam Yen, to cool off and take a dip at the natural swimming pool. We will also make a short stop at Tham Mangkon (Dragon caves) before transferring directly to the beautiful village of Tha Lang in Nakai District. The rest of the afternoon is free on your own. You can choose to stroll along the river to admire the sunset, or go fishing on the lake, which is created by the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Dam (extra charge) For the overnight place, you have 2 options. For the ones who like partying, Sabaidee Guesthouse will be the solid choice. If not, Phousi Thalang will give you a quiet and peaceful atmosphere to enjoy your night. Distance: 150KM | 4-hour transfer
Wake up early, you will prepare for your own breakfast with the help of Sabaidee Guesthouse owner. After that we depart for Thakhek, the capital town of Khammouane Province. Along the way, we will make a short stop to visit Nam Theun 2 Visitor Center, where we can have some information of this Hydropower project.
Continue further, you can hike up the the Pha Katai viewpoint (20km from Nakai), which offers the amazing panoramic view over the region. Another 02-hour driving will bring us to the village of Ban Nakhang Xang, to meet the village guide, who leads the trek. Trek through secondary forest, while the guide points out forest products that provide the local people with significant food resources. The trail passes through a cave that exits into a striking valley surrounded by towering cliffs and forest. The picnic lunch will be served whenever you feel hungry, we recommend to have it at Tham Hip, which offers the great panoramic view over the area. In the afternoon, continue the trek, following the shoreline of Nong Thao Lake, where trekkers can see local fishermen at work. At Tham Nong Paseum Cave, the adventurous can swim into the 400-metre-long cavern and explore its dramatic stalactites and stalagmites. We then continue walking, and climb up a bamboo stairway to the Buddha Cave, which was rediscovered in April 2004. The cave contains 229 bronze Buddhas that are said to be over 300 years old. Late afternoon, we will drive to Thakhek to spend the night Distance: 130KM | 3-hour transfer
07:00AM Today, we will have an early transfer to Savannakhet, where we will join the transfer to Muang Phin and then south towards the Se Bang Hieng River, where the trek into fertile green jungle begins.
Learn about the birds, plants and animals from the guide before stopping for lunch. Continue trekking though mixed forest woodland and rocky out crops and watch for wildlife along the way.
Village life becomes more evident as the trail passes vegetable gardens and old rice paddies. About 8 km from the road, we then enter a Kaleng village, where the chief introduces the community.
Trekkers will have the opportunity to experience the traditional village lifestyle of rural Laos, inspect farming fields and methods, and watch silk producing, weaving and blacksmithing before a home cook dinner with the villagers and an overnight stay.
After an early rise, the village guide leads the group to Dong Sa Kee sacred forest. Trekkers may spot rare silver langurs and hornbills.
The guide explains the forest products that villagers gather and how to use them. On the way back to the village for breakfast, trekkers learn about the Lak La'puep clan posts.
After breakfast, set off for another Katang Village. The trail leads though a mixture of forest types, where trekkers stop for lunch. The trek continues with the guide pointing out plants, birds and tracks of larger animals. The group also learns about edible herbs and bush fruits, picking them along the way for the dinner prepared by the village guide.
Before arriving at the village on the Se Bang Hieng River, trekkers will have clocked about 8 km. The overnight is spent near the banks of the Se Bang Hieng River.
The morning's highlights are splendid ride by long tail boat to Kaeng La'berng Nang, then relax and enjoy the forest, riverside and white sandy beach.
Continue to Kaeng Samartek rapids and disembark and hop on the waiting transportation and transfer directly to Tad Lo Lodge via Salavan.
Along the way, we may make some stops to visit local village.
Arrive at Tad Lo Lodge in the early evening, check in your room.
Overnight at Tad Lo Lodge
Distance: 135KM | 4-hour transfer
After breakfast, we transfer to the village of Ban Nongluang, where we will join with the other travelers.
Stroll for a while through the village and chat with the people. The village guides who will accompany us for the next three days give important first safety instructions. We then hike through coffee plantations and vegetable gardens until wild semi-evergreen forest gradually takes over. The trail winds down for a while, sometimes quite steeply, passing ravines, beautiful waterfalls and flower-studded plateaus. Along the way, the guides explain the plants traditionally used in the village kitchen or as herbal medicine.
A breath-taking tree shade walkway high in the trees and crossing a steep river valley is the first challenge. We then pass the huge 'Tiger' waterfall and reach the giant 'Kamet' fall (name of a monkey), where the water plunges more than 100 m down into a relatively narrow, densely forested valley basin with waterfalls apparently everywhere. Here is where the zip-lines start and the real thrill takes its course. Brace yourself for an adventure of a lifetime!
We take our lunch in the wilderness, explore the forest secrets of the area and may take a cooling swim before mastering the unbelievable zip-lines. The cables crisscross the valley in front of the majestic water wall, stunning high and perfect cool by the spray of the water. Enjoy the sensation of being weightless and truly one with nature. Let your adrenaline rush come to the maximum. It's joy, sheer joy!
After a day of great activity, we finally settle for the night in the wonderful camp with restaurant nearby. For dinner, local food and absolutely delicious barbecues are on the menu. Chatting and recollecting the gorgeous experiences of the day, or just relaxing and dreaming beneath the stars about the incredible wonders of life, we finally retire into our own tree house almost 10 m above the ground. These houses designed in traditional style, made of wood, bamboo, and grass, can only be reached by -- a zip-line. Bathrooms near the restaurant offer hot and cold water. An instant cozy sleep shrouded by the fiddling sound of the forest crickets is guaranteed.
Note: Join tour with guide from Tree Top Explorer
We wake up amidst the warbling, piping, chirping, twittering of the innumerable birds in the dense canopy around us. A simple European-style breakfast prepares us for an easy 30-minute trek through great forest before reaching the first cable. Be ready for extended flights through the jungle with the longest zip-line of 400 m as a real highlight. Its speed, its felt infinity, the proximity to the usually invisible upper stratum of the forest is an amazing and unforgettable experience.
A picnic lunch is served in the best of nature. We return to the camp in the later afternoon by passing the 'Red Rock' stream, where we will have time for some refreshment and swimming before falling asleep in our tree house for another night.
It's a day of more challenges, but also a day of saying 'goodbye'! After breakfast, we slowly trek uphill, passing a section of forest where gigantic trees dominate, obviously not yet spotted by illegal loggers…
Then it gets a bit tough and jaw-dropping when the trail suddenly "ends" at a steep rock wall, only passable on a 'via ferrata', where iron U-bolts are plugged into the rock. There's no way of getting around but to overcome this obstacle in order to get to the other side. Don't worry, it's all safe and you are secured by state-of-the-art safety gear. It's not really long either, just thrilling.
Upon reaching the top of the mountain, one of the highest peaks in the area, an open plateau rewards everyone for all the 'hardship' – and for a last time – with stunning views of three waterfalls and vistas over the Mekong deep into neighboring Thailand. We'll take our lunch here before an easy 1.5 hour hike back to Ban Nongluang, where a car is waiting to bring us to Pakse.
Overnight in Pakse.
Founded by the French in 1905 as an administrative post, the capital of Champasak Province is a relatively new town at the confluence of the Mekong and Se Don rivers.
Today is your leisure, you have ample time to relax or stroll around the town for your own exploration before taking the departure flight
Tip: Early morning, ascend to the top of Wat Phou Salao to admire the panoramic view over the town of Pakse, and the nearby area, whilst the sun is rising over the faraway mountains (not included – payable on spot).