Being neglected much more than Luang Prabang and Vientiane because of the lack of direct flights connecting with Asian travel hubs, the South of Laos was nearly forgotten for a long time. More a bless than a curse, this unpopularity leave the area a lot of untouched green rivers, fish source, shadowy plain highland, divine waterfalls and many hidden river isles. Recently, good straight tarred roads have made Southern Laos much more renown to young travelers, especially in its possibilities to connect with Cambodia to the far South and to accommodate grand caravan trip going thru all Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.
The facilities of the South, indeed, are less standardized than those of the North but it’s totally capable to develop now. Those looking for ecotours will also find the South a paradise, especially if you are lucky to meet an endangered Irrawaddy dolphin on the Mekong at the bend near the Cambodia border, or have long time enough to to stay in one ò "thoudsand isles" near the border.
Southern Laotian food undergoes the influence of its neighbor countries – Thailand and Vietnam. The region’s fertile soil and favorable climate enable local people to grow and harvest a variety of good quality fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains, meat and fish. Popular national dishes of Laos can be easily found in the southern part of this country, too.
Southern Laos is located near the Laos-Cambodia border and consists of eight main divisions: Pakse, Champasak, 4000 Islands, Bolaven Plateau, Xe-Pian, Sekong, Salavan and Attapau. The region offers exotic and many off-the-beaten-track travel routes and experiences and luckily, it has not been touched by mass tourism. However, Southern Laos is no longer the realm of active backpackers only, as rural lodges and boutique hotels are already scattered over the area.
Our pick: Strolling around Pakse or Champasak by bikes or on foot, visits vestiges in the town and intermingling with the locals in their daily life.
Boat trip at the Si Phan Don and waiting to meet Irrawaddy dolphine in the late morning; biking on the islets at Si Phan Don.
Visits to Wat Phu Champasak to admire Khmer culture’s traces and great view from the hill top.
Caravan tour in the highland from South to North, capable to link with Vietnam via landway.
Enjoying great Laos coffee and tea.