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Location: Luang Prabang

Day 1 - 6 Nov 2019

Kuang Si Waterval

Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Waterval
Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Waterval
Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Waterval
Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Waterval
Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Waterval

Content: One of the most famous highlights in Laos are without a doubt the Kuang Si falls. The turquoise blue water flowing from naturally formed pool to pool will give you the feeling of walking into a fairylike world. #nofilter is the exact way to describe the color of the water: the blue of the water is the same blue as in the pictures. In the lowest pools you can take a swim in this clear blue water, where little fish will come tickling your feet. After a little walk upstream, passing many small curtain-like waterfalls, you will be amazed by this mighty 50-meters high fall of crystal-clear water. You can even climb up the hill into the forest to the top of the waterfall and overview the whole surrounding. Make sure you wear proper shoes, because the climb is very steep. On the domain of the Kuang Si Falls you can also find a sanctuary for bears of the organization Free The Bears. These bears are rescued from captivity and being neglected.

Phousi Hill

Luang Prabang, Phousi Hill

Content: The rest of the day you can explore the rich history of Luang Prabang by wandering around between well-preserved architecture and old temples, a must see is the Wat Xieng Thong. Don’t forget to climb to Mount Phu Si to enjoy the 360° view over the city and its valley. In the evening you can stroll over the night-market and enjoy some local food.

Location: Vang Vieng

Day 1 - 6 Nov 2019

San San Resort

Vang Vieng, San San Resort

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Location: Vang Vieng

Day 2 - 7 Nov 2019

Ballooning in Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng, Ballooning in Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng, Ballooning in Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng, Ballooning in Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng, Ballooning in Vang Vieng

Content: If you always wanted to fly a balloon, you should definitely do it in Vang Vieng. You’ll fly over the city surrounded by beautiful karst mountains. You can choose to go early in the morning and see the sunrise between the mountains, or you can go in the afternoon and witness the sunset from above. The landscape around Vang Vieng is breath taking and watching this from above is a really unique experience.

Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng, Vang Vieng

Content: Vang Vieng, the backpackers-capital of Laos, mostly known for tubbing, but there is so much more to do. You can choose between active excursions such as kayaking, ziplining, buggy-rides... or go on a thrilling adventure during the Vang Vieng Challenge. If you’re more up to something less adventurous you enjoy some activities such as ballooning, swimming in the lagoons or tubbing...

San San Resort

Vang Vieng, San San Resort

Content: The rest of the day we spent next to the pool of our hotel. Because tomorrow will be an exhausting but exciting day.

Location: Vang Vieng

Day 3 - 8 Nov 2019

Vang Vieng Challenge

Vang Vieng, Vang Vieng Challenge
Vang Vieng, Vang Vieng Challenge
Vang Vieng, Vang Vieng Challenge

Content: If you want to combine some activities in Vang Vieng the best and most adventurous thing you can do in Vang Vieng is the Vang Vieng Challenge. This is a tour organized by Green Discovery. During this tour you first walk uphill through the dense forest and do some rock climbing and via feratta to a cabin somewhere on top of the hills. When you arrive at the cabin you can enjoy some abseiling from a waterfall of 40 meters high. After this abseiling, you can either stay the night in the cabin or you go back down using abseiling techniques from trees and many ziplines with incredible views over the valley. 
So you can choose to do this tour in either one day or in two days. When you are young and in good shape you can easily do this tour in one day. But sleeping in the cabin up the hill, waking up and taking a shower with the sunrise next to a priceless view over the valley is definitely worth the two-day tour. Besides this beautiful overnight stay, you’ll end your second day with some kayaking when you arrive early. Your guide also makes you typical Lao food during these tours. Oh and the housecats from the cabin are lovely. 
Remark: The price of this tour depends on how many persons are going on the tour. You can also choose for a private tour, but than the price will be a little higher. When you’re lucky and you book for the group-tour, you might end up being the only ones who booked the group-tour and actually have a private tour. The Vang Vieng Challenge is a bit pricey, but we promise: it is definitely worth it.

Location: Vang Vieng

Day 4 - 9 Nov 2019

Vang Vieng Challenge

Vang Vieng, Vang Vieng Challenge
Vang Vieng, Vang Vieng Challenge
Vang Vieng, Vang Vieng Challenge

Content: Day 2 of the Vang Vieng challenge. Today we go back down and the easiest way to do that is by ziplining and abseiling back down.

Location: ວັງວຽງ

Day 4 - 9 Nov 2019

Silver Naga Hotel

ວັງວຽງ, Silver Naga Hotel

Content: To relax after the Vang Vieng challenge we spend the rest of the day at the pool of Silver Naga hotel to continue our trip tomorrow to Vientiane.

Location: Vang Vieng

Day 4 - 9 Nov 2019

VV Guest house

Vang Vieng, VV Guest house

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Location: ວຽງຈັນ

Day 5 - 10 Nov 2019

Patuxai

ວຽງຈັນ, Patuxai

Content: The most famous highlight in Vientiane is definitely Patuxai, a triumphal arch in the center of the city. Patuxai literally means ‘victory monument’, it is dedicated to all people who fought for the independence of Lao from France. It is inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and was built with cement donated by the Americans to build a new airport. Even the big four-lane road in front of the monument will remind you of the champs elyssees in Paris. You can climb the stairs to the top of the monument, where you’ll find some souvenir shops and you can walk around to have a great view over the whole city. Around the monument there’s Patuxai park with a fountain and some benches to sit and relax.

Location: Vientiane

Day 5 - 10 Nov 2019

Pha That Luang

Vientiane, Pha That Luang
Vientiane, Pha That Luang

Content: Three kilometers outside the center of Vientiane you’ll find another temple complex: Pha That Luang. This big golden Buddhist stupa is the holiest monument and an important national symbol of Laos. You can even find it on the national banknotes.

Buddha Park

Vientiane, Buddha Park
Vientiane, Buddha Park
Vientiane, Buddha Park

Content: A little further away from the center of Vientiane you can find Xieng Khuan, better known as Buddha park. This is a park where you can find more than 200 different Buddhis and Hindu statues. There’s one sculpture with a stair inside so you can climb to the top to have a view over the whole park. Inside this sculpture you’ll find even more interesting and bizarre figures (like, really bizarre figures!). Another fascinating statue is an enormous reclining Buddha of 40 meters long, it’s kinda hard to miss.

Location: Thakhek

Day 5 - 10 Nov 2019

Villa Thakhek

Thakhek, Villa Thakhek

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Location: Thakhek

Day 6 - 11 Nov 2019

Thakhek loop day 1

Thakhek, Thakhek loop day 1

Content: The Thakhek loop, better known as the Konglor loop or just the loop is a multiple day scooter trip through central Laos. It is a 450km long route that takes you through the beautiful landscapes, between the limestone mountain with their wonderful caves and lead you from one stunning waterfall to another. The official start and ending point of the loop is Thakhek. In the center of Thakhek you’ll find many places where you can rent a scooter for a small price. The local shop-owners know the loop and will provide you of a map and all information you need to know before you start your journey. 
On the regular loop there are many stops such as beautiful caves and waterfalls. You can complete the loop in three days if you select just a few of the sights. We recommend you taking it a little slower by spending at least four days on the loop. You’ll have more time to enjoy more sights and be more relaxed without time pressure. Because there are so many caves and waterfalls on the road, we decided not to stop by all of them and only visit the ones we thought would be the most impressive. We’ll list all stops below and tell you a bit more about the ones we’ve visited. THE ROUTE Part 1: Thakhek to Thalang Part 2: Thalang to Nahin Park 3: Konglor Part 4: Nahin to Thakhek You can drive the loop clockwise or counterclockwise. Or you can drive one part and just return, as part three (Nahin to Thakhek) is most of the time just highway, making it the fastest way to return to Thakhek.

Location: Xiangliab

Day 6 - 11 Nov 2019

Tham Nang Aen Cave

Xiangliab, Tham Nang Aen Cave

Content: This is the largest cave of the first part of the loop. Here you can explore massive and various formations and give free rein to your imagination. One part of the cave is light up with all different kinds of colors. It gives you kind of a disco-feeling. We weren’t a huge fan of the different colors, while it takes away the natural feeling. Another part of the cave is light up with more natural light. Here you can also find some stairs, which gives the cave a more fairy look. 
When the water-level is high enough, you have the possibility to enjoy a boat-ride through the cave and explore even deeper parts of it. The whole cave is lit up and the boats don’t have a motor, which gives it a different experience than the boat-ride through the Konglor cave. We lost our pictures from this plae.

Location: Ban Nava

Day 6 - 11 Nov 2019

Nam Theun 2

Ban Nava, Nam Theun 2

Content: On your way to Lak Xao you’ll pass this massive Nam Theun 2 reservoir. It is a man-made lake to control a hydroelectric plant. You’ll cross a landscape of endless blue water with dead trees popping out and reflecting in the water surface, giving this place something mystical. There is a visitor center that’ll provide you of more information about the lake, the powerplant and the whole construction process. We weren’t able to visit the center because it was closed at that moment. If you have spare time you can also enjoy a boat-ride through this mystical landscape. If you’re staying in Nakai, your guesthouse can arrange this for you.

Location:

Day 7 - 12 Nov 2019

Thakhek loop day 2

, Thakhek loop day 2

Content: Day 2 of the Thakhek loop Everything you’ll pass Buddha sculptures - Wailing ghost cliff - Dragon cave - Cool pool & Ban Napavan (swimming spot) - Ban Thabak & bomb-boats

Location: Thakhek

Day 7 - 12 Nov 2019

Wailing Ghost Cliff

Thakhek, Wailing Ghost Cliff

Content: The Wailing Ghost cliff is a large limestone mountain in the middle of the landscape. High in the mountain you can see a large hole, probably a cave. The mountain is named after the legend of Pha Phi Phong. This legend tells that every month on a holy day people have seen a pretty woman combing her hair on the edge of the rocks in front of this cave. You don’t have to leave the main road because you can see this cave from the road you’re driving on. You can’t miss the limestone karst, but if you’re driving in the direction of Konglor you might have to take a look over your shoulder to see the cave.

Location:

Day 7 - 12 Nov 2019

Dragon Cave

, Dragon Cave
, Dragon Cave

Content: Special about this cave is going in and out of the cave. In the beginning the ceiling is very low and you’ll have to walk bend over through loose sand for a while to arrive in this massive ‘room’ with impressive rock formations. It is not a very big cave, but it has many gaps and corners to explore, due to big rocks teared down from the ceiling and lots of stand-alone stalactites. You can exit the cave the same way as you came in but there is a second, less common entrance/exit. If you climb on the rocks to the stairs on the right side of the cave, you’ll come out the cave between some narrow rocks. It is not very clear because it is overgrown, but there is a path that’ll lead you to the main road again. This ‘path’ is quite an adventure, walking over narrow boards, between, under and over rocks, but it’s a fun trail. Be careful and watch out for boulders and rough patches. 
In wet season this cave might be closed as it gets flooded.

Location: Thakhek

Day 8 - 13 Nov 2019

Kong Lor Cave

Thakhek, Kong Lor Cave
Thakhek, Kong Lor Cave
Thakhek, Kong Lor Cave
Thakhek, Kong Lor Cave

Content: Day 3 of the Thakhek loop - Nam none cave - Konglor cave - Ban Natan (other side of Konglor cave) The real highlight of the loop: the Konglor cave. Step in a typical longtail boat and enjoy a 7km ride through this natural tunnel in almost complete darkness. The only light you’ll see comes from your headlamp, what makes it a very unique and mystical experience. In the middle of the boat trip there’s an illuminated part. Here you’ll get out of the boat (yes, your shoes might get wet) to explore this section by foot. After beholding the massive and wonderful formations you’ll continue your boat ride on this underground river. After a while you finally see the daylight reappear at the exit of the cave where your guide will drop you off at the shore where you can visit the remoted village Ban Natan. Here you can choose to either walk to the village and meet up with some locals, or you can rent bikes to explore the whole area behind the Konglor cave. A bike route is indicated and will lead you around so you won’t get lost and find your way back to your boat. This route will take you about 30-60 minutes. Your guide will wait for you for maximum 2 hours (if you want to stay longer, you’ll have to pay extra to your guide), but it is totally up to you. You can return directly to the beginning after you arrive, when you’re done walking around in the village after half an hour, after finishing your bike tour... You decide. We think the bikes are the best option, because in the village itself there’s not so much to see.

Location: Thakhek

Day 9 - 14 Nov 2019

Thakhek loop day 4

Thakhek, Thakhek loop day 4

Content: Last part of the loop - Nam Sanam waterfall - Limestone forest & ziplining - Pha Nanglong cave - Tham Heup cave - Khoun Kong Leng lake (swimming spot) - Giant wall

Location:

Day 9 - 14 Nov 2019

Limestone Forest Viewpoint

, Limestone Forest Viewpoint

Content: This is a viewpoint watching over a geological wonder. A landscape of big limestones mountains, karsts, peaks, cliffs, gullies... all inaccessible for people, but inhabited by plants and animals adapt to live there. While we were there, they were building some sort of restaurant to enjoy a drink or a snack while admiring this amazing landscape. If you’re brave enough and want to enjoy this magnificent view even more, you have the possibility to go for some ziplining over this stony forest.

The Giant Wall

, The Giant Wall

Content: One of the most bizarre things we’ve seen on the loop, if not just the most, was definitely the Giant wall. This 16-meter-high wall-ish rock formation is a thousand, maybe a million-year mystery. It is still unknown if this is a geological wonder or built by a former civilization. Driving even further towards Thakhek you’ll see more pieces of this mysterious wall on the side of the road.

Location: Thakhek

Day 9 - 14 Nov 2019

Villa Thakhek

Thakhek, Villa Thakhek

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Location: Pakse

Day 10 - 15 Nov 2019

Pakse

Pakse, Pakse

Content: In the south of Laos you’ll find a second, smaller loop. This tour is the ideal way to discover the Bolaven plateau with its stunning waterfalls, and authentic villages. There is a big loop of 320km (3 to 4 days) and a smaller variant of 220km (2 days). If you’re a waterfall lover this is a must do in Laos. For us the Thakhek loop was more a cave-tour, whilst the Pakse loop is more a waterfall-tour. You’ll see waterfalls in all sizes and shapes: high, low, width, small, dry, wet... Besides the waterfalls you’ll pass charming villages, tea and coffee plantations and you’ll get the chance to learn more about ethnical minorities. THE ROUTE (combination small and big loop): Part 1: Pakse to Tad Lo Part 2: Tad Lo to Paksong Part 3: Paksong to Tad Saulin Part 4: Tad Soulin to Pakse (+ Champassak) You can drive the loop either clockwise or counterclockwise. We recommend you driving counterclockwise so you can save the most impressive sights until the end. 
Sidenote: Tad means waterfall.

Location: Champassak

Day 11 - 16 Nov 2019

Mr.Vieng’s Homestay

Champassak, Mr.Vieng’s Homestay

Content: Mr. Vieng is the proud owner of a homestay, bar/restaurant and a huge coffee plantation. You can stop here to enjoy a delicious local, self-grown coffee and a tour around his plantation. Mr. Vieng is a very friendly farmer that speaks good English and will tell you more about the different kinds of coffee he grows on his plantation and the whole growing and harvest process from seed till cup. It is a very pleasant and educational stop on the Pakse loop. You can even spend the night here if you’d like to.

Location: Ban Baktheung

Day 11 - 16 Nov 2019

Tad Soung Waterfall (Top access)

Ban Baktheung, Tad Soung Waterfall (Top access)
Ban Baktheung, Tad Soung Waterfall (Top access)
Ban Baktheung, Tad Soung Waterfall (Top access)
Ban Baktheung, Tad Soung Waterfall (Top access)

Content: During the day there’s not much water falling down, as the dam is closed. This makes it the ideal spot for a little swim or just a moment to sit relax on top of a waterfall with a great view. Don’t walk too close to the edge as it is incredibly high and we don’t want you to fall off. If you go for a swim, make sure you get out of the water before 3.30pm as they open the dam at 4pm and the water will drag you all the way down. (Double check these hours before you leave, as we can’t promise there still up to date)

Location: Paksong

Day 12 - 17 Nov 2019

Pakse loop part 2

Paksong, Pakse loop part 2

Content: Part 2: - Tad Alone - Tad Couple - Tad Saulin + Tad Tayicseua

Tad Alone

Paksong, Tad Alone
Paksong, Tad Alone

Content: We visited this waterfall, but we think it is not worth visiting as a big part of it is man-made and fake. It doesn’t feel like nature at all.

Tad Couple

Paksong, Tad Couple
Paksong, Tad Couple

Content: We really recommend stopping at the Tad Sauling to visit the Tad Tayicseua. Here you’ll find a beautiful area with multiple wonderful waterfalls. We think there were around 11 waterfalls, but we only visited the one we think it’s the most impressive. There’s also a really enjoyable homestay and restaurant. When you arrive at the homestay, you’ll see a platform from where you can already catch a glimpse of one of the waterfalls. Behind the homestay you’ll find a trail to the waterfall area. The owner provides guided tours to the waterfalls if you want to explore several. We only went visiting one waterfall as the area is very large and we were running out of time. Despite we didn’t visit the others, we still think this waterfall was the most impressive of them all: The Tad Tayicseua. The trail is steep and slippery but totally worth it. Near the waterfall the ground is really muddy because of the splashes of the water, but the scenery is breathtaking. The massive waterfall in the middle of green grasses and pink flowers made us feel as if we walked into a painting. Enjoy this gorgeous waterfall but be really careful when you walk through the grass as there might be snakes. There’s a warning sign at the end of trail but the placement is not very well thought out. If you’re interested in visiting multiple waterfalls, you can spend the night in the homestay and take all time you need to explore the area. This place is so lovely as it is really quiet and peaceful and there’s almost no one else around.

Location: Paksong District, Champasak Province

Day 13 - 18 Nov 2019

Pakse loop part 3

Paksong District, Champasak Province, Pakse loop part 3

Content: Part 4: - Tad Yuang - Tad Champi - Tad Fan - Tad Itou

Tad Yuang Waterfall

Paksong District, Champasak Province, Tad Yuang Waterfall

Content: Tad Yuang is a spectacular waterfall and definitely worth a visit. The first impression will look a bit touristy as there are many restaurants and shops when you walk in. But past these stores and restaurants the landscape will soon open up into a beautiful green environment. Here you are at the top of the waterfall, where you can either have a picnic, relax a bit or you can go directly to the base of the waterfall. The first part of the walk down is really steep and there’s a tree blocking the path, so you’ll have to crawl over or underneath it. This makes the trail quit an adventure. At the end of the trail you’ll find a viewpoint where you can enjoy the sight on this impressive waterfall. Over here you’ll find another set of stairs going even further down to the base of the waterfall. We heard you can go for a swim over here but be aware of the current when you swim closer to the waterfall, especially during wet season. However, if you’re not up for a swim, it is still a must-see on the Bolaven plateau as the waterfall fits perfectly into this wonderful environment and vice-versa.

Location: Paksong KM38

Day 13 - 18 Nov 2019

Tad Fane Waterfall

Paksong KM38, Tad Fane Waterfall
Paksong KM38, Tad Fane Waterfall
Paksong KM38, Tad Fane Waterfall
Paksong KM38, Tad Fane Waterfall

Content: For us the highlight of the Bolaven plateau. The Tad Fan lays behind the Tad Fan resort which makes the environment less pure as the surroundings at the Tad Saulin, but once you see the waterfalls, you’ll be speechless. Unfortunately, as it is such a beautiful and well-known spot, there might be many other tourists around. 
So… Why this was still our highlight of the Bolaven plateau? Well, we explored the waterfall from a different point of view, literally. At Tad Fan, you have the possibility to either zipline over the waterfall valley or combine the ziplining with some relaxing in a hammock 250 meters high or taking tea (or coffee) time to the next level. We enjoyed our (not so hot) latté machiatto with a breathtaking view next to the waterfalls and explored the rest of the valley ziplining from one tree to another. It was such a unique experience. We definitely recommend you taking the ziplines as the coffee table and hammock are a bit more expensive and the ziplining is already thrilling.

Location: Champassak

Day 13 - 18 Nov 2019

Wat Phou

Champassak, Wat Phou
Champassak, Wat Phou
Champassak, Wat Phou

Content: After exploring the whole Bolaven plateau you can either return to Pakse or you can extend your loop to explore the age-old temples of Champassak: Wat Phou. Champassak lays around 45 km South of Pakse. The Wat Phou is an old ruin in the same style as the temples of Angkor in Cambodia. This temple lays on top of a hill, giving you this beautiful view over the whole surrounding. Here you can either start or end your Pakse loop. But you better come here early in the morning as it can be crowded during the day and the heath can be overwhelming climbing the stairs to the top of the hill. You can drive the same way back from to Pakse or you can take a shortcut and take a little boat with your scooter.

Location: Pakse

Day 13 - 18 Nov 2019

Phubachiang Golf & Resort, Pakse

Pakse, Phubachiang Golf & Resort, Pakse

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Location:

Day 14 - 19 Nov 2019

Si Phan Don

, Si Phan Don
, Si Phan Don

Content: In the most southern point of Laos, on the Cambodian border, you’ll find Si Phan Don, also known as 4000 islands. It is a group of islands in all sizes and shapes both inhabited and uninhabited. However, there’s only three islands you can visit: Don Khong, Don Det and Don Khone. The other islands can’t be visited or are just too small to be called a real island. At these three islands it feels like time has stood still. There is a calm, peaceful and laid-back atmosphere which makes it the best place to rest, relax, clear your mind and forget about everything. Over here you don’t need an excuse to do absolutely nothing. You can lay in a hammock the whole day with only a good book and a drink. Besides doing nothing you can also rent a bike or go on a kayak-tour to explore the surroundings with some beautiful waterfalls, dolphins and float between ‘all 4000’ islands, still peaceful and without any pressure. The most impressive things on these islands are the Li Phi waterfalls, the Khone Phapheng waterfalls and the breathtaking sunsets in the back of an infinite view over the Mekong river.

Don Det

, Don Det
, Don Det
, Don Det
, Don Det
, Don Det

Content: This is a really fun way to explore Si Phan Don from a different side of view. Instead of exploring these islands on land, you’ll float in between all these tiny and not so tiny islands in the river, combined with some sightseeing. You can choose between a half-day tour or a full-day tour. Most of these tours include some of the activities we listed above: an Irrawaddy dolphin excursion (not in your own kayak), a visit to the Khone Phapheng waterfall and a visit to one smaller waterfall. On the full-day tour lunch is included and freshly prepared by your tour-guide. We really enjoyed this kayak tour to explore the whole 4000 islands surrounding.

Location: Khon Tai

Day 15 - 20 Nov 2019

Li Phi Falls / Tat Somphamit Waterfalls

Khon Tai, Li Phi Falls / Tat Somphamit Waterfalls
Khon Tai, Li Phi Falls / Tat Somphamit Waterfalls

Content: The last day you can explore Si Phan Don by bike and pay a visit to the Li Phi falls. This waterfall is located on Don Khon and easily reachable by bike from Don Det or Don Khon itself. These waterfalls are not high but still impressive as they have an incredibly powerful appearance as a large amount of water falls of some huge and massive rocks.

Location:

Day 15 - 20 Nov 2019

Si Phan Don

, Si Phan Don

Content: Laos is an incredible yet quite unknown country by travelers and that’s what makes it so interesting. The nature is still untouched and you will hardly encounter large crowds of tourists anywhere. We can only recommend Laos. If you still have time, you can cross the border into Cambodia, another beautiful country with a rich history. Be sure to check out our Cambodia itinerary for more inspiration.