Residence Bassac ornament

Our Activities

The excursions we offer can be tailor-made to suit your personal preferences. You can choose to ride in a minivan, tuk-tuk or cycle and we offer many ways to explore Champasak and the region enjoying the exceptional landscape and panoramas, leaving you with wonderful memories of southern Laos.

All activities are subject to availability and seasonality.

Vat Muang Kang is the oldest active temple active in Champasak, that dates back to the 19th century. Its architecture is quite particular and complex, with Burmese, Cambodian, French, Lao, and Vietnamese influences. The site includes a house that contains sacred texts and is the only monument of this style still standing in SE Asia.
For this day of discovery by bicycle, you set off from our hotel on the main road in the town. You pass through the town with its mix of pre-Angkorian remains, buildings and temples of the royal era, refined wooden houses of traditional Lao architecture and French colonial buildings. You will be lulled by the tranquility of the town and may see schoolchildren, also on bicycles, in the shade of the twisted branches of frangipani with their sweet-smelling flowers. You may also see the fishermen in their canoes and local people working in the rice fields with the mountains providing a stunning backdrop.
You cycle in front of Sikeut Primary School where a statue of Buddha Sisoumong faces the Mekong. It is erected in pre-Angkorian ruins and is in the shadow of a breathtaking Albizia Saman tree whose branches stretch over 1500m². Your bike ride will continue under the bamboo grove along the Mekong River that leads to the village of Vat Meuang Kang. You pass in front of the amazing church The Holy Name of Jesus Christ which is the first of its kind to be built in Laos. Your journey will take you through the picturesque village of Ban Nongvian and lush rice fields worked by the villagers in straw hats and their water buffalo.
The unique irrigation system allows the cultivation of rice almost all round. In the countryside, life flows at a gentle pace and you will feel a sense of serenity and calm. After a few kilometres, you arrive at Vat Phanon Sim and the Vat Meuang Kang bookstore. You stop for lunch along the Mekong River near the village of Vat Muang Kang. Before heading back, you can stop in the villages around the temple that specialize in the manufacture of bamboo artifacts.

Estimated time: 6-8 hours
Note: Remember to protect yourself from the sun with a hat or cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. When visiting traditional villages, consider wearing loose and comfortable clothing that covers your knees, shoulders and cleavage

The monumental ancient Khmer road, which originally stretched from India to Cambodia, crosses Champasak where Vat Phou was a major pilgrimage point. The oldest historical remains of Champasak have traces of more than a thousand years of human occupation that are still gradually being brought to light since the notes of the first explorers to the present time. The architecture of the various monuments of the Ancient City is organized in an axial figure, from Hong Nang Sida, through Vat Phou and Nong Din Chi, a site recently discovered on the Phou Malong mountain, which is located on the Pakse road to Champasak.
This architectural, cultural and historical mosaic makes Champasak an absolutely fascinating place, all in a landscape of shimmering colours, the tranquility of the Mekong, and mountainous panoramas. You spend the day travelling on a section of this mystical route to discover its many secrets.
The famous Vat Phou temple, or “Mountain Temple”, and many archaeological sites in the area are classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The construction of Vat Phou began in the ninth century on the sacred mountain of Phou Khao, and was the second Buddhist site in Laos, which hosts more than 100,000 visitors each year during its festival. From our hotel, you follow the old wall of the city to Vat Phou. From the site on the summit of Phou Khao, you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama, and the temple, although small, is captivating and has offered the most important archaeological discoveries made so far in the region of Champasak.
At the top of the mountain is a sacred spring known for its “straight from paradise” water, with which the Laotians make purifying ablutions and collect in bottles for its healing properties. While walking on the heights of Phou Khao, you will also see strange rocks in the shape of an elephant with mystical engravings.
After the visiting the temple, you visit the museum of Wat Phou, where you will find detailed information on the sites of the region as well as many artifacts.
You continue your cycle ride to the site of Hong Nang Sida, around 2.5 kilometres south of Vat Phou. This temple was built by a king whose daughter sacrificed her life to save her father’s. The latter, overwhelmed by this gesture of ultimate love, dedicated a temple to his daughter which was discovered in an almost entirely collapsed state. Each of its stones and artefacts are currently listed in detail for a major restoration project that you can see the progressing. You enjoy a picnic lunch enjoying the tranquility of nature near the Hong Nang Sida, and continue your ride on the ancient Khmer Road. We will end the day at the “Three Towers” site, or Pha That Sam Pang. From here you will be driven back to the hotel in a minibus.

Estimated time: 8-9 hours
Note: Remember to protect yourself from the sun with a hat or cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. When visiting traditional villages or temples, consider wearing loose and comfortable clothes that cover your knees, shoulders and cleavage. Also plan for comfortable shoes.
This excursion may not be possible during the rainy season.

From our Sala on the banks of the river, you begin your day in a dugout canoe to visit the many sites that litter the mystical Mekong River.
Your first stop will be the beautiful site of Vat Tomo, a pre-Angkorian temple nestled in the forest. In a similar architectural style to Wat Phou, its construction began in the 7th century. The temple was later rebuilt between the 11th and 12th centuries, but there are few traces of this ancient core of human activity. The ruins of Tomo are however both aesthetic and intriguing and you can see beautiful sacred and classified trees along the temple.
From Vat Tomo, you continue your trip on the Mekong to the beautiful island of Don Daeng, where enjoy a picnic lunch. This mysterious island on the Mekong River faces Champasak. Peaceful and car-free, it stretches for 9 kilometres and is 3 kilometres wide. The island is lined with deserted beaches with white sand where you can stroll and bathe in absolute calm. You will probably meet some fishermen, water buffaloes and children playing. The view of the Mekong is scenic, with beautiful mountains including the famous Mount Phou Khao in the background and many small trails to explore.
Your river adventure continues on to Vat Phanon Sim and the Vat Muang Kang bookstore. Vat Muang Kang is one of the oldest active temples in southern Laos, dating back to the 19th century. Its architectural style is quite particular and complex, with Burmese, Cambodian, French, Lao, and Vietnamese influences. The site includes a house that contains sacred texts and is the only building of this style still standing in Southeast Asia.
You make a last stop at the amazing Champasak Church: The Holy Name of Jesus Christ, which is the first of its kind to have been built in Laos before returning to our hotel in the beautiful landscape of the Asian sunset over the Mekong. Enjoy these last moments of the day with the soothing rhythm of the water and the spectacle of the flamboyant colours that repaint this mystical river and sky, bordered by the splendid mountains.

Estimated time: 8-9 hours
Note: Remember to protect yourself from the sun with a hat or cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. When visiting traditional villages or temples, consider wearing loose and comfortable clothes that cover your knees, shoulders and cleavage. Also plan for comfortable shoes.
The excursion may not be possible during the rainy season.

Nestled between the two banks of the Mekong is the mysterious abandoned island of Don Pakho. In the 1950s, this island was owned by a member of the Champasak royal family, who built a magnificent second home there, with a lush garden of exotic fruits such as cane sugar, bananas, coconut, and scented mangos. During the communist revolution of 1975 and the overthrow of the monarchy, the palace was transformed into a prison and re-education centre.
Here, about fifty inmates learned how to weave sticky rice baskets “kathip khao”, or were re-educated through various activities. The centre was closed about ten years ago after a terrible accident that upset the villagers of the area: two inmates tried to escape crossing the Mekong but lost their lives drowning in its currents. The building has been abandoned since this event. Metal, wood and other valuable materials have been looted, but the impressive structures and atmosphere of the island give it a very special aura.
You leave our hotel, taking a traditional wooden boat and marvel at the unparalleled charm of the Mekong. You anchor on one of the banks of Don Pakho island and take a path into the forest. Your guide can help you spot the many tropical fruit trees on the island and other edible species. You may come across the road of birds, chameleons and other animals, in this place where the fauna and flora have regained their rights. You pass a small altar dedicated to the spirits where the villagers make prayers and offerings.
Behind the altar, you discover the old palace which became a prison: its main building probably served as administrative office, and, just behind, the cells of the prisoners. It seems that this isolated island is now used as a place of relaxation for some teenagers as there is some graffiti on the walls of the prison. Continuing through the thickets, a real guessing game can begin with the various scattered remains of concrete, pillars and abandoned bathroom fittings. Have fun trying to unravel the mystery of this intriguing island.
After your walk, we take a picnic lunch on the island before taking the boat back to our hotel.

Estimated time: 6 hours
Note: Plan for comfortable clothes and sun protection, as well as closed shoes and long pants for walking in the forest & ruins.

For this multi-day adventure, we suggest combining three of our most beautiful excursions to discover the many facets of Champasak: the ancient Khmer Road by bicycle, the Mekong spiritual journey and the discovery of the mysterious island of the abandoned prison by boat. Please consult the description of these three activities for more details and we will organise the days in line with your wishes.

Estimated time: 3 days
Note: Plan for comfortable clothes and sun protection, as well as closed shoes and long pants for walking in the forests and ruins

Depending on the programme that we will adapt in line with your wishes and availability, you will drive to discover the area of 4,000 Islands “Si Phan Don” for between 1 to 4 days. The 4,000 Islands are very well named: there are thousands of islands and islets that sit in this part of the Mekong River next to the Cambodian border. Many of them are still virgin and wild and only the two main islands are populated and particularly interesting to visit: the island of Don Det with its restaurants, bars and lively evenings, connected in the south by a charming bridge dating from the colonial era, and the island of Don Khon, quieter, ideal for walking and cycling and to discover the few tourist attractions in the area.
The fauna and flora of Si Phan Don are exceptionally rich, but their ecosystem is fragile. It is here that the last few Irrawaddy river dolphins are found. This rare river dolphin has been near extinction for some time and only a few found refuge near the mangroves south of Don Khon. You take a wooden boat in the late afternoon and try to spot these elusive creatures in their natural habitat of the Mekong. It’s a magical and emotional moment that will leave you feeling full and united with nature.
It is also on the island of Don Khon that you will find the impassable rapids and the tumultuous waterfalls of Li Phi. The most adventurous of you may wish to take the ziplines that run for 1.5 kilometres over the falls. This particularly powerful stretch of the Mekong is a natural barrier for canoes and ships, and French settlers began to build a railroad to organize the transport of goods on the islands. You will find an old locomotive of the time and some remnants of railroad tracks.
If you would like to visit the 4000 Islands, we generally recommend the discovery of Don Khon and Don Det, with a walk to the falls of Li Phi and time trying to see the Irrawaddy River Dolphins. You leave Champasak by car, which drops you at Nakassan, to reach the pedestrian islands by wooden boat. It is possible to ride there by bicycle or motorbike or discover them from the Mekong by boat. Ask our travel desk about organising a tailor-made programme. The 4,000 Islands are the perfect place to enjoy the Mekong River, a mystical and soothing river, symbol of South East Asian beauty.

Estimated time: 1-4 days
Note: The climate in the 4000 islands is generally warm and tropical. Plan to protect yourself from the sun (hat, sunscreen, loose clothing).

The volcanic soils of the Bolaven Plateau are extremely rich and the cool temperatures due to their altitude provide farmers with fertile ground for planting high quality coffee and tea. Some have made coffee an art and a passion. Enjoy an exceptional fresh organic cup of coffee prepared with a unique technique at the Jhai Coffee House in Paksong and meet Vieng, a farmer from the Katu ethnic minority. His smile and his joy of life will leave you with an unforgettable memory. He will help you to discover his coffee plants with enthusiasm before enjoying a freshly hand-roasted cup of coffee.
The Bolaven Plateau, which extends through the provinces of Champasak, Salavanh, Sekong and Attapeu, is nicknamed the “Thousand Cascades” region, as a result of the cascading land levels on the plateau. Some of the resulting waterfalls are breathtakingly beautiful, such as the impressive Tad Fane Twin Falls, 120 meters high and located in the Dong Hua Sao Nature Reserve. Ziplines have recently been installed from the top of the canopy, but the descent is not for the faint-hearted. Other waterfalls lurk all along the Bolaven Plateau loop such as Tad Passouam, tastefully landscaped, or the splendid Tad Nyueang.
The plateau is the perfect place for hikes in the lush nature of Laos. The mysterious site of Tad Tayecseua and the exceptional Mystic Mountain offer spectacular landscapes and unforgettable experiences.
Bolaven is named after the Laven ethnic group. This region of southern Laos is indeed populated by many ethnic minorities that you can meet during this adventure. Each of these minorities specializes in hand weaving with their own colors and patterns. Our guide will take you to meet them and you will be able to get fabrics of a finesse and an exceptional beauty.
You visit the Bolaven Plateau from Champasak by car, and we will accommodate it at the time you wish.

Estimated time: Between 1-4 days
Note: The climate on the plateau can be rainy or very cool in the evening and during certain times of the year, plan warm clothes. During the day, the temperatures are warm and think of protecting you from the sun. For the visit of the traditional villages, cover your shoulders, cleavage and knees. Plan on comfortable shoes.

Pakse is a city with a charm all its own and surprising landscapes that contrast with this effusive city, that has developed more slowly compared to its cousins in the north, such as Luang Prabang or Vientiane. The name of the 2nd city of Laos comes from the contraction between “Pâk” (mouth) and “Se”, the diminutive name of the Sedone River, a major tributary of the Mekong. The city, bordered by these two major bodies of water, is the place where they meet nicknamed “Sopse” (lips of se).
Your day starts by car from Champasak and you can enjoy the wonderful views of the splendid mountainous landscapes, littered with green rice fields and traditional villages of the South. Your first stop is at the impressive Golden Buddha Wat Phou Salao, overlooking the city of Pakse which offers a superb panorama of the province of Champasak. The more energetic will want to climb the 200 steps to reach the temple, or you can stay in the vehicle to reach the summit.
Buddhist temples are very hospitable, and you can go take a look inside, where the monk will probably come to you to bless you with a string of baci (or phouk khene). Phou Salao is far from being the most beautiful temple of the city but it is very pleasant and you can find a very realistic wax monk who hangs in a room alongside many Buddhist figurines. Do not forget to leave a small kip note in the jar at the feet of the monk after the blessing before retiring with your head and back bowed to show your respect.
After descending the Phou Salao mountain, you cross the “Japanese Bridge” over the Mekong. The river is particularly imposing and offers a beautiful view. Your guide will take you to the unmissable and sultry Dao Hueang Market, one of the largest in South East Asia. All your senses will be impacted during this discovery of the out of the ordinary, with rich colours and powerful aromas.
It takes time to explore the market as you meander between the stalls because Dao Hueang is a modern-day labyrinth. Here you can find everything and ask for help from your guide to find the best stalls and negotiate prices, a sport whose etiquette must be measured with patience and smiles: beautiful jewels hidden between extremely kitsch jewels in gold and quality silver, exotic fruits with a thousand colors and flavours to be absolutely enjoyed, fresh tobacco grown in the Lao countryside and sold in large rice bags, desserts such as caramelized sugar cane sold packaged in bamboo leaves, fragrant padaek jars, Laos’ fermented fish sauce, an impressive array of fabrics, neglected counterfeits, finger-sized and oddly functional cell phones, hilarious t-shirts to nearly translated into English … are some surprises among others to find at the Dao Hueang Market.
After this urban adventure, we will rest in a small inn on the banks of the Sedone where you can enjoy a traditional Lao “nem khao” for lunch. The chef prepares delicious dishes at reasonable prices and you will find many local specialties such as papaya salad or Mekong fish in salt. Enjoy this soothing place at the water’s edge, popular with local gourmets and relatively unknown to tourists.
You continue your exploration of Pakse on the other side of the Sedone River where find a Chinese temple located at the branch of Sopse. The view here is wonderful and popular with young local people at the end of the day.
You head towards the north of the city and Wat Chomphet and its huge Buddha statue under which nestles a temple where female monks will bless you with a baci bracelet. The monks are always happy to receive foreign visitors and, if you feel like it, take a few minutes to chat with them. Asking many questions in Laos is not considered harsh, quite the contrary: it is a sign of interest and sympathy that will be greatly appreciated. Here you can try some of the activities that Lao do at the temple: make a wish and try to haul a small, heavy Buddha statuette over your head three times, if you can. The temple of Wat Chomphet is very popular with locals because its monks have the reputation of having some mystical powers. It is also on the dirt road that leads to it that are manufactured many statues of Buddha carved in stone and sold to the temples of the region. You stop to meet these local stone cutters and observe their unique skills.
We will end the day with a refreshing cocktail and amuses-bouches at Panorama, the rooftop restaurant of the Pakse Hotel, which offers a splendid view of the city. Cradled in the dazzling colors of the end of the day on the rivers and mountains that surround Pakse, you can enjoy the sunset and you will be able to spot the Golden Buddha at Wat Phou Salao in the distance.

Estimated time: 6-9 hours
Note: When visiting temples, consider wearing clothes covering knees, shoulders and cleavage. The discovery of Pakse is a flexible day and we can add or take out different parts of the day, as you wish. Talk to the team at our travel desk to find out about the different options.

How can we help you?

No request is too great and no detail is too small. We are also here to help you before your trip begins.