Hi there, i am travelling to Laos as part of a 2 month trip for 2-3 weeks, i will be going from Chang Mai to Luang Probang, Vientanne and Vang Vieng. From there i am planning on travelling South through Laos into Cambodia, however, i do not know much about Southern Laos. Any suggestions on places to go/stay throughout Southern Laos, or in regards to travelling from Laos to Cambodia in general would be much appreciated, thank you.
#1 fabba487 has been a member since 19/8/2011. Posts: 5
I'll be doing a similar trip, but in reverse. I can tell you the places i'll be goingto, to help you get the ball rolling. The places that look great and are along the way are Konglor Caves, Pakse (Bolaven Platuea, and Wat Phu in CHampasak), and 4000 islands. Just read the basic travelfish descriptions on all the places listed under southern loas and you'll work out a route. Take in mind i'm giving myself a full month in loas, you might not have time to do everything under the sun, just know whats out there and just pick and choose and play it by ear as you go. Can't truly recommend any of these. Yet. But Good luck
#2 phishsticks has been a member since 10/10/2011. Posts: 32
I'm doing a similar route to yours and would have to agree with phishsticks... It seems the highlights of southern laos are Pakse and Si Phon Don (4,000 Islands). From Pakse you can explore the Bolaven Platuea which I hear is beautiful. There is a loop you can do on motorbikes with lots of gorgeous sceanery and waterfalls. I hear that Champasak is also really nice. I'm actually getting on the bus to Pakse here in about an hour, so we'll see how it lives up to what fellow travelers I've met said.
Several good feature stories on this site to help with the Bolaven Plateau and Southern Laos by Scooter (http://www.travelfish.org/feature/10).
As you've only got three weeks and I imagine you'll eat up a week and a half up in the north I'd suggest and overnight sleeper to Pakse from Vientanne. On arrival in Pakse you can get motorbikes and head up to the Plateau for a couple of days - I'd suggest 1/2 nights in Tad Lo and then you can just do the short loop around to Paksong for 1 night and down back to Pakse for some waterfalls. If you do the wider loop it eats up more time and that should be your only focus for the time you'll have left scheduled for Laos.
So, following the short loop you could stop back in Pakse to regroup after Paksong and then keep your motorbikes to take a trip down to Champasake (2 nights - I think this place is well deserving of at least). You'll need to ferry across the river, and don't miss the turn off to meet up with the Mekong - but it's only an hour ride south of Pakse. Having a motorbike in Champasake is nice as the next morning you'll be able to beat the cyclists to Wat Phu and catch it while it is reletivly empty.
Then I'd probably bike back up to Pakse (for speed head up the east bank as the west bank side of the Mekong is reletivily dusty and deserted). Catch a bus down to Si Phon Dong for your remaining days in Laos and onward travel to Cambodia can be easily arranged there.
Arrived in Pakse this morning and am already in love with the place. It has a nice small town charm that shouldn't be missed. As Casey said its the main hub to do the Bolaven Plateau, which my partner and I are leaving for in the A.M. We are doing a 3 night, 4 day trip to do the wide loop. This feature, http://www.travelfish.org/feature/83 , is a good way to figure out how long you want to do, but heard of some good homestays along the wider route. If you go to Sabaidy 2 GH they have a great map of southern Laos to help in choosing your route.
Would also like to note that if you are going to LP from Chiang Mai that you stop off in Chiang Rai for a night (or two). Its a great little town and helps break up the journey. If you have the time you can take a bus to Thaton and take a boat the rest of the way up to Chiang Rai (about 3 hour journey.) Although it takes all day and costs a little more, it was one of my favorite legs of travel. here is a link to the post specific to that... http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/thailand/16098_chiang-mai----chiang-rai-via-chiang-dao--fang----tha-ton
Another side note: The sleeping bus to Pakse was ok... but, as others have mentioned, if you are travelling solo there is a chance you'll have to bunk with a stranger. The bus we were on wasn't full though so a few lucky people got a double to themselves.
Goodluck with planning your trip.
Nice place to stay in Luang Prabang? Well, have been to Sysomphone guesthouse in Ban Visoun, an unasuming guesthouse from outside, but with really nice and clean rooms. shared bathroom is about 6 US$, there are also (I think bigger) rooms in the new part. Very family oriented! And the owners run a few educational projects, also nice for someone who wants to teach monks for a while (I did it forr a few days, is a lot of fun, the monks are so eager to learn).
link is http://sysomphone.weebly.com
#7 arabspring has been a member since 25/11/2011. Posts: 2