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Laos forum

Trekking around Pakse,Don Khong,Don Deth

Posted by Cian on 17/6/2009 at 09:28

Hi all,

Was hoping to get recommendations of a trek to get in when I get to Southern Laos.I will be getting a bus into Pakse and making my way to Don Deth through to Cambodia. Can anyone recommend where the best place might be to get in a days hike with a guide in between here?In terms of beauty and company to book with, and price.

Is it a case I could book through a guest house?

Thanks

#1 Cian has been a member since 23/5/2009. Posts: 7

Posted by CunningMcFar on 17/6/2009 at 18:45

plenty of opportunities in and around Champasak Province, check out ecotourismlaos.com, they have some good info on treks and homestays around the province: www.ecotourismlaos.com/champassak.htm We did the the trek along the Ta Ong Trail in Xe Pian National Protected Area, arranged through the Visitor Info Center in Pakse and well recommended. There are also trekking opportunities in Phou Xieng Thong NPA, including Pu Kong Mountain and village homestays, and some interesting looking options in Attapeu Province.
Green Discovery in Pakse offer many 1-day and multi-day options around the region, and they can be a good value if you can join a group:
www.greendiscoverylaos.com/ecotours/ps.html We did a couple of day treks with them and had a great time. Kingfisher Ecolodge also offers similar trips: www.kingfisherecolodge.com

#2 CunningMcFar has been a member since 20/8/2004. Posts: 163
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Posted by CunningMcFar on 17/6/2009 at 18:51

I would also reccommend a trip to the Mekong islands of Don Ko and Don Daeng, both can be done as day trips or with homestays, info here on TF:
www.travelfish.org/sights/laos/southern_laos/champasak/champasak
www.travelfish.org/sights/laos/southern_laos/champasak/pakse

once you are in Pakse, head over to the Visitor Info Center, lots of good info available and very friendly folks

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Posted by Tilapia on 17/6/2009 at 22:54

I can't say anything about trekking, but I can definitely vouch for what CunningMcFar says about the friendliness and helpfulness that you'll encounter in the Pakse Tourist Information Office. The folks in there were great. They will also let you dump your bags there if you're wandering around looking for a place to stay.

A very good resource.

#4 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,491
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Posted by Cian on 18/6/2009 at 09:30

Great advise guys, thanks.

Is Pakse worth staying around for a couple of nights or is it seen as a pass through for most travellers.Will be getting a night bus from Vientiene so wi ll be arriving at 6 or 7 in the morning

#5 Cian has been a member since 23/5/2009. Posts: 7

Posted by CunningMcFar on 18/6/2009 at 21:12

The Pakse section here on TF sums it up perfectly, a great base to explore Champasak Province. Decent lodgings and good food around town, and many of the provincial day-tripping and overnight opportunities start from here. Atmosphere is very relaxed and friendly.

#6 CunningMcFar has been a member since 20/8/2004. Posts: 163
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Posted by Tilapia on 18/6/2009 at 22:59

As CunningMcFar says, the food and lodgings are quite impressive.

A lot of people tend to blow through the place and make for the Bolaven Plateaux, Champasak, or the islands to the south. But if you have to stop for a night you could do a heck of a lot worse. I stayed for 3 or 4 days and found that the longer I stayed the more I enjoyed the place.

The neighbourhood on the other side of Se Don is a terrific spot to wander around in. There are some excellent spots on the river (where the Se Don and Mekong come together) for sunset beers (excellent view.) You can go onto the rooftop of the Pakse Hotel for beer and snacks and more excellent views. At night the town is, considering its size, incredibly peaceful. And, again, there are some excellent food joints there.

So, if you aren't in a hurry, I'd say that it's worth a couple of days, especially if you are not coming back that way. I like the place more than Vientiane.

#7 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,491
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Posted by Cian on 19/6/2009 at 17:17

Decided today to stick around Champasak for atleast a night to check it out. Might arrange a trek from here but will also rent bikes to check out the Wat there.

#8 Cian has been a member since 23/5/2009. Posts: 7

Posted by CunningMcFar on 19/6/2009 at 22:41

that is a nice bike ride, long and flat, but get an early start to beat the heat

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Posted by Tilapia on 19/6/2009 at 23:43

If you can rent bikes in Pakse, it is only about 2 1/2 hours to get to Champasak , and then you'll have your own transport. It's a very easy ride, and an interesting ferry crossing to get to the town of Champasak. The stretch of road to the Mekong from Highway 13 is very nice.

From Champasak to Wat Phu is, according to my GPS, almost exactly 10km. As CunningMcFar says, go early, but watch out for potholes. If the sun isn't quite up and you don't have a bike light, it can be tricky. Being at the wat at sun-up is great. You will have to pay a little extra to get in, but it's worth it. You'll have the place to yourself and great light for photos.

#10 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,491
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Posted by Tilapia on 19/6/2009 at 23:49

Oh, and ignore most of what I typed out above if you are already in Champasak.

The restaurant next to Souchitra (through the gate and to the right of the bungalows if you are facing the river) is excellent! It didn't have a name when we were there.

Relive those grand old colonial days with an evening cocktail on the upper floor of the Inthira. They did a cracking good reno on that place.

#11 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,491
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Posted by CunningMcFar on 20/6/2009 at 00:41

yup, fantastic food and great cocktails at Inthira, my wife and I had a very pleasant dinner there one evening. For us, the view from the upper floor was strangely reminiscent of the American Old West:
www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30231633&l=0b5eb3ea30&id=1340726228

#12 CunningMcFar has been a member since 20/8/2004. Posts: 163
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Posted by Tilapia on 20/6/2009 at 00:51

Ha! Nice one. Whether you were there before or after me, I can see nothing has changed. I expected nothing less ... or more.

Love those wild west satellite dishes.

#13 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,491
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Posted by MADMAC on 20/6/2009 at 17:32

Champa Sports Bar was highly recommended to a friend of mine who was there a couple of months ago. Clean, decent food, some attractive ladies coming by... He had a good time there.

#14 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


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