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?
#1 Cian has been a member since 23/5/2009. Posts: 7
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
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:
once you are in Pakse, head over to the Visitor Info Center, lots of good info available and very friendly folks
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: