A fascinating journey through southern Laos and northern Cambodia from Vientiane to Phnom Penh
Follow the Mekong by road and river
A two week Laos adventure following the mighty Mekong. We’ll journey south from the capital Vientiane, through the rarely visited central region, the awe-inspiring limestone karst scenery of Thakaek, old colonial river ports of Savannakhet and Pakse, to the bucolic landscapes of the 4,000 Islands and the majestic Khonephapaeng Falls on the Lao/Cambodian border. From here we’ll continue down the Mekong by boat into northern Cambodia and on to the modern day capital of Phnom Penh.
An unforgettable journey by land and river through some of the most spectacular, but little known, scenery that Southeast Asia has to offer.
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
Day 1 - Vientiane - arrival and Mekong sunset
Morning arrival in the Lao capital Vientiane and an afternoon at leisure to recover from jet-lag, explore the local markets or perhaps stretch your legs with a stroll along the Mekong waterfront, and enjoy sundowners in a riverbank cafe?
Extra nights in Vientiane prior to your tour are available on request.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can also be arranged.
Overnight: Vientiane Transport: Walk, Meals: D,
Day 2 - Vientiane - tour of the city sights
Day tour of some of the city’s fascinating sites including Si Saket Temple with its 1,000 Buddha images, the bustling morning market, Vientiane’s most famous monument – the That Luang Stupa – as well as the unusual Buddha Park. A less cheerful, but highly informative stop, will be made at the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting a problem the local people face daily in the form of unexploded ordnance due to heavy bombing during the Vietnam War.
Overnight: Vientiane Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 3 - Hin Boun - spectacular Khammoune Province
Leave Vientiane for a leisurely drive southeast to Khammoune, one of Laos’ most picturesque, yet least visited provinces. Visits along the way will include a 15th century stupa, a hill-tribe market and plenty of photo opportunities! Afternoon arrival at our night’s accommodation in Hin Boun, a remote village set among dramatic limestone scenery. Time to relax or explore the area.
Overnight: Hin Boun Transport: Minibus, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 4 - Hin Boun - boat journey along an underground river
Departure by boat for an exploration of the incredible Konglor Cave – a 7 km long cavern with spectacular stalactite formations and an underground river running from end to end. On leaving the cave we’ll hike through the hidden valley on the far side before completing our day with a transfer to the nearby old French era river port of Thakaek, in time for sunset on the waterfront.
Overnight: Thakaek Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 5 - Hin Boun - day hike and on to Savannakhet
A fascinating trip through the area’s awesome limestone landscapes. The day will include a forest hike where local guides will introduce you to traditional food and medicines collected by the local inhabitants; a walk around the serene Nong Thao Lake to discover local fishing techniques, stopping in rarely visited villages; and a visit to a secret 300 year old cave temple, only discovered in 2004. Late afternoon drive to Savannakhet, an important colonial period town, for our night’s accommodation.
Overnight: Savannakhet Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 6 - Pakse - drive from Savannakhet and afternoon at leisure
Continue south along the Mekong Valley to another old French period river port, Pakse. Lunchtime arrival with the afternoon at leisure to explore the local markets, try out a Lao style spa, or just relax and take in the views from the hotel’s roof-top cafe?
Overnight: Pakse Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 7 - Boloven Plateau - coffee plantations and waterfalls
Tour of some of the sites of the Boloven Plateau, home to numerous ethnic minorities and the centre of Lao’s coffee growing industry. The day will include a visit to one of the area’s coffee plantations, a fascinating local market, and a chance to bathe in the spectacular Tad Yeuang Falls.
Overnight: Pakse Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, L,
Day 8 - Champassak - down the Mekong to Wat Phu
Back on to the Mekong for a boat trip south to the small, historic town of Champassak. Afternoon tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wat Phu – a pre-Angkor, Khmer temple dramatically situated on a mountain side overlooking the valley of the Mekong.
Overnight: Champassak Transport: Boat, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 9 - Kietngong - hike to mysterious ruins
Morning to explore tranquil Champassak Town before a transfer across the Mekong to Kietngong Village for a stay in the delightful Kingfisher Eco Lodge on the edge of the Sepian National Biodiversity Area. Afternoon hike to discover the mysterious hill-top ruins of Phu Asa, with of course time to relax on your balcony to admire the superb views in this charming setting.
Overnight: Champassak Transport: Minibus, Plane, Walk, Meals: B, L,
Day 10 - The 4,000 Islands - land and river journey to Don Khone
Continue south by road and boat to the 4,000 Islands – a stretch of the Mekong of truly outstanding natural beauty straddling the Lao/Cambodian border – where we’ll stay in riverside chalets on Khone Island.
Overnight: Khone Island Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, D,
Day 11 - Don Khone - Khone Phapaeng Falls and dolphins
Explore some of the islands by boat, kayak and on foot. Visit Southeast Asia’s largest waterfalls, the stunning Khone Phapaeng Falls, and with luck catch a glimpse of some of the rare freshwater dolphins which still inhabit this stretch of the river.
Overnight: Khone Island Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, L,
Day 12 - Kratie - down the Mekong through northern Cambodia
Continuing down the Mekong we’ll follow the picturesque jungle-lined river into Cambodia and the remote town of Stung Treng. Here we’ll visit a traditional silk weaving workshop before continuing overland to the old French port of Kratie for our night’s accommodation. Afternoon to wander the bustling riverfront area.
Overnight: Kratie Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 14 - Phnom Penh - morning at leisure and end of tour
Morning at leisure, relax by the pool or grab some last-minute shopping, and departure
Extra nights in Phnom Penh after your tour are available on request.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.
Overnight: Departure Transport: Walk, Meals: B,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
Just a few of the many highlights
Travel up an underground river in Thakaek, hike through Hin Boun's incredible karst landscape, explore the Boloven Plateau, visit the UNESCO ruins at Wat Phu, and kayak down the Mekong to one of the world's greatest waterfalls
- Visit the sights of Vientiane, Laos’ charming capital on the banks of the Mekong
- Explore the rarely visited Khammouane Province of Central Laos with the incredible limestone scenery of Hin Boun
- Meet the exceptionally friendly and welcoming local people
- Travel by boat on a scenic Mekong river trip through Northern Cambodia
- Visit the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wat Phu, an Angkor period temple, overlooking the Mekong Valley
- .....and last but not least, sample the sumptuous, varied and contrasting local cuisines
Air Departures (UK)
- 12 March 18 2,475 GBP
- 12 April 18 2,475 GBP
- 8 May 18 2,475 GBP
- 30 May 18 2,475 GBP
- 26 June 18 2,475 GBP
- 23 July 18 2,575 GBP
- 18 August 18 2,575 GBP
- 17 September 18 2,475 GBP
- 12 October 18 2,475 GBP
- 4 November 18 2,475 GBP
- 29 November 18 2,475 GBP
- 25 December 18 2,675 GBP
- 13 March 18 1,625 GBP
- 13 April 18 1,625 GBP
- 9 May 18 1,625 GBP
- 31 May 18 1,625 GBP
- 27 June 18 1,625 GBP
- 24 July 18 1,625 GBP
- 19 August 18 1,625 GBP
- 18 September 18 1,625 GBP
- 13 October 18 1,625 GBP
- 5 November 18 1,625 GBP
- 30 November 18 1,625 GBP
- 26 December 18 1,625 GBP
Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed
*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Vientiane
*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.
We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...
The 252, Phnom Penh view
- Small, boutique-style and low-key
- Quiet but central location near cafes and restaurants
- Garden setting with pool and cafe
Villa Langka, Phnom Penh view
- Lush garden setting with pool
- Very convenient central but quiet location
- Helpful, friendly and efficient staff
Sengtawan Riverside Hotel, Vientiane view
- Central but quiet location in Vientiane
- Scenic riverside setting overlooking the Mekong
- Great rooftop bar and restaurant
Kingfisher Eco-lodge, Kiet Ngong view
- The superb Kingfisher Eco-lodge in Kietngong village
- Luxury in the middle of nowhere!
- Spacious, traditional style stilt chalets
Pakse Hotel, Pakse view
- Splendid views from the hotel's rooftop bar and restaurant
- Sip a cold one as you watch the sun set over the Mekong
- Central but quiet location in the old port town
Seng Ahloune Resort, 4,000 Islands
- Scenic riverside location
- Located on Khone Island in Sth Laos's scenic '4,000 Islands'
- Traditional style wooden chalets
*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.
Visa Info & Notes
Laos: visas are available on arrival at Vientiane International Airport for between $30 & $42 depending upon nationality
Cambodia: No visa in advance is required. A 30 day visa is issued on arrival at the Cambodian border on day 12. (Approx. $33 plus a passport photo)
Holidays should never end, stay a little longer. These extensions go well with this tour...
Here is what out guest have to say about their experience on this tour...
" Brilliant holiday, good mix of activities, and a real insight into rural Laos. I had a great time, felt so refreshed and invigorated that the experience has blown away the cobwebs. Laos is stunningly beautiful, I was enchanted with the place, so different in feel from Cambodia. An excellent holiday. "October 2015
Colin and Jenny
" Every day was something different, we walked through jungle; rode elephants; explored caves and sailed in wooden boats. We saw amazing temples and wooden huts that the locals lived in, we saw how people lived and how they dried peppers in their satellite dishes! There were sad parts too, understanding the legacy of the Vietnam war, unexploded bombs everywhere and maimed people. However, the people were great fun, as curious about us as we were about them. "November 2015
Kay & Michael
" The logistics were amazing – we were always met and everything ran smoothly. Some of the hotels were out of this world. We had some brilliant experiences and although there was a lot of travelling, however, we so enjoyed watching life from the window of the mini bus. We loved meeting the people of Laos who were so friendly, and the guides very helpful.
Thank you for a great experience. "