View out from cliffside caves towards river and jungle beyond. Buddhist sculptures within cave in the foreground.

Southern Laos

Southern Laos offers an exciting blend of classic Mekong River life, the calmer climes of the coffee rich Bolaven Plateau and three remote and little-visited eastern provinces.

It is here where the Mekong’s width is almost nine miles during the monsoon season, the greatest breadth in its entire three thousand mile journey.

French bridge connecting Don Khon and Don Det, Southern Laos
Don Khon, Laos

Four thousand islands

The region is known as Si Phan Don or the land of ‘four thousand islands’ for the countless islands and sandbars which straddle the Cambodian border and that lie submerged during the monsoon period, only to appear as the water subsides. It is here where the Mekong’s waterways are at their prettiest, the palm-lined Don Khong, Don Det and Don Khon, provide amazing sunsets with astounding backdrops offering a true exert of Laos lifestyles.

At Khong Pha Pheng, the tranquil waters of the Mekong lose all sense of calm and cascade in a roaring hurry of surging, seething white on to their distant destination of the delta in Vietnam.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Irrawaddy dolphin breaching.

Search for Irrawaddy Dolphins

Search the Mekong River for the elusive Irrawaddy Dolphins.

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Wat Phu, Laos

Wat Phu Temple

Explore the Khmer Hindu temple complex of Wat Phu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Southern Laos.

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Fisherman, Mekong river, Laos

Mekong River Communities

Visit local river communities and experience the local way of life on the Mekong.

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Boat Bow, Mekong River, Laos

Si Phan Don Islands

Explore the 4,000 Si Phan Don islands and dramatic waterfalls by traditional boat. Emerging out of the Mekong River during the dry months they come alive with rural life.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.

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