Find your peace and spot a dolphin or two in Si Phan Don. This tour explores the slow pace of life among Laos’ 4,000 islands.

4 Days, 3 Nights     FROM US$ 571 PER PERSON

From the pre-Angkorian temples of Southern Laos to the elusive freshwater dolphins playing in the Mekong, this tour of the Si Phan Don region in Laos has something that’s good for the soul. You’ll find true relaxation here as you gaze at waterfalls and soak in the slower pace of rural life among rice paddies, wetlands and coffee plantations. Discover a slower, kinder side of Southeast Asia.

In the riverside town of Pakse, you’ll find a picturesque city steeped in history and surrounded by hills and fertile plantations. A visit to the bustling local market and a leisurely day exploring a nearby coffee plantation will acquaint you with the flavors and local industries of this laid-back region. Then, you’ll take a journey back in time to a pre-Angkorian era as you explore UNESCO-listed Wat Phou.

You’ll experience quintessential Southern Laos as you stop for lunch in the charming French colonial city of Champassak and catch dusk on Khong Island, the gateway to the 4,000 islands. A full-day tour of Si Phan Don’s many charms, including Lippi Falls and a bicycle tour of Done Khon Island will have you feeling rejuvenated before you embark on your dolphin-spotting cruise along the Mekong. You’ll spend one more night in Pakse before being transferred back to the airport for you onward journey or return flight. (Please note: The itinerary of this tour is subject to change depending on weather conditions.)



“Everybody who comes to visit Si Phan Don goes away relaxed and happy.”

Hom Inthanouson, Backyard Travel Laos Specialist


Explore Done Khon Island by bicycle or tuk-tuk—it’s your choice
Cruise the Mekong in search of the elusive pink dolphin
Explore the pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phou, one of Southern Laos’ most sacred sites
Enjoy a coffee tasting at a local coffee plantation

Daily Itinerary


  • Daily Itinerary
  • Day 1: Arrival in Pakse – Bolavens – Pakse

    Welcome to the watery world of Laos’ 4,000 islands, known locally as Si Phan Don. This tour soaks up the laid-back vibes here like no other. At Pakse International Airport, your private guide and driver will meet you and bring you to your hotel.

    After check-in, join us for a brief tour of Pakse town, one of the most important urban centers of South Laos. Located near Si Phan Don at the confluence of the Sedone and Mekong rivers, Pakse is home to some lovely colonial buildings, Chinese-influenced architecture and a sizeable Vietnamese community. We’ll visit a sprawling local market selling fresh, seasonal food.

    We’ll head next to the Bolaven Plateau (about a 45-minute drive away), a hilly region inhabited by dozens of hill tribes and home to gorgeous waterfalls and plantations. Our first stop will be the splendid waterfalls of Tad Fane and Tad Yuang on the edge of Dong Hua Sao protected area. Tad Fane features a set of twin waterfalls dropping 120 meters, formed by the merging of the Pak Koot and Champy rivers. (Please note: Water levels will vary according to the season).

    We’ll make a brief stop in Paksong, one of Laos’ coffee capitals, then continue to Sinouk Coffee Resort. At this picturesque plantation, a coffee expert will teach you all about how coffee is grown and processed.

    Enjoy lunch at the plantation, where most of the vegetables are sourced from the organic garden on site. After lunch, you’ll be treated to a coffee tasting.

    On the way back to Pakse, we’ll stop at a lookout point to view the three Tad Lo waterfalls. From a bridge, you’ll get a fine vista of the Tad Hang Waterfall as well as the Tad Lo falls further in the distance. We’ll find the most impressive of the three falls, Tad Suong, about 10 kilometers further upriver. You’ll also pay a visit to Ban Houay Houn Village, which is renowned for its Katu textiles. Mingle with the locals here as you observe skilled women weaving without a loom, and instead using their legs to stretch the fabric!

    Return to your hotel in Pakse in the late afternoon. The rest of your day is free to enjoy at your leisure.

    Overnight in Pakse

    No meals included on this day

  • Day 2: Pakse – Wat Phou – Khong Island

    After breakfast, we’ll strike out for a tour of Wat Phou, a magnificent pre-Angkorian temple and UNESCO World Heritage Site set among Si Phan Don’s iconic rice paddies and waterways. The temple was built with three unique levels—the bottom level features a baray (reservoir) and long promenade; the second level consists of pavilions and stunning galleries replete with carvings; and the third level houses the temple sanctuary. This impressive structure was built by the ancient Khmer rulers before Angkor Wat. Wat Phou was the most important political and economic hub of the region, and it remains one of Laos’ most sacred sites.

    Next we’ll drive through lovely Champassak, where French colonial buildings line the streets. We’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

    It’s another 45 minutes to Khong Island, Southern Laos’ biggest island and the gateway to the Si Phan Don region. Your tour of the 4,000 islands will begin here, where the Mekong stretches wider than 14 kilometers, playing host to both wildlife and human life lived on the islands between its placid waters, cascades and rapids.

    Overnight in Khong Island

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

    Monks_Wat_Phou_Temple_Champasak_Laos1000x600Wat_Phou_Champasak_LaosKhong Island-Siphandon-Pakse
  • Day 3: Khong Island – Siphandon – Pakse

    Today after breakfast we’ll depart at 08:00AM for a full-day exploration of the Si Phan Don islands.

    First we’ll take a scenic, 2-hour drive to the village of Ban Nakasan. Here, you’ll head to the pier and board a local boat that will take you to the laid-back island of Done Khone, home to peaceful plantations and rustic villages. We recommend exploring this charming island by bicycle, but a tuk-tuk can easily be arranged if you prefer.

    You’ll see the imposing Lippi Falls, which are located close to the Cambodian border. The old name of the falls, Tad Somphamit, means “spirit trap,” because the locals believe the frothy water traps bad spirits as the river churns.

    The 4,000 islands played a significant geographical and logistical role during French colonial times, serving as a link between Laos, Cambodia and southern Vietnam. The French built a railway bridge here, and today it provides the perfect place for you to relax and drink in the view.

    Next, embark on a short boat trip in search of the rare Irrawaddy freshwater dolphin. Although sightings aren’t guaranteed, you never know what your day has in store!

    Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, and you’ll continue to soak in the laid-back island vibes and observe the daily life of the locals. Then you’ll return to Pakse via boat and transfer back to your hotel by car, arriving in time to catch the sunset.

    Overnight in Pakse

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

    Don Det Don Khon guesthouses at Mekong river coast at dusk, Don Det, Si Phan don, 4000 Islands, Laos, AsiaSunset at Khong river Don Khone
  • Day 4: Pakse

    After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, we’ll transfer you to Pakse International Airport for your return flight or onward journey.

    Meals included: Breakfast


All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Talk to us about Your Holiday

Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.




Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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