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Champasak Province < < Back

Location: Southern Laos

Protected Areas: Xe Pian, Phou Xieng Thong, Dong Houa Sao National Protected Area

Main Ethnic Groups: Chieng, Inthi, Kaseng, Katang, Kate, Katu, Kien Lavai, Laven, Nge,
Nyaheun, Oung, Salao, Suay, Tahang, Tahoy, and Lao.

Ecotourism Attractions:
Champasak Province has a variety of ecotourism attractions
and activities.

The Xe Pian National Protected Area, considered the second most important biodiversity conservation area in Laos, currently has half-day elephant rides at Kiat Ngong village. This tour takes visitors to an archeological site, Pu Asa, perched atop the mountain above the village. For those interested in learning about medicinal plants and forest products, Kiat Ngong village guides can be hired for half-day walks through nearby forests. Visitors can stay overnight in Kiat Ngong's community-operated bungalows, which overlook an expansive wetland that is excellent
for bird watching.

Trekking in Champasak

A new two-day trek, led by local guides, is currently being developed in Xe Pian. It heads through a variety of forest types and landscapes to an overnight home stay in an ethnic Lavae village. The trek includes a morning walk to an area with populations of gibbons.

Southern Champasak Province features the Four Thousand Islands, which are considered to be the largest complex of waterfalls and rapids in the world. Rafting and kayaking through this amazing stretch of Mekong waterfalls, up to 14 km wide, is only for those with intermediate to advanced skills. Also not to be missed are the Irawaddy fresh water dolphins which can be seen from Don Kone island.

Vat Phou temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which predates Angkor Vat in Cambodia, is one of Champasak’s main attractions. There is a new community-based alternative for accommodation at the Vat Phou Consevation area: homestays can be arragned on Don Daeng island located across the Mekong river from Vat Phou. On Don Daeng, local guides can be hired for walks around the island, boat trips and bird watching.

In northern Champasak Province, the Pu Xieng Thong National Protected Area recently opened a one-day trek led by village guides. The trek covers some of the major natural and cultural sites of Pu Khong Mountain, located inside the protected area, which is best known for its diversity of orchid and mushrooms species. Home stays are available in Mai Singsamphan village, located at the base of the Pu Khong Mountain.

The Mekong River north of Pakse (capital of Champasak province) opens the door to interesting cultural attractions, most notably silk weaving on Don Ko island, a former French colonial administrative center. Home stays with local families is also available on Don Ko Island.

In the northeastern part of the province, the Bolaven Plateau rises some 1,500 m above sea level and is famous for producing some of the finest Arabica coffees in the world. Beans can be purchased along the road from local villagers.

The plateau also has two very beautiful waterfalls, the Xe Katamtok and Tad Fane Waterfalls. The Tad Fane Resort, located at the edge of Dong Houa Sao National Protected Area, has breathtaking views of the waterfall and can arrange one day treks around the protected area and to nearby coffee plantations.


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