The Tang Tai - Southern Laos by Stray Limited
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A comprehensive trip through southern Laos, for those with 9 days or more. Train from Bangkok to Vientiane, then Stray bus south, seeing caves, waterfalls, ruins and Mekong Islands
- Departs from: Departs Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Bangkok - Please check www.straytravel.asia for the most up to date timetables.
- Departure times: Varied
- Duration: 9 Days
- Starts & ends in: Bangkok
What to bring:
- Insect Repellant
- Comfortable Footwear
- Change of Clothes
- Waterproof Clothing
- There is no travel insurance cover included in the price of a Stray pass. Adequate and valid travel insurance is compulsory to travel on Stray. You must carry proof of insurance with you while travelling and produce it on request. Your trip may be cancelled or you may be removed from a tour if you cannot provide proof of travel insurance at any time.
Included in price:
1. Travel Night/Day: Bangkok to Vientiane (un-guided)
Head to the Stray office in Bangkok in the early evening to collect your ticket and information on where to meet the group in Laos. Then catch a comfortable overnight VIP bus from Khao San Road to Nong Khai. In the morning you will cross over the Friendship Bridge to Vientiane and connect with a local bus that will bring you into the city.
Accommodation: Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast $20
2. Travel Day: Vientiane to Tad Leuk
We give you the morning to explore the capital city and the stalls along the banks of the Mekong, get some cash out and buy some comfort food before we head off the beaten track again and into the Phou Khao Khouay NPA. Before heading out of town, we stop to visit the COPE centre, which educates and raises awareness of the victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance). After stopping at local markets for supplies, we drive to Tad Leuk, where we camp between the waterfall and jungle and have the opportunity to swim, trek and maybe spot the rare Phu Wah Rock Lizzard found in only 3 places in the world (Tad Leuk is 1 of them and the other 2 are within 100 metres), as well as other wildlife like monkeys, snakes and rare butterflies that roam this rich national protected area.
Accommodation: Tents with mats $8 includes camping equipment and national park fee
3. Travel Day: Tad Leuk to Kong Lor (7km Cave)
An early departure means we can take our time to check out the Sala Viewpoint, Phu Phu Man limestone forest and have a little shop in Paksan before heading down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals). We head into the abyss of the 7km cave cruising in a traditional motorised canoe to see amazing rock formations. The evening can be spent chilling with the locals or watching a DVD at the guesthouse.
Accommodation: Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short walk from the cave $10
4. Travel Day: Konglor to Tha Kek
Today is a short travel day towards the south, complete with a stop along the way at the "Great Wall of Tha Kek". Arriving in town mid-morning, we check into our guesthouse before making our way to Pha Tam Kam, home of some of the best rock climbing in South East Asia. We enjoy a freshly prepared local lunch at the brand new Green Climbers Home and have the afternoon there to explore the unique natural attractions, including slacklining, bike riding and world class rock climbing, before heading back to town for the evening.
Accommodation: Next to the mighty Mekong River $12
Highly recommended: Hop off in Thakek to explore local caves and the Khammouane Province
SA: Rock Climbing Adventure
5. Travel Day: Tha Kek to Xe Champhone (remote homestay)
This morning we continue our journey south on Route 13 before going way off the beaten track into the Xe Champhone Wetlands. It is so remote, that when the rain comes we might not be able to drive the Stray bus, so we'll jump onboard an off-road truck for a real off the beaten track experience. Spend the night with friendly locals in Monkey Forest - a sacred forest, home to hundreds of Rhesus Macaque Monkeys!
Accommodation: Bungalows from modern to rustic in the heart of the village $8, or guesthouse by the river with fan rooms for $9+
6. Travel Day: Xe Champhone (remote homestay) to Pakse
We wake up early and check out the 'Monkey Home Market' before heading to a 200 year old Hotay Pidok Buddhist Library (with scriptures written on palm leaves!). We then visit Turtle Lake with soft-shell turtles that are revered by the locals. Leaving the Xe Champhone Wetlands behind, we make a stop at Old Wat Taleow (a stunningly beautiful temple that was bombed in 1969), and onto Pakse, the provincial capital and cross roads to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam bringing together a mix of ethnic groups and international cuisine. We spend the afternoon checking out the Bolaven Plateau and the coffee plantations, and visiting some of the best waterfalls in Laos including the 120m high twin waterfalls of Tad Fane.
Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need $8-10
7. Travel Day: Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)
We leave Pakse early to enjoy slightly cooler temperatures perfect for exploring Laos' second World Heritage area, Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple (Angkor Wat without the crowds!). Then we head to the 4000 Islands to experience the idyllic laid back island lifestyle. We arrive around lunchtime giving you plenty of time to cycle across to neighbouring Don Khone Island to visit Li Phi Waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins that frequent the border waters between Laos and Cambodia.
Accommodation: Basic bungalows by the river $5, or comfortable rooms in a Guesthouse with fan or air conditioning and private bathrooms (now that Don Det has electricity!) $13+
8. Travel Day/Night: Don Det to Bangkok (via Pakse)
We leave Don Det early by local mini-van towards Pakse and then on to the Thai border and Ubon Ratchathani, where you board the overnight sleeper train. Your Stray journey finishes when you arrive in Bangkok early the next morning.
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- - Customers must make cancellations in writing or by e-mail.
- - Cancellation fees for cancellations made before commencing the tour are as follows: Less than:
- Departure times may vary. Customers will be informed of any changes.
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