Laos is an attractive tourist destination for all backpackers to enjoy the slow-paced life, peaceful atmosphere, beautifully pristine landscape, and friendly residents, which are all available at cities in the South of Laos. In backpacking, the majority of travelers choose to visit Laos by road, often through the Vietnam-Laos border crossing points. Three top cities included in the itinerary are often Attapeu, Pakse, and Savannakhet.
Attapeu – the originally charming off-the-beaten-track venue in Laos
Upon your arrival at Attapeu Laos – an off-the-beaten-track and charming destination in the south of Laos, you will first feel the sleepy or tranquil atmosphere that offers no nightlife activities. Rather, Attapeu is all about the untamed Nature, Laos’s traditional villages, ethnic diversity, and verdant forest for trekking. Is that the venue you are looking for to steer clear of the city stress? If yes, take time immersing yourself in the pure Nature, find happiness from the simple things, get to know the native Laotians, and decide the rewards of this escape.
As you see no skyscrapers, commercial centers, overnight bars and pubs, entertainment parks, or other kinds of high-end recreation, it’s better to plan out some nature-friendly things to do in Attapeu such as trekking, visiting Wat Sakhae, Nong Fa Lake, Tad Phaphong Waterfall, Ban Mai Village, etc. In fact, this place was just suffered from the hydroelectric dam collapse on the night of July 23rd, 2018 which needed the worldwide donations. And, the best time to visit Attapeu is between November and April when it’s no need to worry about the flash flood or rain.
Pakse – A very friendly city to make friends in Laos
Pakse is around 225km from Attapeu, and backpackers can take a bus to get to Pakse of Champasak Laos. During the 5-hour drive, you see that the local life highly depends on agriculture and there are lots of abandoned fields. Then, you are there. Pakse offers many budget guesthouses that fit the backpackers’ wallets. It’s easy to realize that some guesthouse owners in Pakse are Vietnamese who come to work and live in Laos as the second home.
The Laotians in Pakse are so friendly and hospitable while the city is so peaceful that urges some people to make it home. Especially, you might come across some French individuals who stay there for several months and are thinking of inhabiting. During this Laos Backpacking in Pakse, make sure you check in the French Bridge on Xe Don River, Wat Luang Temple, Champasak Provincial Museum, Stadium of Pakse, etc. Furthermore, if you go a bit further, discover Bolaven Plateau and Wat Phou – two top attractions around Pakse.
Savannakhet – An interesting city with the French-built church, national parks, and more
In the next morning, you can get on a coach to Savannakhet which is around 200km from Pakse. This is the largest province in the south of Laos, which has long been known for the French-built Catholic Church, the 15th-century Wat Sainyaphum, Wat Xayaphoum, That Ing Hang Stupa, and National Parks. This intact destination is ideal for cycling and trekking, and, it is your turn to be convinced of the charm of this off-the-beaten-track shelter. Again, you are likely to meet many Vietnamese people along with the Laos residents who are both amiable and kind.
In Savannakhet, hiring a local bicycle and start exploring the city. There will be many appealing corners you want to stop by and lots of food you would love to taste. And if the passion for nature calls you, start an adventure to Phou Xang He National Projected Area or Dong Natad which is all perfect for ecotourism and scenic trekking.
Make it a point that Attapeu, Pakse, and Savannakhet don’t lack the great places of interest to rearward your Laos Indochina travel. Therefore, note down these names and come to see them in person.