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6 Days in the 4,000 Islands of Laos

Days: 6 days
Location: Laos
Activities: Kayaking (Class 2), hiking.

BRIEFLY
We paddle above and below three thundering waterfalls, and walk along an abandoned rail line. We’ll also paddle through the spectacular Flooded Forest whose trees have been bent by the current, and spend time in the open water near the Cambodian border watching dolphins feed. Before returning to Thailand, we’ll visit Wat Phou, a brilliant Angkorian temple that has been granted UNESCO Cultural Heritage protection. This is the second half of a 17-day trip Outside Magazine called “one of 48 trips of a lifetime”. We’ll spend three nights in a rafthouse, one night in a village house, one night in a riverside hotel. Warning: Nights can be very warm and there is no air-conditioning but if you like spectacular scenery and cooling off in relaxing water, this is your trip. Besides, its cooler than Bangkok in May.

ITINERARY

Day 1
Fly to the border, cross the Mekong into Laos. Drive along the Mekong to the put-in. Paddle among islands to the rafthouse.

Day 2
We visit a school and a temple, then paddle from the bottom of Liphi Falls, picnic in the Flooded Forest, and to the Cambodian border to watch the dolphins feed. Overnight in a riverside village.

Day 3
Cross a monkey bridge to an ancient monastery, walk the French railway line, bicycle to the upper terminus, float the Mekong in innertubes. Overnight in the rafthouse.

Day 4
After a relaxing morning, we paddle to the western channel to thread our way among amazing fish traps, downstream to the main river before riding a longtail back to the rafthouse.

Day 5
Longboat to the head of Southeast Asia’s biggest waterfalls where our inflatables will be waiting. We then paddle to the upper edge of the falls; if currents are not too strong, we’ll paddle to the middle of the falls to experience their true ferocity. After lunch below the falls (and if currents permit), we’ll put a raft into the whirlpools below the falls and paddle to the take-out. We then drive to the funky old ferry crossing the Mekong to Champasak and spend the night in a riverside guesthouse.

Day 6
At dawn, we explore the beautiful hilltop Wat Phou (which may once have practiced human sacrifice). Re-cross the river and drive to the border for the flight to Bangkok.

For more information and prices, e-mail +662 653 9712 and +6681 450 5340 noting your country of departure.

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