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3-Day Wat Phu Cruise: The Relaxed Beauty of Southern Laos

The south of Laos has much to offer the visitor: an abundance of ancient Khmer ruins, the broad and murky Mekong River, the laid-back vibe of the 4,000 Islands and lots more. With so much of life centered on the river, a leisurely cruise is the ideal way to contemplate the stunning scenery and centuries-old temples that make Laos so extraordinary. Begin in Pakse, where you’ll board a traditional long-tail boat that will bring you to the cruising junk. Disembark at Wat Phu, one of the great Khmer temples, for a guided tour of ruins that maintain their majesty even in decomposition. The next day, the boat cruises to the island village of Huei Thamo, whose jungles hid a mysterious ancient temple. That afternoon, arrive in the beautiful 4,000 Islands section of the Mekong, where a relaxed atmosphere complements the numerous small islands that dot the flowing waters. Visit Ban Dua Tae, an island where the way of life hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. On the final day, tour the biggest island and visit stunning Pha Pheng Waterfall, the largest in Southeast Asia, before returning to Pakse. This three-day cruise to Wat Phu is an excellent addition to any holiday in Southeast Asia. Travelling by boat provides a respite from buses, trains and planes, and offers an intimate glimpse into a way of life that’s hardly altered for generations. The leisurely pace of travel and the comforts of the wooden cruising junk offer the perfect background to the vibrant sights and sounds of riverbank life.

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