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The southern region of Laos is comprised of 6 provinces: Attapeu, Champasak, Khammouane, Saravan, Savannakhet, and Sekong.


Map of Southern Laos
  • 1 Champasak — its Khmer ruins have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • 2 Si Phan Don — the "Four Thousand Islands" in the Mekong River
  • 3 Saravan — known for its wild and mountainous terrain, waterfalls and diversity of ethnic minority communities

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Bolaven Plateau — an elevated region crossed by several rivers and has many scenic waterfalls and coffee plantations. Itineraries are available for self-guided motorcycle touring of this area.
  • 2 Ban Nakasang — a small riverside town that is one of the main stations for boat and bus services to Don Det and Don Kon, the two most popular of the "4,000 Islands"
  • 3 Tadlo


The south is less mountainous than the north and central regions of Laos. Because of this, there is more arable land and therefore a relatively dense population for Laos, especially in Savannakhet and Champasak provinces. Southern Laos has the second and third largest cities in Laos: Savannakhet and Pakse, respectively.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

Pakse airport is the most popular entry point into southern Laos, as of Oct 2023. International flights run from Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap, while domestic routes include Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

By land[edit]


  • As of Oct 2023, there is one official crossing point, at Nong Nok Khiene (Laos) - Tropaeng Kreal (Cambodia).


  • The border crossing at Chong Mek (Thailand) - Vang Tao (Laos) is open daily from 06:00 - 20:00 (Oct 2023). This crossing is within easy reach of Pakse.
  • The Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge No. 2 affords easy access to the city of Savannakhet from the Thai town of Mukdahan.
  • The Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge No. 3 likewise provides a convenient way to get between the Thai town of Nakhon Phanom and Thakhek in Laos.


  • Daensavan checkpoint in Savannakhet
  • Na pao checkpoint in Khammouane
  • Phoukeua checkpoint in Attapeu
  • Lalai checkpoint in Saravan

Get around[edit]

Long-distance bus is the most common method of transport between different towns in southern Laos.


Wat Phou are ruins of a milennium-old Angkorian temple complex hidden in the mountains 10 km from Champasak and 40 km from Pakse.

Khone Phapheng are the largest waterfalls in South-East Asia. They are reachable by boat from Don Khon.

Si Phan Don are the 4,000 islands on the Mekong near the Cambodian border.


Popular motorcycle routes include the Thakhek Loop and the Bolaven Plateau Loop.



Stay safe[edit]

Border officials at the border crossings have a bad reputation for making up extra (usually small) fees and even extorting money from travellers by using the threat of withholding a stamp or not returning your passport. Read the google reviews for your chosen border crossing to see what you're in for.

Go next[edit]

Fly from Pakse direct to Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, or Ho Chi Minh City.

Cross the Thai border to visit the Isaan region, home of Thailand's 2nd largest ethnic group, the Thai Lao. Despite having 30% of Thailand's population, this region receives less than 3% of the tourists.

This region travel guide to Southern Laos is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!