4000 Islands

Kayaking the 4000 islands

The Mekong River and its tributaries are the lifeblood of Southern Laos and they are rarely, if ever, far from sight or sound. Down in Champasak, as the Mekong fans out into the stunning, never-ending 4,000 Islands, why not see this wondrous place from the water? The best way to do that is by kayak.

If you are an experienced kayaker, you may want to go off on your own adventure otherwise a tour offers the best experience. View the Khon Pa Soi Falls and the fishermen who balance precariously on bamboo platforms among the rocks waiting patiently for their catch of the day. Visit the twisting, turning Li Phi Falls, and kayak out to the channel between Si Phan Don and Cambodia.

Whilst paddling on the Mekong, keep an ear out for the grunting sound of the highly endangered Irrawaddy dolphins, most commonly seen (but not guaranteed) in these waters. They’re shy. They don’t surface for long and their colour camouflages with the waters, making it a real treat to spot them.

See and do:

  • Revel in kayaking the thrills and spills of the lower part of the big Li Phi falls and the smaller Khon Pa Soi falls
  • Paddle out towards the Cambodian border to try and spot the rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins
  • Enjoy the raw spectacular beauty of the timeless Mekong River

Please note:

  • If you want to swim at one of the beaches or waterfalls, be careful of the current. When kayaking always wear a life jacket because of the river’s strong currents, which you might not see from the surface.
  • Lao people appreciate neat and modestly dressed visitors. Be aware that nude sunbathing or swimming is considered impolite. For women it is recommended to keep a shirt on or to wear a sarong over your swimming suit (check what the locals around you are doing).

Organised for you:

You will find several travel agents offering kayak tours including: Green Paradise, Mo Travel, Wonderful Tour, and Green Discovery. These can be booked in Pakse or on the islands.