Xe Pian National Park
Located about 30 kilometres south of Pakse, Xe Pian National Biodiversity Conservation Area stretches east from the wide Mekong plain and south to the border with Cambodia, covering 240,000 hectares. It incorporates both Champasak and Attapeu provinces in the far south. Typical of southern Laos, the landscape is largely sweeping flat plains with the occasional elevation, and vegetation is lush, tropical, and incredibly inviting to the eye.
The Mekong river flows to the west of the conservation area, providing an extremely fertile environment. There are over 29 different ecosystems which attract a rich and varied array of wildlife such as Asian elephants, sun bears, Asiatic black bears, Sunda pangolins, smooth-coated otters, and yellow-cheeked gibbons, and even tigers. The park is also rich in bird life, and an ornithologist’s dream. Amongst some of the birds to be found there are the giant ibis and woolly-necked stork. Within the park and its buffer zone are numerous small villages of the Brau, Su and Lao Loum tribes, most of whom are subsistence farmers and dependent on the park for their survival.
Xe Pian National Biodiversity Conservation Area is relatively close and very accessible from some charming boutique accommodation on an island in the Mekong river, La Folie, therefore can be visited as a day trip, without compromising on comfort. The region can be reached from the southern city of Pakse which is well connected by air from Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Travelling on, we would recommended spending some time exploring the southern Lao Mekong, with its beautiful river island landscape – an area known as Si Phan Don – Four Thousand Islands. It is also possible to combine a tailor-made tour of Laos with Cambodia, as there is a land crossing just south of the national park. It’s best to visit the conservation area when the weather is dry and not too hot, therefore from November to March is the optimal time to visit.
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka