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Discover the Remnants of the 100 Year Old French Railway amidst Beautiful Southern Laos Scenery

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Southern Laos is a place of natural beauty. One cannot deny the lure and charm that comes with the area. Raging rapids, greenery that’s greener than a crisp $100 bill and a laid back rhythm that is sure to get you spellbound. Of course, with this nature comes colonial influence that charms the place even more. If you’re in Southern Laos, then we’ll take you to one of colonial France’s lasting legacies, the 100 year old French Railway.

First, we’ll take you where the action is. Well, if you consider laid back chill-out atmosphere action, then that’s where you will be. Or let us rephrase, we’ll take you to the source of the laid-back Lao philosophy, attitude and character. That’s Siphandon, the 4000 Island archipelago. Here, the Mekong spreads out and all those islands are dotted along the river. Count and see if there really is 4000 of them.

And guess what? Just about everything here is people powered! That’s right, no cars and almost no regular electricity supply! So, with your own two feet and human power, explore the laidback islands by bicycle and experience the quiet tranquility of the area. Scenes of rice fields, riverbanks, and local villagers on their daily routines are normal and highly expected sightings.

Let’s get to know a bit about this railway track. It is the country’s only railroad, believe it or not. The Mekong was (and still is) impassable, so to counter this, the French built the rail network, which included tracks meant to cross over waterfalls. It connected Cambodia with Laos and was originally intended to transport gold and timber back to France. Today, only remnants remain but the historic place is very atmospheric and offers good views of the area!

Don’t forget, the area is known for beautiful waterfalls! Head over to Lippi waterfall and on to Khone Papheng – a set of stunning falls wedged between the Laos border and Cambodia. Do not attempt to travel by boat! As you can see by the waters, it is quite turbulent. Remember the reason why the French built the railway. Once you have finished exploring the area, return across the river on your boat and continue by road to Pakse.

Enrich your Laos experience with one of our Laos day trips. From adventurous treks to serene Buddhist ceremonies, our day trips do more than just scratch the surface of Laos- they take you to the heart of this brilliant country!

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