The Honey Trail to Nong Lom Lake
Take a tuk tuk from town to Ban Simuang and meet your village guide for this day-trek around Dong Natad. Begin the trek, and as you go, watch locals extract nyang oil and learn how they make traditional crafts from bamboo and other natural raw materials. Deeper into the forest you’ll see locals climb trees to collect honey (February and March). Stop at Nong Lom Lake for a lunch of local food and listen to your guide tell you about the lake’s legend and local taboos. Continue under towering trees, listen to forest sounds, learn about local plants and wildlife, and try some traditional forest products used for food and medicine. The trek ends at That Ing Hang Stupa.
Lowland Lao Culture & Homestays
This 3-day trek starts at Ban Dongbang where you meet your village guide. The first day’s hike heads to Phonsim Turtle Lake. On the way, learn how locals extract nyang oil from dipterocarp trees and make torches, see how forest products are collected, and if your group is lucky, spot wildlife. The trek passes Phonsim Turtle Lake before reaching Ban Song village for an overnight homestay. There, you’ll meet the villagers, participate in a baci ceremony, learn local Lao folk songs, and dine on local food and drink.
After giving alms to the monks the next morning, trek 10 km for a homestay at Ban Khok, where you’ll see how villagers use forest products, and visit a school to learn weaving. On the final day’s trek, you’ll try forest fruits, discover other edible forest products, have lunch in the forest, listen to jungle fowl, ride a tractor, and learn about farming techniques.
Homestay in the Heart of Savannakhet
Start your 2-day trek at Ban Simuang with a village guide, before heading off on the “Honey Trail” through Dong Natad. End the day with a walk to Ban That for your overnight homestay. You’ll participate in a traditional baci ceremony, see how villagers use forest products, stop at a local school, and visit That Ing Hang stupa. Rise early the next day and make merit by giving alms to the monks and then trek to Ban Phonsim. Stop along the way to learn about local farming techniques in this vast rice-growing area. At Ban Phonsim you’ll buy food for lunch and meet a village guide who leads the remainder of the trek. Visit Old Phonsim’s ruins before continuing to Phonsim Turtle Lake. Enjoy a boat ride during the cool season (November-February).
Ban Phonsim Homestay & Nong Lom Lake
Embark on this 2-day adventure at Ban That, where you meet your village guide and visit That Ing Hang Stupa. Continue to Nong Lom Lake and start the 15-km trek to Ban Phonsim. Stop along the way for a lunch of local food and hear about the lake’s legend and local taboos. On the trail, your guide will teach you about local plants and wildlife and you’ll have the chance to sample forest fruits and learn about other edible forest products. Arrive at Ban Phonsim for your homestay. That evening take part in a traditional baci ceremony with your village hosts. Rise early to give alms to the monks and then head off to the Old Phonsim Ruins. Continue to Phonsim Turtle Lake for lunch and enjoy a boat ride during the cool season (November-February).
Katang Trail to the Sacred Forest
Depart Savannakhet Town for a 3-day expedition with a provincial guide, and travel 160 km to the Meuang Phin Lao-Viet Nam Solidarity Monument in the mountainous east. Continue to Dong Phou Vieng National Protected Area (NPA) where you’ll have lunch and learn about the plants, trees, and herbs used by the locals. Trek to the Katang village of Ban Vongsikeo for your first overnight homestay. Here, you’ll see the ceremonial Lak La Puep posts before visiting the Dong Sakee forest to learn why this area is considered sacred. You’ll also participate in a baci ceremony, try local food and drink, and enjoy Katang entertainment.
The following morning, trek to Ban Nhang for a home stay. Take a refreshing swim in the river, chat with villagers and experience their lifestyle. Along the way, you may encounter monkeys such as Silvered Langurs as well as rare birds like hornbills. The third day kicks off with a 5-km trek to the Coffin Cave and the Xe Bang Hieng River for a long-tail boat ride down the Kaeng La’berng Rapids to the Kaeng Saammatek Rapids. Also during the trek, you’ll learn about traditional village skills and crafts such as silk production, weaving and blacksmithing.
Deep Mountain Trek
After a long drive from Savannakhet Town, this 4-day trek in Phou Xang Hae NPA begins with a homestay in Ban Paphaknao. First, take a refreshing swim, then chat with villagers to learn a bit about their lifestyle. On the second day, the local guide leads you through the forest and into the mountains, while telling the epic tale of Nang Loun and Nang Laa. Stop for a rest at a rocky outcrop and see a four-lane highway built by an ancient civilization. After a lunch in the forest, the trek moves to the Elephant Scratching Cave and on to a forest campsite where you’ll sit around a fire and listen to local tales, before sleeping under the stars.
The next morning, rise early and walk to spot birds, squirrels, lizards, woodpeckers, and other animals. After breakfast, the trek continues as the guide tells stories of the Hin Lam Phan rock formation and the buffalo trader. Stop for lunch at a panoramic view of the forest below. The trek ends at Ban Naxalo (Phouthai) for a homestay. Here you will participate in a baci ceremony and enjoy Phouthai music. Return to Savannakhet Town the next day.
To book a trek, contact the Savannakhet Eco-Guide Unit on Ratsaphanith Road.