Xe-Champhone Homestay and Eld’s Deer Sanctuary Camping (3 days; 2 nights)
For travelers with an interest in participating in local traditions, and seeing cultural and wildlife sites of Savannakhet, we’ve packaged the Xe Champhone Homestay with the Eld’s Deer Sanctuary. On this 3 day, 2 night, trip you’ll see a huge variety of wildlife from macaques and soft shelled turtles, to endangered Siamese crocodiles and endangered Eld’s Deer, as well as looking for the 100+ bird species native to the area. On this trip you’ll get to sleep and eat in a traditional village homestay, and participate in the local activity of your choice (cooking desserts, making marigold temple offerings, observing the process for making the famous Lao rice whisky, or indigo dying) as well as spend one night camping in the quiet and secluded National Eld’s Deer Sanctuary.
Day 1: Leave Kaysone City. Walk through Monkey Forest, visit the active HoTai Pidok Buddhist Library, eat lunch at Soui Reservoir (optional dining boat ride through the lotus fields). After lunch travel to the homestay of your choice, meet the family and participate in a traditional activity of your choice (ask your guide for options). As a guest in the village you’ll be treated like an honored family member, and eat and sleep together with your host family.
Day 2: Wake up and eat breakfast at the homestay. Visit Wat Taleo Old Temple and it’s beautiful archeological ruins and Turtle Lake where you can feed the endangered giant soft shelled turtles (just ask the local villagers to sing their turtle calling song). After lunch, transfer to the National Eld’s Deer Sanctuary for orientation. Cycle or ride a tractor to Ateuang lake, Bo euad salt lick, and climb the observation tower where you can look for deer before dusk. Dinner will be at base camp with campfire activities.
Day 3: Wake up for coffee or tea in the early morning before hiking through the forest where you’ll have an additional chance to see the Eld’s Deer and many bird species native to the area. Transport back to Kaysone City.