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“It was wunderbar!”
Review of Ban Lao Pako

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Ban Lao Pako
Berlin, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“It was wunderbar!”
Reviewed 5 April 2012

After we spent one week in Bangkok enjoying all the excitements that this big city has to offer we really were longing for a more quiet and idyllic place .... and finally we ended up in Ban Pako. What a revelation, what a retreat! Phantastic location, quiet and authentic, very good Lao food, friendly people... we enjoyed relaxing in the bamboo hammock, swimming in the river, meeting the locals and other guests, having an outdoor massage...and there are more things to do that you should be able to find out yourself. Most impressive the quietness of the jungle and the Southern sky full of stars. Just Breathtaking. We planned to stay three days but then we stayed five. We really hope and wish that Ban Pako stays as it is and never becomes a place for Blockbuster tourists. Dear Chris, Somkit and the whole Ban-Pako-Team, thanks so much indeed for making our stay unforgetable. We wish you all the best for your future plans to pimp our Ban Pako and make it even nicer. But please stay simple. Promised?
Thanks again and fond regards,
Karla and Heike from Berlin/Germany

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Helga S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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27 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
112 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2012

We just spent 2 days at this eco resort. It was absolute heaven, especially after 4 days in the hustle and bustle of Vientiane. The river views from all 4 bungalows are spectacular. And they all have huge balconies hanging over the cliff.The restaurant is excellent. The staff is very friendly. For a small charge,l they will pick you up in Vientiane which is about 90 minutes away. The resort is on an historical archaeological site, so they have two very interesting walks recommended thru the jungle. One takes you to a little village of 25 families composed of 3 ethnic minorities. Another walk takes you by a fresh water pond and a sauna. The sunset is unbelievable. Chris, the Swedish owner, is a delightful man and very keen on preserving the forest. Even if you do not stay overnight, you can stop in for a meal and take advantage of the peaceful, tranquil beauty of the place. Definitely one of my highlights of many years of world traveling.

Room Tip: Ask for bungalow #8. It is the largest with a big double bed, a sitting area, and a very nice balcon...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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4 Thank Schanke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2012

A group of 6 of us went to Ban Pako for one night and it was one of the best days of our entire trip. Ban Pako is simple but beautiful. It is an ecolodge - so don't expect 5 star accommodation - its really simple - just a room with a mosquito net and a small bathroom, all electricity does go off at about 8, but thats the point of being in an ecolodge. The scenery is spectacular, we spent our day chilling in the river, then when evening came the staff prepared a Lao feast for us, there was so much delicious food and we ate by candle light. We were the only people staying at the lodge at the time, and the staff did everything they could to make us as comfortable as possible; they put us in the best accommodation even though we paid for the cheapest, just because they were empty. I would recommend this place to anyone, there isn't stacks to do but a nights stay was just perfect.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lko88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2011

A piece of heaven indeed and i'm not at all exagerating.
i've been there in last july and since i left, i want to return...
The landscape his truly beautifull. you are completly in the middle of nature with, yet, a real comfort.
first the rooms and bathrooms are clean and confortable. then you have a menu full of receipes. and last but not least, the owners, managers and people who work there are really worm, nice, quiet and respectfull of your time.
It is the place to rest, to breath, to open your eyes, your ears and let go.
At that time, there were a lot of activities to do ( trekking, swimming in the river for instance ) i have done none. just reading in the hamac among the river, observing nature, smilling and feeling so well were my only activities. i've done that for 4 or 5 days and could have stayed longer.
I'll definitly go back and i wormly recommand people to go.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank eliseadvisor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
131 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2011

We stayed in Ban Lao Pako a few days in february 2011. It is a nice place but there is some space for improvements. There are, as far as I know, not so many places in Laos where one can stay out of the cities.Food, drinks and service is ok.
It is obvious that it is run by a man, cleaning could be better, the rooms have a spartan touch and maintenance is becoming a huge job.
Maybe it was bad luck, but the excursion to the "natural reserve" was done by a guide whose english was very poor, so it wasore like a nice walk.
The forest is disapearing fast so Ban Pak Lao could loose it reason to be there

The review sounds a bit bad , but it is still very charming, my friends loved the sauna

Room Tip: Just check the rooms and ask for the one you like the most
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  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank bbb05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2010

My wife and I spent two nights here on a recommendation from a friend. It's has a beautiful location, situated on a wide, languid river bend that was particularly beautiful as the sun went down. Ban Pako is perhaps one of the quietest, most peaceful places I've ever been.

Our problem was there that was not much to do, and two nights was easily enough for us. We passed time by reading books in the hammocks, tubing down a small stretch of the river (nothing like Vang Vieng but amusing all the same), eating and drinking. We also did an enjoyable tour up river to a couple of villages, however our guide was slightly drunk and kept drinking during the day. We also did a couple of walks by ourselves in the surrounding forest.

Our accommodation was very reasonably priced but basic - just a shack with mosquito nets and shared facilities. The next level up was considerably more expensive and probably not worth it. The food and drink were good enough, which was a relief as there are absolutely no other options. The staff were very helpful.

Looking back, I'm glad I visited and I'll never forget the view of that magnificent river bend.

If you want to go somewhere peaceful to do nothing but read a few books and sit in a hammock in a beautiful setting then this place is perfect. If you're on the road in SE Asia for a considerable time and need to recharge the batteries, then don't miss Ban Pako. If you have 2 weeks in Laos and Thailand and need a bit more action and adventure, then give this place a miss.

Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank trentus72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laochef, Owner at Ban Lao Pako, responded to this review, 27 December 2010
I agree on almost everything the reviewer writes. As the new owner, taking over in 2010, I have lowered all prices to about 40 % of old prices, i.e. old price for Riverview Bungalow 250,000 KIP, new price 100,000 KIP; and from 1st January 2011, 120,000 KIP. We plan to close the resort as of 1st April 2011 for new construction of Bungalows, Kitchen, Restaurant etc.
We will also uppgrade all activities, with Kayaking, River Rafts, more Tubing and excursions as well as a professional cooking school and a Permaculture School. We plan and hope all this will be finished by October, 2011.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2010

This Resort is not for everybody.... If you like stunning views over a river and jungle, this is definitely worth the trip. Really friendly staff and good food. Bungalows all have large verandahs, overlooking the large river. There is solar-cell electricity for only a few hours after sunset. Otherwise there is no Internet and weak mobile signal.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank joancrawford99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ban Lao Pako

Property: Ban Lao Pako
Address: Nam Ngum River | P.O. Box 3144, Vientiane 0100, Laos
Region: Laos > Vientiane Province > Vientiane
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 100 Speciality Lodging in Vientiane
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ban Pako is an eco-lodge located on an ancient temple site on the banks of the Nam Ngum river, about 50 km from Vientiane. Ban Pako has room for 22 guests per night and the restaurant serves delicious Lao food. It is the perfect place to relax and experience the Lao countryside. Also on offer is a wide range of activities such as jungle trekking, cultural excursions and monthly events. ... more   less 
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