Everything You Need to Know About Pakse -Champask- Laos
How to Get to Pakse
International Airport receives regular flights from Siem Reap and Vientiane. You can also travel by air to Savannakhet, about 240 km northeast of Pakse. If you’re visiting the city from Bangkok, Lao Airlines offer direct flights regularly. You can take a flight from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Getting to Pakse by river is offered by many travel agencies in Champasak – a private charter costs about $250 which can be shared among 6 people with luggage.
Pakse is serviced by 2 bus companies, which carry local traffic to the north and the south. VIP buses travelling between Pakse and Vientiane operate from the Champasak Plaza Shopping Centre. The bus fare varies depending on the mode of purchase – it’s cheaper to buy it from the counter than through a travel agency. The journey takes about 10 hours.
Vat Phou UNESCO World Heritage Site in Champasak
Pakse attractions range from French colonial architecture near Xe Don River to pristine Buddhist shrines. You can join a tour to Wat Phu, a Khmer Hindu temple complex on at the base of mount Phou Khao. The view of the plains from this vantage point is breathtaking.
Vat Phou (temple-mountain in Lao) lies at the base of Phou Kao Mountain, with views of the Mekong River and Champasak Province. The ancient Khmer temple complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with intricate structures built between the 5th and 15th centuries. You’ll see plenty of temple pillars, barays (reservoirs), lintels, pediments, and palaces throughout your visit at Vat Phou.
There’s also a natural spring, which locals believe contains holy water. The complex’s onsite museum displays statues of Buddha and Hindu deities such as Shiva, Vishnu and Nandi. Vat Phou is one of the largest archaeological sites in Laos – its oldest structure is a sandstone temple dating back to the 5th-century.
Statues of deities can be found throughout the complex, including one of Indra – the Hindu god of war – riding a 3-headed elephant and another of Vishnu riding a garuda (eagle). Vat Phou is also an active temple, with Buddhist religious ceremonies taking place at the main sanctuary. If you visit Vat Phou on the full moon of the 3rd lunar month (usually in February), you’ll see locals celebrating Makha Bucha day. The festival takes place over the course of 3 days, with events ranging from offerings and monk-blessing ceremonies, to games and traditional dance and music performances.
Wat luang Pakse-Laos
Wat Luang is one of Pakse’s most beautiful temples – the multi-coloured complex has a school teaching Buddhist courses for monks. Wat Phabad (or Phabat) features colourful stupas that serve as funerary monuments. Locals believe Buddha left his footprint on the temple grounds, which attracts devotees from all over the world.
Pakse restaurants line the banks of Xe Don River, many of which are floating eateries overlooking the city’s many temples. Some restaurants in Pakse operate as bars, with live music on most nights. Besides Laotian cuisine, you can enjoy Thai, Chinese, Indian, western, and Vietnamese dishes. Pakse also has plenty of coffee shops lining the streets of the town centre. Arabica and Robusta beans are grown in the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos, so you’ll get to enjoy quality coffee throughout your visit in Pakse.
If you want to buy some souvenirs in Pakse, check out Champasak Plaza. You can find silk, electronic products, clothes and handicrafts by ethnic groups in Laos, but choices are rather limited
Pakse nightlife is relatively tame, just like most cities in southern Laos. There are a cluster of rustic and laidback bars lining the Mekong River. Many high-end hotels have rooftop or pool bars with views of the town centre.
Money in Pakse
The official national currency in Laos is the Lao kip (K). Although only kip is legally negotiable in everyday transactions, in reality three currencies are used for commerce: kip, Thai baht (B) and US dollars (US$).
Where to Stay in Pakse, Laos
Double Lotus Hotel- ໂຮງແຮມດອກບົວຄູ່- Khách Sạn Đôi Hoa Sen
Pakse, being the gateway into Laos from Thailand, is home to several hotels and even though it’s not a large town, the traffic passing through is impressive, as is the hospitality of the locals.
Free shuttle bus at Pakse airport
You Need to Know About Pakse