Pakse is located at the mouth of the rivers Xe Don and Mekong in southern Laos.
Founded by French colonialists in 1905, the city served as the capital of the Kingdom of Champasak until it was unified with the rest of Laos in 1946. This city has a population of around 90,000 people consisting of mostly ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese. Pakse International Airport serves as a link to the Bolaven Plateau and connects the city to Siem Reap, Vientiane, and Bangkok.
VAT THAT LUANG
The temple was built in 1935 and is a beautiful place to wander through. Admire the building walls ornately decorated with intricate murals and a golden Buddha. It is also home to a Sangha school (Buddhist monks’ school) with courses in English, business and cultural studies. They have a large library, and even open their doors to foreign volunteers. The head and representative of the Champasak Sangha community in Champasak also lives there.
Either stop in the parking area and take the stairs all the way up to the temple Vat Phou Salao or continue to the right on a concrete road. Take care if you are walking as the second half of the stairs are wooden and in bad condition.
Step out onto the viewing platform and catch your breath in the cool evening air. Your reward is temple on top of the mountain, a stunning panoramic view from the big golden Buddha watching over Pakse and the Mekong River. You can even see the Bolaven Plateau from here.
WAT PHRA BAT TEMPLE
Wat Pha bat 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 country.
DAO HUANG MARKET
Located near the Lao – Japanese bridge, it is one of the biggest markets in Laos, famous for its selection of exotic fresh crop grown in the back yards of locals and also sells goods like clothing, crafts, silverwares, and household items.
Whilst that’s out of the question for most people, a souvenir is a great way to remember a place and here is the cheapest place to buy them.
BUDDHA STONE CARVERS
Located at the entrance to Vat Chompet with its impressive 30-metre high Buddha, Buddha Stone Carvers are the local artisans of the village of Don Khor.
Don Khor and Vat Chomphet are about 13km North of Pakse on route 13.