Vat Phu temple half day
The Vat Phu temple complex is part of the Champasak cultural landscape, the oldest settlements dating back to the 5th century a.d.. Meaning “Temple of the mountain” in Lao language it refers to the Phu Kao peak rising 1408 meters behind the temple. The mountains Sanskrit name “Lingaparvata” literally describes the natural linga shaped (phallic) rock formation on top of it. Because of this peculiar shape Phu Kao Mountain was sacred to the Khmer people and considered to be the center of the world. Being built during the late 10th and early 11th century a.d. Vat Phu predates the more famous Angkor Vat in Cambodia by more than 100 years. An ancient 240 km long road directly connected these two main cities of the Khmer empire. In 2001 Vat Phu, Hong Nang Sida, Vat Tomo, Phu Kao Mountain, the remains of the two ancient cities Shrestrapura and Lingapura and several smaller Khmer ruins became UNESCO world heritage sites.
Departure: 08.00 hrs
Return: 14.20 hrs
08.40 hrs – 11.40 hrs
After entering VAT PHU temple, it is recommended to visit the museum first. An electric shuttle vehicle will take you for free from the museum about 1 km to the first level of structural remains. Following the ancient causeway upwards past partially reconstructed ruins decorated with stone carvings of Hindu deities and demons, you climb up steep rocky stairways, until the sacred spring invites you to taste the clean, fresh holy water.
12.00 hrs – 13.00 hrs
Returning to Champasak, a Lao style lunch will be served at the local Restaurant. Overlooking the Mekong to Don Daeng Island, you can refresh body and mind with their exquisite food in the shadow of a curtain of bamboo on a breathtaking panorama.
13.00 hrs – 13.40 hrs
Before returning to Pakse there is the opportunity to explore Champasak town by walk to see old French colonial buildings and several local temples. It has been the capital of the third Kingdom of Laos in 1713 a.d. and was built on top of the ruins of the ancient Khmer cities Shreshtapura and Lingapura. First documented settlements from 5th century a.d., making it difficult to notice any remnants of them nowadays.
Arrive in Pakse.
TOTAL COVERED DISTANCE: around 90 Kilometers.