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Champasak

Everything you Need to Know about Champasak

Champasak was once, 1400 years ago, the centre of power in the lower Mekong basin, later a revered outpost of the Khmer Angkor empire and later still one of the three kingdoms to rule over the remains of Lane Xang. A fine heritage that, according to the last prince of Champassak, was brought to hard times by a former queen's indiscretion.

The beautiful Nang Pao ruled over Champasak in the mid-17th century. But it's lonely at the top and the queen found comfort in the arms of a prince from a neighbouring kingdom. Alas, for the lady's pennyroyal was ineffective, and Nang Pao fell pregnant. A great scandal ensued and, though the queen remained in power and was succeeded by her illegitimate daughter, Nang Peng, the unhappy Nang Pao decreed that all unmarried mothers in the kingdom must sacrifice a buffalo for their sins. The practice survived in some local communities until the 1980s, the unfortunate women being known as 'Nang Pao's Daughters.'

Though the Kingdom of Champasak prospered for a while after the final dissolution of Lane Xang, at the beginning the 18th century, its fortunes faltered quickly and it was reduced to a vassal state of Siam before the century had passed. For its part in Chao Anou's abortive attempt to win freedom from the Siamese for the Lao kingdoms, Champasak lost all of its territory east of the Mekong. Under French rule the once mighty kingdom became a mere administrative block; its royalty stripped of many of its privileges.

"With an unmarried mother as queen," Prince Boun Oum na Champasak, the last of the kingdom's royal line, once said. "Everything started so badly that the game was lost before it began."

Boun Oum, who died in French exile in 1980, may have griped about his family's downfall (though he was not a direct descendent of Nang Pao), but it did not stop him from using his remaining royal privileges to loot the nearby Wat Phu. The magnificent Angkorian temple complex was recently made a UNESCO heritage site and is considered one of the finest Angkor-inspired edifices outside of Cambodia. 

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Where to Stay in Champasak

Champasak Hotels

Champasak Province hotels and resorts at the best rates, with budget accommodation like Champa Residence or Mekong Read More...

Pakse

Pakse

Pakse is the capital of Champasak Province, founded by French colonialists in 1905. The kingdom was destroyed in 1946 Read More...

Pakse Tours & Excursions

Pakse Tours

Pakse offers many possibilities when it comes to tours and excursions: From a half-day excursion at Tadfane Waterfall to Read More...

Champasak Attractions

Champasak Attractions

One of the most visited provinces of Laos; Champasak is formed by Pakse, Bolaven Plateau, Paksong, Champasak and Si Phan Read More...

Champasak Restaurants

Champasak Restaurants

Apart from local street stalls selling noodle soup and standard Lao dishes such as laab with sticky rice, other eating Read More...

Champasak Shopping

Champasak Shopping

There is a Morning Market selling fresh meats, vegetables, and food ingredients while souvenirs like silk, silverware, Read More...

Champasak Activities

Champasak Activities

Champasak has a rich menu of activities to enjoy, all of which strongly encompass Laos' most defining cultural traits. Read More...

Laos Maps

Champasak Map

Our interactive map (and satellite views) displays all available hotels with photos, facilities and guest comments as Read More...

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