What to See in Champasak
One of the most visited provinces of Laos; Champasak has a population of around 50,000 and is formed by Pakse, the Bolaven Plateau, Paksong, Champasak and Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands). Bordering Thailand and Cambodia, Pakse sits at the confluence of the Mekong and is the province's capital, as a result of the Lao-Japanese Bridge spanning the Mekong, the town has quickly grown as an area of trading importance and is a popular tourist destination.
The Mekong River flows past the ancient Khmer religious compound at Wat Phu Champsak, before dispersing at Four Thousand Islands, an area of utter tranquility. The Bolaven Plateau is renowned for its production of coffee, rattan, fruit and cardamom, while the vast number of wats (temples) across the terrain make for interesting viewing.
The Champasak cultural landscape, including the Wat Phu Temple compound, is a well-preserved planned landscape more than 1,000 years old. It was shaped to express the Hindu belief of the relationship between nature and humanity, using an axis from mountain top to river bank to lay out a geometric pattern of temples, shrines and waterworks extending over some 10 km.
Other Attractions in Champasak
Founded by the French in 1905, much of the town's colonial heritage was obliterated during the second Indochinese War. The capital of the Champasak Province retains the lethargic atmosphere Laos has become so renowned and popular for. There are around 20 Wats within the area of which Wat Luang and Wat Thai Fam are the biggest.
Wat Luang features a monastic school and a thaat containing the ashes of the former Lao Prime Minister. Wat Thai Fam is situated by the Champasak Palace Hotel and is set around spacious grounds, making it a prime site for temple festivals. The temple also houses a small Buddha imprint. The Champasak Historical Heritage Museum near the Hotel Residence du Champa, records the history of the province through artefacts, photography and written documents. Read More...
The capital of coffee production in Laos, has a few places to stay and is usually visited on an over night trip from Pakse. The main attraction of the area is the Tat Lo Waterfall which has a large pool at the bottom suitable for swimming.
Although this is not the most magnificent of Laos waterfalls it remains popular with visitors due the lethargic atmosphere that surrounds the area. From Tad Loa, having a bike makes it easier to reach Tad Suong - the most impressive of the waterfalls.