Photo of the Big Buddha, Champasak
Photo of Pakse, Champasak Province
Finally arriving in Pakse, the second UNESCO world heritage town and the fourth largest town in the country, serve as a major transport and commerce hub for southern Laos. The city was founded by the French in 1905 when Laos was part of French Indochina. Some buildings like the Chinese society building still remain from the colonial era. Pakse is the capital of Champasak Province, which was part of the Cambodian Angkor Empire between the 10th and 13th centuries. Wat Phou Champasak, near Champasak town, is the most striking relic of that time. Following the decline of Angkor between the 15th and late 17th centuries, this region was absorbed into the nascent Lane Xang kingdom, but broke away to become an independent Lao kingdom between the beginning of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century.
Photos of beautiful waterfalls, Champasak
The town is a good base for travel to the Bolaven Plateau where coffee fields and waterfalls galore await, the idyllic river islands of Si Phan Don, also known as 4,000 Islands, eco-tours, trekking and village stays in Sepian National Protected Area, the Angkor temple complex Wat Phou, and to the indigenous villages and waterfalls of the Tad Lo area of Lao Ngam district, Salavan province. Pakse itself makes for a great staging point for archaeological tourists in this part of Laos for two reasons. Firstly it is where the Champasak Provincial Museum is located as an introduction to local archaeology. Secondly it is an alternative to Champasak city as a staging point for those wanting to see Wat Phou. Wat Phou is a designated UNESCO site and boasts of as Laos’s counterpart to Angkor Wat, the finest of its type outside Cambodia.
Photos of Ancient Wat Phou, Champasak
About 150 kilometers South of Pakse is Si Phan Don, a beautiful natural area with hundreds of islands in the Mekong River, which is over 10 kilometers wide at this point. Near the Cambodian border are the Mekong Waterfalls, the largest falls by volume of South East Asia. This area of the Mekong is the home of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin. However, Visitors do not usually spend longer time in Pakse because there is not much do. They normally catch the flight from Pakse to Cambodia.
Photo of Mekong Waterfall, Champasak
By and large, most of the tourist attractions are in the Northern provinces, besides Luang Prabang, Xieng Khouang, Van Vieng and Vientiane, namely Gibbon Experience in Houay Xai, Akha Tribe in Luang Namtha, Vieng Xai (the biggest attraction of the town are the caves and picturesque natural views).
LAOS TOURS – Laos Travel, Laos Holidays 2014 – 2015 | Laos Tours Expert
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