Champasak and Wat Phu
A visit to south Laos is not complete without visiting Champasak and Wat Phu. This page will tell you how to reach both places.
From Pakse, Champasak is only 38 km away. There are four ways to reach Champasak. First, the usual, by bus. Second, take a boat, it's a nice ride on the Mekong to Champasak, I've done that in 1999. There are two roads connecting Pakse with Champasak which I have cycled in 2001, 2010 and 2013.
You can use the National Road 13 leading south out of Pakse city center. The road is hilly though not very difficult. After about 30 km you will find the junction to Wat Phu and Champasak. It's from here a 7 km to the ferry and a nother km or 2 to Champasak which will be your base to visit Wat Phu, another 10 km further south.
Alternatively you can cross the bridge at Pakse which leads to Chong Mek and take the first junction on your left (right if you come from Chong Mek). This is nowadays a nice asphalt road and sees hardly (if any) traffic.
Champasak has a few cheap guesthouses. You may want to spend a night or 2 here as it is a good base to explore Wat Phu.
Expect prices from US $5-10. Nothing fancy but clean and friendly.
The reason to visit Champasak is the Khmer temple Wat Phu. The temple dates from the 11th to 13th century.
Although much has been destroyed in time, there's still quite a lot to explore.
Wat Phu was originally dedicated to Shiva, but in later times it was (and still is) in use as a Buddhist shrine.
ou will arrive at a basin, which used to be a city. Passing the basin, there are the remains of two palaces. The walls contain some amazing stone carving work. Unfortunately most of the palaces are in such a state you can not enter.
Leading further uphill you will come to the best preserved temple. Here too is some amazing carving to be seen as a nice overview of the surrounding lower flat lands. Wat Phu is certainly worth a visit.
Other pages about Laos:
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Map of Laos