Must-see Attractions in Pakse

As the largest commercial city in Laos, Pakse is the capital of Champasak Province, as well as the transportation hub of the Mekong River. On both sides of the Mekong River, there're abundant residential buildings with French characteristics. It is no wonder that Pakse attracts crowds of foreigners to come here to seek out the unique feelings. Where to go in Pakse? Here we've picked some must-see attractions in Pakse for your reference.

 

1. Four Thousand Islands(Si Phan Don)

  • Location: Si Phan Don, Champasack, Laos
  • Highlights: Enjoy the view of palm trees in the blowing wind, houses scattered along the Mekong River.
  • Opening Hours: All day
  • Best Time to Travel: From December to January, the weather is dry but cool. It's suitable in February, but it gets hotter in March and April.


Si Phan Don is located in the Mekong River basin in southern Laos, bordering Cambodia. At its widest point during the rainy season, it measures 14 kilometers, the widest part of the Mekong River in Laos. During the dry season, the river recesses, and the number of alluvion on the river exceeds 1,000. The local people, with a little exaggeration, call this area "Four Thousand Islands ". The main islands where people live are: Don Det Island, Don Khong and Dong Khon Island.

Some backpackers live on the largest island, Don Khong/Khong Island. There are two large villages on the island: Muang Khong on the east coast and Muang Saen on the west coast connected by an 8km dirt road. Most hotels are concentrated in the village of Muang Khong, where accommodation is usually around 20,000 Kip/night or higher. Each day, there're two passenger trucks from Pakse to Muang Khong, about 120 kilometers, and it takes 3-4 hours.

Must-see Attractions in Pakse
 

enlightenedTravel Tips

During the rainy season, the riverway of Mekong River near Si Phan Don is the widest; it's around 14 kilometers wide. After the river recedes, thousands of large and small islands will be exposed. If you have enough time, these tropical islands are worthy of exploring. The south of Don Khong Island lies the largest and most powerful Khon Phapheng Falls along the Mekong River. The waterfall is popular with Thai tourists, because they believe it catches the soul.


enlightenedHow to Get to Si Phan Don

At the south bus station of Pakse, it is a 3-hour drive to the small town of Muang Khong village on Don Khong Island. Or it's a good and convenient way to hire a private car there.

 

2. Boloven Plateau

  • Location: Bolaven Plateau, Champasak Province
  • Highlights: See the waterfalls and enjoy the primitive roadside ecology, strange flowers and exotic trees
  • Opening Hours: All day
  • Best Time to Travel: From December to January, the weather is dry but cool. It's suitable in February, but it gets hotter in March and April.


Bolaven Plateau is a plateau in southern Laos, from 1,000m to 1,350m above sea level, in the provinces of Champasak, Attapeu and Saravane. Bolaven Plateau locates between the Mekong River and the western foot of the southern Annamite Mountain Range, bordering Vietnam in the east. With an average annual rainfall of 3,743mm, Boloven Plateau receives the most rain in Laos. It is famous for its cool climate, majestic waterfalls, fertile land and high-quality coffee plantations. The Boloven Plateau is known as one of the most heavily bombed battlefields during the second Indochina war. The Bolaven Plateau is sparsely populated with Loven of the lao-theng, Nha Huen Sovei and Sou.

Must-see Attractions in Pakse
 

enlightenedHistory of Boloven Plateau

It was not until the early 20th century, when the French began to grow coffee, rubber trees and bananas, then farming became intensive on the Boloven Plateau. After Laos became independent in the 1950s, most French growers left the land, and those who stayed, unable to tolerate American bombing, left in the 1960s. For the Americans and the North Vietnamese, controlling the Boloven Plateau was a strategic matter of life and death. In history, the French colonial and the Vietnam War all had a far-reaching impact on the development of the Boloven Plateau region, which gradually formed its own characteristics.

Supported by agriculture and tourism, the Boloven Plateau is home to a variety of cash crops such as fruits, vegetables, cardamom, coffee and rubber. Tourism is also flourishing in the region, as several rivers flow through the plateau, forming spectacular waterfalls.

 

3. Tad Fane Waterfall

  • Location: Bolaven Plateau, Champasak Province
  • Highlights: The most spectacular waterfall in Laos, with a stunning drop of nearly 130 meters.
  • Opening Hours: All day
  • Entrance Fee: 5,000 Kip


Tad Fane Waterfall, as the highest in Laos, is particularly impressive during the rainy season from July to October. It falls 130 meters and consists of two waterfalls that form a double-trough waterfall, which cascades from top to bottom. Tad Fane Waterfall is good to view from a distance.

Must-see Attractions in Pakse
 

enlightenedHow to Get to Tad Fane Waterfall

To get to Tad Fane Waterfall, in addition, it's also ok to take a bus from the south bus station in Pakse to Paksong, which is near the waterfall. There are two buses per day (08:00/15:00), the cost is 12,000 Kip/person, after about 1.5 hours' drive, transfer to Tad Fane Waterfall.

 

4. Wat Phou

  • Location: Bolaven Plateau, Champasak Province
  • Highlights: The most spectacular waterfall in Laos, with a stunning drop of nearly 130 meters.
  • Opening Hours: 8 am-4:30 pm
  • Entrance Fee: 30,000 Kip/person, the 45,000 Kip ticket includes a ride of golf kart to the entrance gate of the temple, less than 1 kilometer away.


The Hindu temple site Wat Phou (Wat Phou, known as "little Angkor" by the Laotian people) is located on the mountainside of the Pugao Mountain, 1200 meters above sea level, in the province of Champasak. It is about 45 kilometers south of the Pakse city and 8 kilometers northeast of the town of Champasak on the west bank of the Mekong River. It is the most famous religious site in southern Laos. There are a lot of people travelling to Wat Phou.

Must-see Attractions in Pakse
 

enlightenedHow to Get to the Wat Phou

  1. The most comfortable way to get there is to take a 3-day Vat Phou Mekong cruise that stops at some other destinations.
     
  2. We could also offer the day trips to the temple by private van.
     
  3. Public transport: The first step is taking a songthaew, which leaves from Daoruang market in Pakse, following the South of Route 13 towards the Champasak East Terminal (60,000 Kip). From there, cross the Mekong River to Champasak district at about 20,000 Kip per person. You could also take a tuk-tuk or rent a bicycle from Champasak, and ride for about 8 kilometers to the ruins.
     
  4. Rent a motorbike in Pakse for about 80,000 Kip per day. The drive to Wat Phou takes around 1 hour.

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