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Champasak

Champasak

Champasak has rich cultural heritage includes ancient temple ruins and French colonial architecture. Champasak has some 20 wats (temples), such as Wat Phou, Wat Luang, and Wat Tham Fai. Freshwater dolphins and the province's many waterfalls are tourist attractions.
Champasak OVerview
Champasak area lies in southwestern Laos borders with Thailand and Cambodia. Pakse is the capital established over a century ago by the French but the province takes its name from the former capital of the Kingdom of Champasak.

The province has been ruled by various kingdoms through the ages, Champasak Province is known for its relaxed pace of life, warm hospitality and rich cultural, historic and natural heritage. and today there are many archaeological remains scattered throughout the province.

To the south of Pakse, the provincial capital is the Vat Phou Temple Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
Champasak attractions with inside the Ancient City, historic colonial buildings, and Don Daeng Island, known for its traditional livelihoods and forested trails. In the southern region of the province is Don Khong and the Four Thousand Islands, or Si Phan Don in Lao.

On this stretch of the Mekong is the largest waterfall by volume in Southeast Asia, Khone Phapheng, as well as Li Phi waterfall noted for its cascading emerald green waters. The endangered freshwater Irrawaddy Dolphins inhabit the Mekong near the Lao-Cambodian border and can be observed from locally chartered boats.


The Mekong River forms part of the border with Thailand while Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands) to the south of the province borders with Cambodia. Our Laos travel guide suggests that Champasak is a province well worth to explore a part of Indochina site.


Champasak climate and best time to visit
The temperatures are always high.A lot of rain (rainy season) falls in the months: May, June, July, August, September and October. This month should be avoided if you don't like too much rain. Champasak has dry periods in January, February and December. The warmest month is April. The coolest month is December and July is the wettest month. T.January is the driest month.
Champasak History
Champasak was  founded in 1713 by the Lao King Nokasad as one of three Kingdoms of Laos it called a great and prosperous land. It is fascinating to imagine the hive of trade and activity that went on here, with markets selling spices, rubber, wax, resin, skins and horns to traders from Thailand and Indochina and it is one of interesting place in Laos for Indochina tours

Champasak was greatly desired and fought over by its Cambodian and Siamese neighbours as well as the French colonial powers, and finally, after many skirmishes, it fell to the French in 1893. 50 years later in 1946, the French left Laos and Champasak became a province under the first unified Laos.
Today, the once grand Champasak kingdom is a small and charming town on the 
Champasak Transportation
By Bus

Catch a local bus to from Pakse you can take a local bus leaving from Daoheuang Market. You can also take a bus or minivan that heads to/comes from the four Thousand Islands and get off at Ban Muang.

Take a ferry across the Mekong to Ban Phaphin, a few hundred metres north of the centre of Champasak. You can also rent a motorbike, a car and a driver, organise a tuk tuk, join a tour, or organise a boat from Pakse to Champasak.
Things to do and see in Champasak
Although Champasassak lie outside of Pakse, the town has plenty of sites worth a visit.

Palace of Prince Boun Oum Na Champasassak
 
One of Pakse’s most attractive buildings is the former Palace of Prince Boun Oum Na Champasassak, which is now the Champasak Palace Hotel. The building is located in the center of town on Route 13, next to the bridge crossing the Xe Don river.
 

Champasak Provincial Museum
 
To learn about local history, visit the Champasak Provincial Museum. On display are artifacts and documents about the history of Champasak province, ancient pottery, inscribed steles as well as sandstone lintels from the ancient Khmer temple Uo Moung. Admission is 5,000 Kip per person. The museum opens daily from 8.30 am until 4 pm with lunch break between 11.30 am and 1 pm.
 
Buddhist temples
 
Pakse houses several Buddhist temples worth a visit. The Wat Luang is one of the towns largest and most beautiful temples. The ornate temple dating back to 1935 is decorated with beautiful murals. The sim or congregation hall houses a large golden Buddha image in the “Calling the Earth to Witness” mudra. The Wat Luang houses a Buddhist school and several chedis in various styles. One of them contains the ashes of a former Laos prime minister. The temple is found next to the Xe Don river, on Route 13 to the airport.
 
Another temple worth a visit is the Wat Pha Bat or temple of the Buddha footprint, a large temple on the banks of the Xe Don river, across the street from the Champasak Palace Hotel.
 
Natural attractions around Pakse
 
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 Khone falls, the largest falls by volume of South East Asia. This area of the Mekong is the home of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin.
 
East of Pakse is the Bolaven Plateau, a mountainous and forested area about 45 minutes away by car. The area is known for its great scenery and many waterfalls. The highest falls are Ted Fane. Getting to the 120 meter high twin falls requires a trek through the forest starting near the 38-kilometer marker off Route 16 from Pakse to Paksong. Another waterfall, the Tad Gneuang is found deeper into the forest. Trips can be booked at Pakse travel agents.
 
Ancient Khmer temples
 
About 40 kilometers South of Pakse are the ruins of Wat Phou, a 10th century Khmer temple. The temple that is built at the foot of a mountain overlooking the plains is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It comprises of a number of barays, two palaces, several small shrines, a processional walkway and the main sanctuary that was dedicated to Shiva. Laos holiday package includes visits to the ancient Khmer temples of Wat Phu and Uo Moung, the Si Phan Don area and the Khone Phapheng falls.
 
Ban Saphai silk weaving village
 
Near Pakse is the silk weaving village of Ban Saphai. The village is located on Don Kho, a small island in the Mekong river 15 kilometers upstream from Pakse. Most families that live in traditional Laos style houses on stilts are involved in traditional silk weaving and offer their wares for sale. Trips can be booked at Pakse travel agents.
Champasak Travel Tips
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