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Savannakhet

Savannakhet

 Area:                 21,774 sqkm

 Population:     906,440 million

 Capital:              Kaisone Phomvihan

 Language:       Laos

 Currency:         Kip

Savannakhet Overview
Savannakhét is the largest province in Laos, connected to nearby Thailand to the west over the Second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge. Its capital of the same name is the second largest city in Laos after Vientiane and the center of the country’s trading with both Thailand and Vietnam, most visitors come to Laos by direct or Indirect Indochina tour package.
 
The Province is an important tobacco producer but has more to offer; copper and gold.The French used the Mekong for transport and the River is still important for that today.
 
Our Laos tour guide naturally includes Savannakhet as one of the most important provinces in the country.
Savannakhet History
The area of Savannakhet Province was under influence of the  Champa Kingdom from 7th to 10th century, followed by the Khmer Kingdom until the 13th century. Heun Hin (Stone House) along the Mekong River and some ornaments of That Ing Hang (Ing Hang Stupa) prove this historical fact.

Then, the Lane Xang Kingdom established in 14th century covered Savannakhet. Savannakhet Province, especially its capital town, had been developed significantly as the administrative and commercial center of Southern Laos during the French era in 19th century.
 
The name of Savannakhet Province derives from old Pali language, meaning “a land of gold”. The area of Savannakhet Province has been inhabited since ancient times, benefitting from the Mekong River and its tributaries. People here have cultivated rice in the largest plain in the country, and fostered rich arts and culture.
 
 
Savannakhet climate and best time to visit
The best months for good weather in Savannakhet are January, February, March, October, November, and December
On average, the warmest months are February, March, April, May, and June, December is the driest month. The rainiest months are May, July, and August 
 
Savannakhet Transportation
By Air
 
There is an airport with direct flights to and from Vientiane which is often the starting point for Laos travel packages, Savannakhet’s airport is at the southeastern edge of town. It is serviced by Lao Airlines with domestic routes a few days a week to Pakse and Vientiane (via Pakse).

By Bus
 
Savannakhet’s main bus station is on Road 9W, at the northern edge of the city center. It’s a kilometer from the Royal Thai Consulate.
 
Given the fact that Savannakhet isn’t on the main north-south running highway Route 13, transport options aren’t as plentiful as other cities in southern Laos. Travelers use Laos holiday package or Indochina holidays in anywhere along Route 13 could easily hop onto a Vientiane or Pakse bound bus. In Savannakhet, you are mostly limited to departures from the bus station, transport in the form of local buses.

By Boat
 
The ferry across the Mekong between Laos and Thailand is not open to foreigners/is only open to borderpass holders. There are no regular passenger services up or down the Mekong.

Getting Around
 
By Car/Tuk-Tuk
 
From the city centre to the bus terminal is about US$1 (though prices double after dark).
 
By Foot
 
Most places of interest can be reached by foot.
 
By Bike
 
You can expect to rent bicycles from many of the guest houses in Savannakhet for about US$1-2/day while motorcycles are about US$7-10/day.

Things to do and see in Savannakhet
There are highlight place to visit Laos

That Ing Hang

 
If you have visited all temples and stupa in Laos, That Ing Hang can be considered as one of the most sacred place in Laos. The story about this stupa is also very interesting. Locals have said to many generations that in the past, when Buddha is tired, he has rested by leaning on a Hang Tree in this Area. Later on, in 16th century, King Marukhanakhone has ordered to build this stupa to commemorate Buddha’s visit. In Laotian language, “That” refers to Buddhist Stupa and “Ing Hang” means Hang Tree. And it is how the names come out!
 
This ancient stupa is 9 meters (about 29 feet) in length and its four sides are decorated with Buddha Statue. There is belief that Buddha’s Spine is inside That Ing Hang, which makes it holier than ever. Woman has to wear Laotian female traditional clothes “the Sinh”, kinds of women’s traditional skirt. Otherwise, you are not allowed to come in.
One of the Laotian traditional festivals is held yearly in November in lunar calendar in this area, called Boun Pha That Ing Hang in order to pay homage to Buddha.
Entrance Fee: Around 5000 Kip
 
Savannakhet Dinosaur Museum
 
Dinosaur? In Laos? Yeah, it’s real. The museum exhibits all the fossils of dinosaur which has been found in Savannaket with the support of French. Therefore, there are subtitle in English, French and absolutely Laotian. They also offer you an opportunity to touch the real dinosaur bones. Three kinds of dinosaur have been discovering are Pode, Iguanodon and Sauropode. If you are interested in dinosaur or natural science, you should visit this museum once.
Entrance Fee: Around 10000 Kip
 
Wat Xayaphoum (Xayaphoum Temple):
 
Laos is a country of temple, everywhere there must be at least one temple in the area. The temple located in the center of the city along the bank of Mekong River has increased its popular. It still remains the original Savannakhet style including the monks’ living area and monastery. For celebration and festival of the town, Pi Mai Lao (The Laos’ New Year Celebration) and Boun Suang Huea (Boat Racing Festival) are all held here.
 
Heun Hin (Stone House)
 
Heun Hin or Stone House is believed to be one of 121 rest house has been constructed during Khmer Empire in Laos. Right now, it is just the ruin of the rest house in the past. Therefore, sometimes, you will see it a little bit similar to Vat Phou in Champasak. Despite the fact that, it is still suitable for people that want to do some exercise. You can get access to the area by bicycle in order to challenge yourself and to strengthen your health.
 
Bung Va Lake:
 
A different spot in Savannakhet is right at your eyes. Bung Va Lake is the largest lake on the outskirt of Savannakhet City, a perfect stop on the way to That Ing Hang. Around the lake’s border, there are several restaurants which offer so many local dishes and a good spot for sightseeing. Right now, you are having a chance to witness the real Laotian countryside’s life. It is not the most beautiful place to visit but a perfect place to relax and to spend time for your own.
Savannakhet Travel Tips
Savannakhet is the name of the provincial capital of Savannakhet Province. Officially known as Muang Khanthabuli, Savannakhet is the second biggest city in Laos after Vientiane. It is just about 20% smaller than Vientiane.
 
The name Savannakhet comes from Savanh Nakhone, meaning City of Paradise for Laos holidays. As with most of the major population centers of Laos, Savannakhet is also located by the bank of the Mekong River facing Thailand. The Second Thai-Lao Friendshop Bridge was built here in 2007, connecting Savannakhet to Mukdahan in Thailand.
 
Savannakhet can be explored on foot. For longer distances, you can hail down a tuk tuk. In fact, you can hire one for the whole day, but be sure to negotiate in advance.
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