Pakse is the capital of Champasak, a modest, quaint riverside province and one of the most beautiful areas in southern Laos, with attractions ranging from the Khmer ruins of Wat Phu – a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Bolaven plateau – a highland area with plantations, waterfalls and lots of scenery, Si Phan Don or the 4,000 Islands region and Khone Phapheng – South-east Asia’s highest waterfall.
Beautiful Khmer Ruins
Activities in Pakse
Visit To Don Daeng
After an early morning breakfast, enjoy a scenic drive south of Pakse to Ban Hatsaikhone. Board a local private boat to Don Daeng island, located inside the Champasak Cultural and Natural Heritage Landscape – UNESCO World Heritage Site, to tour beautiful Si Phan Don – 4,000 Islands. Reach the picturesque island of Don Khone by lunchtime. Explore the island by bicycle, tracing the route of an old abandoned railway and admiring some of the old French colonial buildings, and the beautiful Liphi waterfall. Return to the boat and head back to the mainland, visiting the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia. Late in the afternoon, drive back to Don Daeng, arriving early evening.
Visit To Wat Phou (Pakse)
Following collection, travel amid pleasant rural scenery of hills and local villages towards Champasak – former royal capital. See the pre-Angkorian Wat Phou temple, built between 5th-13th century. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wat Phou is part of the greater Khmer Empire, linked via ancient highways to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The lower part of this ancient Khmer religious complex has two ruined palace buildings at the edge of a pond, the upper section is the temple sanctuary itself. Climb the crumbling stairway adorned with ‘nagas’ or snake heads. This dramatically located temple is one of the foremost highlights of any trip to Laos.
Visit To Bolevan Plateau from Pakse
The Bolaven Plateau, formed by an ancient volcano, is famous for its coffee and tea plantations. It is home to several tribal villages, some still practicing Stone Age culture using extremely primitive agricultural tools and conducting spiritual ceremonies. Visit Tade Fane waterfalls, beyond which stretches Dong Hua Sao jungles, from where perfectly timed twin falls originate; Tad Champi and Tad Yeung waterfalls, dropping 42m. Later head to a tea and coffee plantation. Return by mid-afternoon.