Champasak

Champasak

All about Wat Phu

Set on the west banks of the Mekong, Champasak is a sleepy town sandwiched between the river and mountains. It’s primarily known for being the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wat Phu.

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Despite its location just 30 km south of Pakse, Champasak is not really on the tourist trail and this to us is a small injustice. The town is historic and charming, with a single road running along the Mekong lined with decaying colonial manors that were once royal residences, side by side with wood-shuttered Chinese shophouses and traditional wooden homes. Even the modern homes have zeal—the locals here seem to love painting them in wildly cheerful colours.

Stunning Wat Phu. : Cindy Fan.
Stunning Wat Phu. Photo: Cindy Fan

One of the greatest barriers to visiting is the town’s location on the west side of the Mekong, the opposite side of the “mainland” and highway. To get here it was necessary to cross the river by boat. As of 2014, a brand spanking new sealed road on the west bank connects Pakse with Champasak; this road is virtually free of traffic and the scenery is gorgeous to boot but the outside world has been slow ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)

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