Photo: Incredible detail.

Wat Phu

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Located 10 kilometres from Champasak, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wat Phu is one of the most impressive Khmer temples outside of Cambodia. A highlight of southern Laos, the temple complex demonstrates the dominance and religious commitment of the Khmer Empire.

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The site originated long before Angkor. Inscriptions from the fifth and sixth century mention the sanctuary, and it’s believed it was originally connected with the first Khmer state of Chenla, then with the Champa kingdom from the 7th century on (source: Wat Phu museum). The complex we see today was built in the Angkorian period early in the 11th century, with additions constructed in the 12th and 13th century.

Some walking involved. Photo taken in or around Wat Phu, Champasak, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Some walking involved. Photo: Cindy Fan

The location and orientation of the temple is far from arbitrary. The natural landscape held enormous spiritual significance and its position at Phou Kao mountain, with its peak naturally in the shape of the linga (phallic symbol representing Shiva) and a permanent spring at its foot, were likely reasons the sanctuary was ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Champasak? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Laos.

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