Photo: Old shopfront, Savannakhet.

Things to see and do

Exploring Savannakhet

Though perhaps best known for its nearby BCAs (national parks), Savannakhet is also the perfect spot for a few days of unwinding. Lose yourself in the smoky scent of Lao sausages on the grill, the late afternoon giggles of schoolchildren, a Mekong River sunset and a stroll through historic ... Read more about Exploring Savannakhet .

Protected Areas (National Parks)
T: (041) 214 203

To sign up for a tour, show up at the eco guide centre (a branch of the official Savannakhet tourism organisation) just east of Talaat Yen plaza on Latsaphanit Road between 08:00 and 4:30 daily. The smaller the group, the more expensive the tour, so the trick is to sign up for a tour that already has people listed on the sign-in sheet, or you can start one of your own and hope that others follow ... Read more about Protected Areas (National Parks) .

Savannakhet old town

Built in the 19th and early 20th centuries of brick and plaster by French and Chinese merchants, the two-storey houses have galvanised tin roofs to go with faded yellow exterior walls and cracked blue and green shutter-style doors. Many also have lovely but dilapidated balconies. While some of the buildings -- such as the one that houses Sala Savanh Guesthouse -- have been tastefully restored, ... Read more about Savannakhet old town .

Dinosaur museum

Basic English descriptions are provided, but if you can, let one of the curators tell you all about the partial tangvayosaurus skeletan and T-rex teeth. A range of fossils and rare stones can also be viewed in the museum. To the right of the admission desk, note the interesting satellite photograph of the Australian-Lao gold mine, which has its own airport to allow the treasures extracted ... Read more about Dinosaur museum .

Temples in Savannakhet

The most notable is Wat Xaiyaphoum, which faces the river towards the northern end of Tha Hae Rd and was built in the mid 1500s, making it the oldest in Savannakhet. Given how Wat Xaiyaphoum's outer stone walls look like they're ready to keel over, we don't doubt its age. Just outside the wat is a centuries-old old banyan tree with a not-so-spectacular carving of the Buddha's face in the roots ... Read more about Temples in Savannakhet .

Saint Theresa Church and Talaat Yen Plaza

It's not exactly awe-inspiring with its relatively modest steeple, white walls and simple interior, but it does have some stained glass windows and a garden courtyard with a statue of the Virgin Mary between the church and Talaat Yen plaza. If you're up for them, services are still held from 05:30 to 06:30 Sunday through Friday. Due west of the church is the plaza, which is ringed by heritage ... Read more about Saint Theresa Church and Talaat Yen Plaza .

Like what you see? Then you’ll love our newsletter

The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.

Where to next?

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

Top of page