Pakse is a southern province of Laos located at the mouth of Xe Don and Mekong rivers. Established in 1905 by French colonialists, this land used to be the kingdom of Champasak until it returned to Laos in 1946. Paske is bordered by many provinces of Laos such as Xekong, Salavan, and Attopu, Stung Treng of Cambodia in the south and Udon Ratchathani in the west. Along with the favorable geographic location, this city is also a beautiful tourist attraction of Laos.
How to get to Pakse
Pakse International Airport is 8 kilometers from the north of the city. Lao Airlines offers directly flights to Vientiane, Savannakhet, Siem Reap, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh city. Tourists should book tickets online through a travel agent although it is possible to book directly at the airport.
Although the slow-boat service to Don Khong is no longer operating, tourists can arrange a private trip from the hotels or travel agents with the competitively high price. So, if you really want to move by boat, it is ideal to share with others to lower the cost.
There is also an ad-hoc boat service opposite the Inthira hotel in Champasak which is about 30 km from the south of Pakse. The price is quite expensive but you can arrange with the hotel, it is possible to pay US $100 per boat, seats approximately 6 people with luggage.
Pakse has 4 bus stations:
- Chitpasong Bus Terminal is the most likely bus station that tourists certainly arrive at or depart from if traveling between Pakse and Vientiane, the bus station is next to the Sedone River and close to the old French Bridge, near the Champasak Shopping Center and in the town center. Tickets to Vientiane cost 170,000 Kip, but keep in mind this is for half of a bunk that is shared with another person. If you want a bunk for your comfort during the journey, you will need to purchase two tickets. You can buy the bus ticket from the 3 ticket counters in the bus station, please choose the middle ticket counter for bigger and more modern sleeper bus.
- Kriang Kai Bus Terminal has older sleeper buses to and from Vientiane, and is the arrival point and departure point for the international bus from/to Ubon Ratchathani or Bangkok in Thailand. Samlors and tuk tuks will transport you to the town center for about 15,000 Kip.
- The Northern Bus Terminal is located about 10 kilometres northwest of the city centre. Transportation via songthaew to the northern bus terminal is sometimes available at the northeastern side of the market opposite the shopping center.
- The Southern Bus Terminal is mostly used by locals, with slower local buses, and is located 8 km to the east of the city center.
Transportation via songthaew to destinations outside of Pakse is available at Dao Huang market.
What to see
Wat Luang is the biggest and most beautiful temple in Pakse, this temple is home of Buddhist Monk School. This is the best place to see the monks giving religious ceremony and wander around the peaceful space of the temple.
Wat Phabad is located on Road 13 just past the northern bridge. This is the oldest and largest temple in Pakse. People believe that the temple is the place saving a Buddha Footprint, so it is the reason why people named this pagoda like this.
This is a former French army camp. It is located in the most beautiful green rice field of Pakse and is home to the oldest market of the city.
Mekong bank used to the most popular place and night amusement for tourists in Pakse, hence, due to proposed development of a riverside esplanade, many restaurants and night spots have bên displaced to Road 42. Inspire the fact that, there are some food stalls and restaurants are remained.
Big Buddha - Phou Salao
Big Buddha temple complex was built across the river next to the Japanese bridge in August 2011. From the top of the temple, you can see the great view of the river and city. Recently there is a concrete road leading to the top, so it is easy for tourists to drive in a car.
Mouth of the Xedong river meeting the Mekong river.
The meeting of two rivers is where Pakse gets its name, it is a nice place to see sunset in Pakse.
Other attractions in Pakse are the Laos -Japan Friendship Bridge, Dao Vieng Business Park, the World Heritage of Wat Phou. Pakse is also home to a lot of unique festivals such as Wat Phou, Pha Vet, and Khao Phansa.