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The Top Things To See And Do in Pakse, Laos

This post was originally published on Culture Trip. To read the original and see the accompanying images, click here

Pakse is the capital of Champasak Province in southern Laos. Its name means mouth of the river, and it’s located on a peninsula between the Mekong and Xe Don. Pakse is the starting point for visitors looking to visit the Bolevan Plateau or 4,000 Islands, but the town itself is charming. Here are the top things to see and do in Pakse. 

Wat Luang

Wat Luang is located near the bridge that spans the Xe Don. This temple has many beautiful paintings depicting the Buddha’s life and his his teachings. Stroll through the well-kept gardens and check out the intricately carved wooden doors.

Wat Luang, Pakse, Champasak Province,  Lao PDR

WatLuang2_ReginaBeach.JPG

Wat Luang | © Regina Beach/Culture Trip

Champasak Provincial Historical Heritage Museum

The Champasak Provincial Museum stores and maintains historical documents pertaining to Champasak. Check out the photos of political figures, collection of traditional musical instruments as well as a model of Wat Phou.

Champasak Provincial Historial Heritage Museum,  No. 13 S Rd. Pakse, Champasak Province, Lao PDR

Massage at Dok Champa

Take a break from all the touring and relax with a Lao massage or oil massage. The price is right, and you’ll feel rejuvenated after an hour on the mat. Clients wear pajama-like attire and lay on a mat on the floor for traditional massage in Laos.

Dok Champa Street No. 5, Ban Watluang, Pakse, Champasak Province, Lao PDR

Champa | © Dinesh Valke/Flickr

Dao Heuang Market

The Dao Heuang Market, also called the Km 2 Market, is a huge morning market selling homegoods and food located near the Lao-Japanese bridge in Pakse. The largest market in southern Laos, you’ll find stand upon stand of meats, fresh flowers and vegetables.

Dao Heuang Market, 16 W Pakse, Champasak Province, Lao PDR

Market, Pakse | © Ken Marshall/Flickr

Champasak Palace Hotel

The Champasak Palace Hotel is an elegant hotel and was the former residence of Chao Bun Oum, the prince of Champasak. Abandoned in 1974 when the royal government was ousted by the Pathet Lao, it’s been a hotel since 1995 and is well worth a look.

Champasak Palace Hotel, No. 13 S Road, Pakse, Champasak Province, Lao PDR

Champasak Palace Hotel | © Adam Carr/WikiCommons

Friendship Mall

The Friendship Mall in Pakse contains a supermarket, movie theater and department stores. It’s a good place to cool off and hang out to beat the heat. Check out the outdoor market area where vendors sell street food.

Friendship Mall, No 13 S Road Pakse, Champasak Province, Lao PDR

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Friendship Mall, Pakse | © Regina Beach/Culture Trip

Rooftop Sunset

Check out the happy hour at the rooftop bar of the Pakse Hotel and Restaurant. La Panorama has two-for-one cocktails and the most gorgeous views of the sunset. Stick around for dinner and watch the stars come out over Pakse.

La Panorama at Pakse Hotel and Restaurant, Pakse, Champasak Province, Lao PDR

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Sunset, Pakse | © Regina Beach/Culture Trip

Visit the Golden Buddha

Atop a hillside across the Mekong from downtown Pakse sits a giant golden Buddha at Wat Phou Salao. Hire a tuk tuk or rent a motorbike to take you across the Lao-Japanese Friendship bridge. Opt to take the steps or ride up the road to the temple.

Wat Pho Salao, Pakse, Champasak Province, Lao PDR

Wat Tamatam, Pakse | © Phillip Maiwald/WikiCommons

Cooking Class at Xuanmai Garden Resort

Mrs. Ngoc is a great chef and even better teacher when it comes to instructing visitors on the cuisine of southeast Asia. Her menu rotates but favorites include spring rolls, pad thai, mango sticky rice and curries.

Xuanmai Garden Resort, Road 13, Pakse, Champasak Province, Lao PDR

Lao Flavors | © elyob/Flickr

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