With about 95,000 inhabitants Pakse is the second biggest city of Laos. The city is the capital of Champassak province, a province with many things to offer visitors; Wat Phu and Champasak town, 4,000 Islands (Si Phan Don) and the Bolaven Plateau (partly) are all relatively easy to visit from Pakse.
Pakse city also has some interesting things to offer visitors. Read more about it below:
Pakse market – Talat Dao Heuang
The biggest market of southern Laos and one of the biggest markets of the country. Pakse market (named Talat Dao Heuang) is a ‘must see’ if you like active and big markets. You can find all kinds of products here, ranging from golden necklaces to pork and from plastic buckets to fine silk products. Early in the morning fish from the Mekong (some of the fish is huge…) is sold and the market is even busier during this time of the day.
This temple (built in 1935) is worth a visit. Wat Luang (sometimes also called Wat Poratana Sadsadaram) is located in the city centre of Pakse, not far from route 13. The temple has some very nicely carved windows and doors and the paintings in the buildings are very beautiful as well. Wat Luang, is the largest temple in Pakse and the views from the gardens in the back are also nice. The temple was built in 1935 and is a beautiful place to wander through. The temple also houses the Sangha school (school for Buddhist monks) and their library.
Some old French colonial buildings are still left in the city. If you walk around in the area close to the newly constructed Souphanouvong Bridge you can find some of them. Some of them are in bad shape, others are renovated. The pink, Franco-Chinese style building of the Chinese society is a nice example of a well-kept old building.
Phu Salao (Golden Buddha Pakse)
In the year 2011 this Buddha statue was built on a hill overlooking Pakse. The views from the area around the big Buddha are amazing and it is worth going up there. For people with a good condition it’s possible to walk to the top, others might be better of going there by motorbike, tuktuk or minivan. Be warned: the road going up to the Buddha is very steep. For more about Phu Salao look at Pakse Golden Buddha.
Wat Sopse (Chinese temple)
This Chinese temple is located across the Souphanouvong Bridge (if you come from Wat Luang) and has a very nice location at the point where the Sedone and Mekong rivers meet each other. The temple grounds are popular with people who come and relax and, of course, with people who come to pray.
How to get around in Pakse and visit the Bolaven Plateau and Wat Phu Champasak
Pakse is a good place to use as hub to visit Wat Phu Champasak and the Bolaven Plateau or even the 4000 Islands (Si Phan Don) area. Renting a motorbike is a good way to enjoy your freedom, the nature and make the most out of it. Renting a motorbike at Miss Noy Motorbike Rental is highly recommended by us. Getting a good map of Southern Laos is highly recommended if you make trips in the southern part of the country.
Sending a postcard home?
Pakse has a post office where your can send domestic and internail mail to countries all around the world. They are open during week days. Telephone number is 031 212 299 (don’t expect them to speak English or another foreign language but you can try).
Places to stay in Pakse
Pakse has many guesthouses, hotels and even a few ‘resorts’. Most of the accommodation is to be found in the centre of the city. If you are searching for a quiet place further away from the centre and with a lot of information about what you can do in Pakse and the rest of southern Laos: NKM B&B Homestay.
To give you an idea of the distances from Pakse to other places (both in Laos as international) we’ve made a small overview of this:
Tad Fane: 38 km
Vangtao (Lao-Thai border crossing): 45 km
Paksong (on the Bolaven Plateau): 48 km
Champasak town: 48 km
Tad Lo (Salavan Province): 85 km
Don Khong (4,000 Islands): 120 km
Don Det: 130 km
Don Som: 125 km
Salavan town: 125 km
Sekong town: 133 km
Ban Nakasang: 155 km
Savannakhet city (Savannakhet Province): 277 km
Phou Keua: 323 km
Thakek: 362 km
Paksan: 556 km
Vientiane: 715 km
Vang Vieng: 870 km
Luang Prabang: 1,101 km
Oudomxai: 1,295 km
Luang Namtha: 1,420 km
Boten: 1,477 km
Muang Sing: 1,480 km
Phongsali: 1,529 km
Huay Xay: 1,610 km
Beijing (China): 2,945 km
Moscow (Russia): 7,238 km
Oirschot (the Netherlands): 9.401 km
Brussels (Belgium): 9,487 km
Edinburgh (Scotland): 9,750 km
Dublin (Ireland): 10,052 km
Accra (Ghana): 11,548 km
Havana (Cuba): 15,670 km
Sucre (Bolivia): 18,967 km