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Things to Do in Pakse


Vat Phou (Wat Phu)
2 Tours and Activities

Vat Phou (Wat Phu) is an ancient Khmer temple site situated on a hillside in the Champasak province in southern Laos. The complex consists of temple pillars, walls, and doorways, along with the remains of palaces, courtyards, and a library. Vat Phou offers stunning views across the Mekong River, and there is also a natural spring that the locals believe produces holy water.

The ancient ruins of Vat Phou are even older than those of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, and the site was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. One temple in the complex is said to have been built as far back as the 5th century, although most of the structures are from the 11th to the 13th centuries. The exquisite workmanship can still been seen today, with numerous Hindu carvings decorating the site. Because Buddhism replaced Hinduism in Laos in the 13th century, there are also various Buddha images to be found among the ruins, and the site remains an active Buddhist place of worship to this day.

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Bolaven Plateau
3 Tours and Activities

Cool temperatures, fertile soil, stunning waterfalls and coffee plantations blanketing its hills — this is the Bolaven Plateau. This higher altitude region of Southern Laos has long been used as a center of agriculture, starting with midland hill tribes who practiced rotational farming on the plateau. During the early twentieth century, French colonists began cultivating coffee, tea, fruit and cardamom in the area.

Well off the beaten path, the Bolaven Plateau attracts adventurous travelers with blissfully cool temperatures, stellar scenery (including Tat Fan, one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country), hill tribe villages and sense of isolation. Travelers can tour coffee plantations, swim at the base of waterfalls, zip line through the trees and learn about the region’s ethnic minorities in one of several villages welcoming to tourists.

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