Places in Laos
Colour is the first of Luang Prabang’s virtues to greet travellers. Pearly frangipanis with their heady perfume, banks of overgrown trees peppered with scarlet flowers, the burnt sienna robes of hundreds of monks and their novices, and resplendent gold and claret wats. The scent of fresh coffee, river activity, produce markets and spicy food soon follows.
Pakse (ປາກເຊ້), the gateway to southern Laos, sits at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Se Don (Don River). The city retains the sort of Mekong River–town lethargy found in Savannakhet and Tha Khaek further north. Fewer colonial-era buildings remain, but do look for the grandiose, Franco-Chinese-style Chinese Society building in the centre of town.
Languid, time-trapped and ghostly quiet during the sweltering days that batter the old city's plasterwork, Savannakhet is a beguiling mix of yesteryear coupled with increasingly modern commerce. The best it has to offer is the historic quarter with its staggering – and that might just be the right adjective – display of decaying early 20th century architecture.
Tours and activities
Tips and articles
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