Explore Vat Phou, a UNESCO World Heritage SiteLearn about the ancient Khmer empire that ruled southern LaosSee fading colonial buildings dating back to the French era INTRODUCTIONThe intoxicating blend of heritage and history of Southern Laos is best discovered through its architecture. Step back in time to the period of Khmer rule with a visit to Vat Phou (Wat Phu), a stunning pre-Angkorian temple. See fading colonial buildings from the French Indochina era in downtown Pakse and Champasak.
Explore the history of Southern Laos through its architecture. Take a walk though Pakse to see remnants of the French colonial rule dating back to 1905 when they named Pakse an administrative capital. Learn about the history of that era and the lasting influence of the French on modern Laos culture. Then drive 1 hour through the countryside to Vat Phou (Wat Phu). During the Khmer empire, Wat Phu was the most important economic and political centres of the region. These days the three-level temple is still in remarkable condition and has earned UNESCO World Heritage status. Although less known than the Angkorian temples, Vat Phou is one of the best-preserved Khmer monuments and showcases the Kingdom’s incredible level of architectural and artistic skill. Climb to the top of the monument, stopping to admire the intricate carvings and beautiful views along the way. Return to the road and drive to Champasak to see more, well-preserved French era buildings. Afterwards, transfer back to Pakse by midday.