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Champassak

Champassak (Laos)

Practical information on Champassak

  • Encounters with locals
  • Countryside
  • Archaeological Site
  • Unesco World Heritage
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
30min bus ride from Pakse
When to go
Between October and March
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Champassak

Virginie Bigeni Seasoned Traveller
49 written opinions

Champasak is a town in the south of Laos, considered to be an historical and culturally important destination. One of the temples, Vat Phu, is a classified UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a pleasant stop and a departure point for cultural visits.

My suggestion:
Champasak is an agreeable stop-off if you have time on your hands. If not, southern Laos has far better surprises and you risk being disappointed by Vat Phu.
My review

Some think Champasak's a little piece of heaven. It's true that the town is authentic and you get a feel for local life. Typically Laotian, so to speak. Having said that, it's great to string up a hammock and laze around, but I found myself getting bored. Other than taking the time to unwind, the only local attraction is the archaeological site of Vat Phu. And be warned that is may not meet your expectations. Even if it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it may disappoint you, particularly if you've toured Cambodia. You may find it dull in comparison; I, for one, don't have any special memories of Champasak. 

A site worth seeing in Laos if you're interested in ancient history and enjoy learning. If not, continue on to 4,000 Islands - you won't be let down.

The steps at Vat Phu
Lorette Vinet Seasoned Traveller
59 written opinions

Being on the other side of the Mekong than Pakse, it's a great departure point if you're heading to Wat Phou Champassak. The village itself is not void of interest, and you'll be enchanted by a short stay here.

My suggestion:
Champassak, close to Pakse, but still over an hour away. Go on a group elephant trek - it's a bit of a hippy trip but well worth the effort!
My review

The town of Champassak is not at all touristy. There were probably no more than half a dozen tourists spending the night. It meant we got great service as most people just pass through.

One thing you'll realise during your holiday in Laos is that to have a great time you need to slow down and go with the flow. This perfectly sums up Champassak.

You can sit down to a tasty Laotian meal by the River Mekong...it's a real holiday treat. I recommend you stop here, in a place that's off the beaten track. It was a pleasant and tranquil retreat.

A charming colonial house.
David Debrincat Seasoned Traveller
459 written opinions

At 30km from Pakse, Champasak is a peaceful village in the heart of the Laotian countryside. Seeing as Wat Phu is less than 10km away, it's surprising the village remains so quiet.

My suggestion:
The Mahakhabousa Festival, the biggest in the region, is held during the February full moon.
My review

Champasak is a pretty, little, peaceful village. The lack of visitors is surprising as it sits beside the Mekong, has a very small population and is only 8 kilometres from Wat Phu. It's an incredible place. It seems most tourists prefer the buzz of Vang Vieng. Which is to the benefit of visitors who choose to come here during a trip to Laos. It's so beautiful that it's been classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Before hopping on a bike to tour Wat Phu, here are some places I suggest you visit in the village itself. Spending half a day touring the wonderful colonial houses alongside the Wat Phra Ong None and Wat That temples is well worth the while.

The Champasak countryside.
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