Located in Southern Laos, Pakse is home to roughly 88,000 people. The city originated in the French colonial period, and it is currently the capital of the Champasak province.
This great city has plenty in store for visitors, from awe-inspiring temples and churches to fascinating museums. The dining options in the city are splendid, and there is also a vibrant farmer’s market. In this article, we explore 10 things you can do on your trip to the magnificent city of Pakse.
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Best Things to Do in Pakse | Laos
1. Appreciate the beauty of Wat Luang Temple
The majestic Wat Luang Temple shelters several monks and is truly a sight to behold. Both residents and tourists of Pakse visit this place to find solace and solitude. Moreover, the monks in this place regularly host different festivals and events open to the public. The well-known Laotian alms-giving ceremony also takes place here. Unlike the other temples of Pakse, this place doesn’t receive many visitors. It is perfect for spending a quiet time with your family!
2. Feast at the amazing Daolin Restaurant
The Daolin Restaurant is famous for its exquisite selection of local cuisine at affordable prices. This place is particularly praised for its delicious Thai food which includes sticky rice, chili sauce, vegetables, fried fish, and steamed pork. Other than that, the restaurant’s signature pumpkin soup is one of their top-selling dishes. It’s the perfect place to end a long day of roaming the city of Pakse at this restaurant with your family or friends to grab a quick meal.
3. Learn about the region’s history and traditions at Champasak Historical Heritage Museum
Champasak Historical Heritage Museum is a haven for all the history buffs out there! If you want to gather extensive knowledge about Champasak’s past, this should be on the top of your list.
In this museum, you will get to observe a wide array of historical objects and artifacts. Some of the popular exhibits include the Dong Son drums, weapons and musical instruments dating back to the Khmer Kingdom, and traditional handicrafts. The galleries of the museum also showcase a variety of ethnic objects from Laven, Suay, and Nyaheun.
4. Visit the spectacular Sacred Heart Church
Laos has a reputation for boasting some of the most gorgeous temples and monasteries around the world. However, you will also find equally impressive churches in the region. One such place is the Sacred Heart Church.
Although this church may seem a bit mundane on the surface, its interior architecture is remarkable. Upon entering the church, you will catch a glimpse of paintings depicting Jesus traveling to several destinations in Laos. Some of them include the Khon Phapheng Falls and Wat Phu Champasak.
5. Go shopping at the Dream Weaver
Pakse has many vendors selling a diverse range of souvenirs. One of the best souvenir shops in the region is located in Dream Weaver. This store is completely run by a well-admired local NGO, and you will find a wide selection of handicrafts, textiles, and jewelry.
The best part about it is that all of the products have been crafted by rehabilitated victims of human trafficking, and the proceeds from the purchase of souvenirs are used to aid the poorer communities of the region. The NGO’s efforts to create jobs for victims are praiseworthy, and this shop is a great place for obtaining antique pieces of high quality.
6. Relieve your stress at Dok Champa
Pakse is a great place for touring, albeit at the expense of your body. You are bound to feel exhausted and have severe muscle pain after roaming around the region.
Fortunately, you will find several massage parlors in Dok Champa that can revive and re-energize you for another day of touring. This place offers the best oil massages, and it is also quite affordable. Prepare to experience traditional massage techniques that are difficult to find elsewhere!
7. Look for organic produce at Dao Heuang Market
Dao Heuang Market is a large farmer’s market for stocking up on some of the freshest produce and premium meat in the region. In addition to that, you can also find an assortment of home goods and jewelry. This market usually stays open in the morning, and it’s in the vicinity of the famous Lao-Japanese Bridge.
8. Check out the spectacular Mai Savanh Lao Farm
Mai Savanh Lao farm situates on the outskirts of Pakse and is operated by a renowned local NGO. This enormous farm has separate silk and tea plantations. Moreover, it is famous for growing fragrant plants, pineapples, and berries. The goal of this farm is to provide a source of income for ethnic groups in nearby villages.
9. Walk along the Mekong River banks
The Mekong River banks offer an amazing route for a stroll. The heavenly breeze accompanied by the view of the pristine river is bound to give you an unforgettable experience. The river is beautiful especially at night, and many vendors also set up shop to sell street food. If street food isn’t enough, you can also choose to visit some of the fine dining restaurants overlooking the riverfront. Moreover, the boat restaurants, in particular, are great for a romantic dinner.
10. Experience the popular Boat Race Festival
Every October, a boat race festival takes place on the Xe Don River in Pakse. The best helmsmen of the region compete against each other in this reputable three-day festival.
Complementing the boat races, a carnival is also held in banks composed of vendors selling all kinds of local food. You will also be able to participate in different types of carnival games for prizes. Finally, music concerts and street performances by various artists are also available during the festival.
In conclusion, Pakse has a great number of outlets for tourists to have memorable experiences. The riverbanks and historic temples are wonderful locations for sightseeing, and there are several restaurants to enjoy authentic southern Laotian cuisine. Try to visit this place around October to attend the remarkable Boat Race Festival.