Champasak is a small town in southern Laos, on the west bank of the Mekong River about 40 km south of Pakse, the capital of Champasak Province.

1400 years ago Champasak was the centre of power in the lower Mekong basin, later a revered outpost of the Khmer Angkor Empire and later still one of the three kingdoms to rule over the remains of Lane Xang.

Set on the banks of the Mekong in one of its wider sections, Champasak is a small town with a single main street running parallel to the river. It's on this main street that most guesthouses have sprung up, with a handful taking advantage of the wonderful serenity that is the Mekong. It's the kind of town that you come to looking for something to do and end up staying a few days just reading a book and recharging.

• How to get there
Your entry point to Champasak is likely to be Pakse airport, and most things to do here are but a day trip from Pakse itself. Entry from the nearby Cambodian and Thai land borders is another option.

• Food and Accommodation
Most guesthouses and restaurants ar on the one main road running parallel to the river.

• Health and Safety
Basically you need to head to either Pakse, or preferably head over the border to Thailand health centres.

• Where to go
One of the most visited provinces of Laos; Champasak has a population of around 50,000 and is formed by Pakse, the Bolaven Plateau, Paksong, Champasak and Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands). Bordering Thailand and Cambodia, Pakse sits at the confluence of the Mekong and is the province's capital, as a result of the Lao-Japanese Bridge spanning the Mekong, the town has quickly grown as an area of trading importance and is a popular tourist destination.

The Mekong River flows past the ancient Khmer religious compound at Wat Phu Champsak, before dispersing at Four Thousand Islands, an area of utter tranquility. The Bolaven Plateau is renowned for its production of coffee, rattan, fruit and cardamom, while the vast number of wats (temples) across the terrain make for interesting viewing.


4000 Islands
Don Dhet
Don Dhet and Don Khong
Wat Phu