Located at the meeting point of the Se Don and Mekong Rivers, Pakse is the provincial capital of Champasak and a former French outpost. Visitors will easily find the French influence on the architecture and culture in this charming riverside city. As the role of being the second biggest city in Laos, Pakse provides the ideal starting point to begin your exploration to the country’s southern areas. Even though, the city remains a relaxed atmosphere, with restaurants and hotels spreading their way along the humid riverside.
Pakse is dotted with temples and French colonial era buildings, you can explore the city by foot or take a tuk tuk to go further out to the suburbs and explore the countryside. However, most travelers spend time at the river and its nearby attractions on their Laos tours. The city is only 8km (5 miles) from Wat Phou, the main draw to the province. The Inthira Hotel provides nice accommodation while you are here.
Don Daeng is an island on the Mekong River, which is only accessible by boat. The island delights travelers with its bucolic scenery, car-free streets and languid pace. Don Daeng is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site including Wat Phou and Um Tomo. Laotians on this island still live a life that remains traditional and authentic revolving around rice, Buddhism and the river.
You can visit a couple of wats, ancient stupa and stroll through villages, but the main attraction here is simply the atmosphere. The best way to feel the spirit of Don Daeng is to explore it by foot or bicycle. The La Folie Lodge offers a deluxe accommodation if you want to stay overnight on the island.