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After Laos became a French protectorate, Pakse, previously the capital of the rival Champasak kingdom, was taken by French forces and designated a regional administrative center. Throughout the intervening decades, Pakse saw its share of turmoil, falling first to Thai invaders and later to Laotian communists.
Today, Pakse has managed to overcome its difficult past, and is now the third most populous city in the country at 87,000. The capital of Champasak Province, Pakse is thriving, crowded city framed by the swift waters of the Mekong River and the looming mountains in the distance. Because of its location, Pakse is a transportation hub for the whole of southern Laos, complete with an airport that offers international flights to destinations throughout southeast Asia.
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Our co-founder Jay Tindall loves travelling throughout Laos, in particular the remote tribal areas in the north & south of the country.
Stop at Ban Katua, a village with a scenic coffee plantation. Get a firsthand glimpse into the production process of Laos’ world-renowned coffees, and enjoy a private tasting of that very day’s product here. Afterwards, stop by the local market at Paksong, the Lao coffee capital and the place for connoisseurs to pick up their own supply.
Visit the landmark Tad Fane waterfall, where the roaring waters tumble and crash from a height of 800 feet. After absorbing the sights and surroundings of Tad Fane, drive to the Tad Yeung waterfall and plunge into its gorgeous swimming area.
Drive through the Champasak region, which lies at an altitude of about 4,000 feet (1,219 meters), and is home to around a dozen quite obscure ethnic minorities who are Mon-Khmer in origin, among them the Suay, known for being elephant herders or mahouts, and the Katu, known for their elaborate funerary rites. Chat with these people through your guide/interpreter who will share with you their unique way of life in Laos.
Talat Dao Heung
Visit Talat Dao Heung, one of the biggest markets in Laos and a good place to purchase the local take on Arabica coffee.
One of the least visited places in all of Laos, or indeed Southeast Asia, the 4,000 Islands stretch of the lower Mekong is a remote, unspoiled destination. Best explored on foot or bicycle, it is a landscape of waterfalls, rapids, long and creaky wooden bridges, French colonial structures, and quaint restaurants.
Champasak Provincial Museum
Explore the Champasak Provincial Museum, which contains such artifacts as lintels and statues from Khmer temples in the province, as well as traditional costumes, musical instruments, pottery, and farming tools, detailing the history of the province. Stop in the adjacent, recently opened Provincial Library, which houses some 20,000 books.
Take in tranquil Southern Laos on this languid 9-day luxury journey through its small, serene towns, across lush, aromatic coffee plantations, past gem-colored waterfalls, and into UNESCO-listed ancient ruins. You’ll also get a chance to visit the famous 4000 islands, and stay in some of Laos’ best hotels.
Get ready for an eye-opening 7-day luxury journey through Laos, with days packed full of adventure, interactions with locals, and unimaginable views, and nights spent in the plush comfort of luxury hotels. You’ll zipline, drink some of the freshest coffee you’ve ever had, and meet members of remote tribes.
The most modern hotel in Pakse, the Champasak Grand is located on the banks of the Mekong and is the perfect base for exploring Laos' second city and the beautiful surrounding countryside. Its 225 rooms and suites come with a king-size bed or two queen-size beds for twin occupancy. All rooms are equipped with internet, satellite cable TV, coffee and tea facilities and in-room safety deposit box. The hotel has a choice of two restaurants, both offering a mix of Lao, Chinese and international cuisines, as well as a cozy lobby bar. Facilities include a pool, gym, spa, gift shop and karaoke club.
Champasak Palace Hotel
Originally built as the palace for the last king of Laos, this impressive hotel features unique hand painted, art-deco tiles and stunning, hand-carved motifs. It also boasts the only glass lift in Laos. With 115 guest rooms and 6 different categories, there is a room to suit every budget and taste. Each room is slightly different given the design of the buildings, location and history. Guests can choose from the very large and luxurious King Suite or stylish and private Queen Suites through to the long and airy deluxe rooms, comfortable standard rooms or excellent value rooms in the Sedone Building. Champasak Palace Hotel offers a fine collection of facilities, including beautiful gardens, stunning views and easy access into town, as well as breezy indoor and outdoor restaurants, a well equipped fitness centre, massage services, and internet access throughout.