Pakse is located in southern Laos, and is the capital and most populous city in the province of Champasack. A major transportation hub, Pakse is situated in the confluence of Xe Don and Mekong Rivers.
An economically strong city since 1975, Pakse has worked to integrate the city with neighbouring countries, including the construction of a bridge across Mekong River, allowing road traffic to nearby Thailand.
Founded by the French in 1905 as an administrative post, Pakse later served as the primary seat and residence of Prince Boun Oum Na Champassak, an important figure in the Laotian Civil War. As he was building Champasack Palace and due to civil unrest, the prince had to flee in 1974 before its completion, with Pathet Lao forces taking over the site in May 1975.
Pakse is a small town which can be done on foot or by tuk tuk. Home to many ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese people, Pakse is predominantly Buddhist, and features nearby ancient temple ruins including Wat Phu, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another great site for archeological tourists is Champasak Provincial Museum.
Si Phan Don, or Four Thousand Islands, is an archipelago located along the Mekong River, featuring powerful waterfalls. Highly endangered, freshwater dolphins can be seen by boat off Don Khon Island, truly making it a tourist highlight.
Famous for its production of coffee and tea, Pakse is a great spot to experience its various cafes and restaurants, while its production of rattan is sure to offer some interesting market shopping. As a tourist’s base to various sites, Pakse is a small, charming town to visit.
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