A Photo Tour – Champasak, Laos

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Photo Tour of Champasak, Laos

When we got off the bus in a tiny village on the Mekong, all eyes were on us as I’m sure many of the other foreigners wondered why we were getting off here and not Pakse.  After loading up our gear on the most dilapidated long boat we’ve been on in SE Asia, which was was having water scooped out of it the entire way across the Mekong, I was starting wonder why we had as well!  Wat Phu, a ruined Khmer temple which predates Angkor Wat (originally built in the 5th century, later rebuilt in the 11th-13th centuries), was the reason we had stopped off in the tiny town of Champasak and although we had to battle thunderstorms for two straight days, the view from the top of Mount Phu Kao made it all worth while!

Mount Phu Kao

Champasak itself is a very pretty town wedged between the mountains and the Mekong River. The town is blessed with striking French architecture, extremely friendly locals and some of the greenest rice fields we’ve seen in Southeast Asia. On top of all of this, the town was almost deserted of tourists during the shoulder season so we felt like the only ones there!

Here now is our photo tour of Champasak and Wat Phu:

A view up the mountain at Wat Phu

Wat Phu

Wat Phu dazzled us even after spending a week around the Angkor Temples, as the ruins here are in comparatively outstanding condition due to seeing only a fraction of the tourists every year

Wat Phu

The main street of Champasak is filled with beautiful French architecture.  We found something really interesting about this building which had obviously just seen a massive fire

House Champasak

We took a “songtaew” just like this one throughout Laos.   In many small towns like Champasak, this is the local bus!

songtaew

The main passage to Mount Phu Kao where a beautiful modern buddha statue, the waterfall of life, and intricate stone carvings rest

Mount Phu Kao

Multi headed Nagas

Nagas

This carving of a crocodile is believed to have been used for annual human sacrifices!

Crocodile carving laos

This life sized elephant sculpture was our favourite stone carving at Wat Phu

Wat Phu Elephant

An absolute monstrous stone pathway leading up to Wat Phu sees dozens of “Lingas” (Phalic symbol of the Hindu God Shiva) flanking both sides.  Making it even more amazing was the thick wall of fog sitting on top of the mountain just beyond

Lingas Champasak

A gorgeous buddha statue sits high atop the fog cloaked mountain, wrapped in a beautiful saffron robe

IMG_1021

 

Khob chai,

Ross and Alyse

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Ross

Lover of travel, photography, nature, movies, and nachos. If you love Star Wars and Lord of the Rings we'll probably become best friends.
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