Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.
New users, please see Help or go to the Pub to ask questions.

Difference between revisions of "Pakse"

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search
(By bus)
(updated and clarified travel info,ventiane info moved to "Get Out")
(20 intermediate revisions by 11 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
'''Pakse''' (''Pakxe'') is a city in the Champasak province of [[Southern Laos]].  It's one of the biggest towns in Laos and a major transportation hub for southern Laos. If you plan to go to the [[Bolaven Plateau]], [[Wat Phou]], or [[Si Phan Don]] you will probably have to spend some time here.
+
'''Pakse''' (''Pakxe'') is a city in the Champasak province of [[Southern Laos]].  It's one of the biggest towns in Laos and a major transport hub for southern Laos. If you plan to go to the [[Bolaven Plateau]], [[Wat Phou]]  or [[Si Phan Don]] you will probably have to spend some time here.
  
 
[[Image:Pakse.JPG|thumb|240px|]]
 
[[Image:Pakse.JPG|thumb|240px|]]
Line 7: Line 7:
 
===By plane===
 
===By plane===
  
Pakse International Airport is some km north of town and offers scheduled flights to [[Vientiane]] and [[Siem Reap]].
+
Pakse International Airport is kilometres north of town and offers scheduled flights to [[Vientiane]] and [[Siem Reap]].
  
'''Lao Arlines[http://www.laoairlines.com/] offer direct flights from [[Bangkok]], [[Thailand]] and shall operate direct flights from/to [[Hochiminh city]], [[Vietnam]] from Oct 19 2010.
+
'''Lao Arlines[http://www.laoairlines.com/] offer direct flights from [[Bangkok]], [[Thailand]], and shall operate direct flights from/to [[Hochiminh city]].
  
Tuk-Tuks and Motos will carry you to the town for US$1-3.
+
There are flights from Vientiane and Luang Prabang to Pakse on Lao Airlines. Tickets can be booked online or through a travel agent.
 
+
At April 2010, the airport is closed for construction works. If you want to fly from Vientiane or Luang Prabang to south you can go to Savannakhet. Don't know how long the works are, you have to check if the airport works or not.
+
  
 
=== Visa extensions ===
 
=== Visa extensions ===
  
Visa extensions are possible at the Police Station on Th. 10, just down the road from the Salachampa Hotel and Restaurant. The cost is US$2 per day plus a 5,000kip "form fee." The process is very easy; turn up in the morning with your passport and one photo; fill in a form and come back in the afternoon for your extension.
+
Visa extensions are possible at the police station on Th. 10, just down the road from the Salachampa Hotel and Restaurant. The cost is US$2 per day plus a 5,000 kip “form fee.The process is very easy; turn up in the morning with your passport and one photo, fill in a form, and come back in the afternoon for your extension.
  
 
===By boat===
 
===By boat===
  
There is a regular slow-boat service to [[Si Phan Don]]. Departure is around 8AM but check the day before. The boat landing is near the mouth of the Xe Don river.
+
There is a regular slow-boat service to [[Si Phan Don]]. Departure is around 8 a.m., but check the day before. The boat landing is near the mouth of the Xe Don river. The service is reported to no longer be operating, but you can ask for a private boat, which is of course very expensive on your own but can be shared with others to lower the individual cost.
 
+
Dec 2011: The service is no longer existant, but you can ask for a private boat, which is of course very expensive on your own (we asked Green Dicovery, the offer was about 250 Bucks). But you could bring 10 more travellers with you and share the cost if you like.
+
  
 
=== By bus ===
 
=== By bus ===
  
Pakse has two bus stations that mainly serve the locals. One serves traffic to the north and one to the south. (This information needs to be verified as these locations can't be spotted on the map. It may mean wrong orientation.) The first is located about ten kilometers north of the city centre (15.1700 105.7600). The latter is located 8 kilometers to the south (30000 kip by ''moto'' from the centre, or 10000 in shared tuktuk). Getting to right station with tuktuk is easy if you just tell the driver which place you are heading.
+
Pakse has 4 bus stations you might arrive at:
  
"VIP" buses from/to [[Vientiane]] operate from near the Champasak shopping centre in the town centre. The journey takes about 10 hours and should cost around (April 2011) 170.000 /190.000 Kip depending on whether you buy the ticket in the bus station or at tour agencies.
+
The Northern Bus Terminal (serving locations north of Pakse) is located about 10 kilometres northwest of the city centre (15.1700 105.7600). Transportation via songthaew to the northern bus terminal is sometimes available at the northeastern side of the market opposite the shopping center (please find out what days/times).
There are a couple of "VIP" bus companies, two of the popular ones are Chitprasom and Kriang Kai. Chitprasom (all sleeper buses) buses operate out of a station close to the shopping center near the town center. Kriang Kai (all sleeper buses)operate out of a private bus station 2 kilometers from the town center near an afternoon food market. As of April 2011, a ticket to and from Vientiane will cost 210K Kip per person when a one seater bus is available, 170K Kip to share a double with another stranger, or 250K Kip for double to be ridden alone if a one seater/sleeper is not available. If a single seater (210K Kip) is available, 340K Kip for a double seater/sleeper for either one or two person occupancy. Chitprasom buses tend to be newer as KK has been around longer and have not updated their buses. When traveling from Pakse to Vientiane, take the KK buses as they will drop you off in the Vientiane town center where their corporate office is, 2 min walk from the Cultural Hall, free of charge and save the 10K Kip tuk tuk ride into town. All northbound buses however do stop at the Vientiane bus station, which is 9 kilometers from the town center. If you are coming from Don Det and have not bought a through ticket, you can either get off at the KK terminal and buy ticket there with KK, or wait and get dropped in town, and buy your ticket for Chitprasom.
+
  
WARNING TO FEMALE TRAVELLERS
+
The Southern Bus Terminal (aka 8km Bus Terminal) is located 8 kilometres to the ''east'' of the city center (15.113957, 105.875482) (30,000 kip by moto to the centre, or 10,000 kip in shared tuk-tuk). Songthaews to Si Phan Don 40,000 kip per person.  
I travelled on an overnight “sleeping” bus from Pakse to Vientiane through the King Kham Transportation Co in Nov 2011. I bought my ticket from a hotel on the main road of Pakse. The ticket inspector got into my bunk several times during my trip and tried to touch me up, and did the same to other girls travelling by themselves. I have complained to my embassy but if this happens to you, do something on the spot! Jump up and yell, tell everyone on the bus what happened, take his photo and tell him you will be informing the authorities. I wish I had but at the time I thought I was over reacting.  It might seem like an innocent sleepy hand for the first two seconds but it absolutely is NOT.
+
I encourage you to contact your embassy if this has happened to you. If travelling alone please be aware of your own safety and don't take sleeping pills to help you sleep through the journey. Stay safe!
+
  
 +
The Kriang Kai Bus terminal (aka 2km bus terminal) has VIP buses and is the arrival point and departure point for the international bus from/to Ubon Ratchatani (3 hours 200 Baht) in Thailand.
  
"VIP" buses from/to Thailand via the [[Chong Mek]] border crossing take about 2 hours and charge US$5 (200 baht) to Ubon. There are also minibuses to the border only.
+
Chitprasom "bus station" (aka VIP bus terminal) which is just the shopping center at the town center.
 
+
Transportation via songthaew to destinations outside of Pakse is available at Dao Huang market and the 8km market.
Minibuses head to/from Si Phan Don for 55k - 60k. Shop around. For Si Phan Don it's also possible to go to the main bus terminal outside of town and take a songtheaw for 40,000kip per person. Expect chickens and fish as your companions!
+
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
  
This is a small town so walk around. Otherwise there are enough tuk tuks around. A trip to the market will cost around 5000 kip and US$1 to the bus station.
+
Most of the services you will use as a tourist are in walking distance from the city center. Further destinations within town will require a tuk-tuk ride or renting a motorbike. Tuk tuk rides charge per person and are about 3,000-5,000 kip for short rides and 10,000 to the further bus terminals. Songthaew transport within Pakse is almost non-existent.
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
Wat Luang, the biggest and most beautiful temple of Pakxe, and home of Buddhist Monk School. This is also the best place to see the monk alm giving rituals often seen in Luang Prabang. If you miss that one, this is one up close and personal opportunity. You might just be one of a handful of tourists there to behold the sight without feeling guilty as Luang Prabang is now in the spotlight.
+
Wat Luang, the biggest and most beautiful temple of Pakxe, and home of Buddhist Monk School. It is the best place to see a monk alm giving ceremony as you may be one of a handful of watching tourists as opposed to the multitudes at a similar ceremony in Luang Prabang.
  
Wat Phabad, the oldest and largest temple of Pakxe, and believed to have Buddha Footprint, which its name derived from.
+
Wat Phabad is the oldest and largest temple of Pakxe. It is believed to have a Buddha Footprint, from which its name is derived .
  
Ban Keosamphanh has the most beautiful green rice field of Pakxe, former French Army Camp, and homed to the oldest market of Pakse.
+
Ban Keosamphanh, a former French army camp, has the most beautiful green rice field of Pakxe and is home to the oldest market of Pakse.
Mekong Bank the most popular place and night centre point of Pakxe.
+
Mekong Bank is the most popular place and night centre point of Pakxe.
 
*<see name="Big Buddha" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">In Aug 2011 a 'Big Buddha' temple complex was built across the river, adjacent to the Japanese bridge. More than a few steps to the top, a great view of the river and city.</see>
 
*<see name="Big Buddha" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">In Aug 2011 a 'Big Buddha' temple complex was built across the river, adjacent to the Japanese bridge. More than a few steps to the top, a great view of the river and city.</see>
  
Forget about the PBS Gourmet.com endorsement of street food market in Luang Prabang. It pales in comparison. This is it, Pakse, a small town with disproportionate separate olympic-size wet, dry, food markets formed in one complex called Dao Heuang Market at No.38 Rd.. Acres and acres of food stalls are laid-out before your eyes, a feast to the eyes and nose as well, democracy and freedom at its finest in this communist country where the small time entrepreneur lord it over the big box supermarket capitalist store chains. The selection of food seemed endless, a delightful eye candy for street food aficionados, unspoiled by tourists except for a handful at a time. One day is not enough to comprehend this mind-boggling window shopping experience. This is probably the best in Laos, if not in Southeast Asia.
 
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
  
There's not so much to do in Pakse itself; however, this is a great base for travel to the [[Bolaven Plateau]] and [[Si Phan Don]].
+
There's not so much to do in Pakse itself; however, it is a good base for travel to the [[Bolaven Plateau]] and [[Si Phan Don]]. But Pakse should be considered a staging point for archeological tourists in this part of Laos for two reasons: 1) it is where the Champasak Provincial Museum is located as an introductory to local archeology, and 2) it is an alternative to Champasak city as a staging point for those wanting to see Wat Phou. Wat Phou is a designated UNESCO site and boasts of as Laos’s counterpart to Angkor Wat/Angkor Thom: its the finest of its type outside Cambodia.
  
But Pakse should be considered a staging point for archeological tourists in this part of Laos for two reasons: 1) it is where the Champasak Provincial Museum is located as an introductory to local archeology, and 2). it is an alternative to Champasak city as a staging point for those wanting to see Wat Phou. Wat Phou is a designated UNESCO site and boasts of as Laos' counterpart to Angkor Wat/Angkor Thom. It's got the finest of its genre outside Cambodia.
+
The museum is located close to the new market, 500 metres north of the banks of the Mekong.
  
The museum is located close to the new market 500 meters north of the banks of the Mekong.
+
It’s possible to organize a day trip to Wat Phou near [[Champasak]], where you can also stay easily.
  
It's possible to organize a day-trip to Wat Phou near [[Champasak]], where you can also stay easily.
+
Rent a motorbike and head east toward Pak Song (Paxxong). The ride is pretty, and there are heaps of waterfalls to stop by near Pak Song. The Champasak Provincial Tourism Department puts out a nice few nice brochures including one on the Bolaven Plateau that details these including Tad Fane, Tad Champee, Tad Ueang, and Tad Pha Suam. Admission tends to be the same at every place: 5,000 kip per person and 3,000 kip for a bike.
  
Rent a motorbike and head east towards Pak Song (Paxxong). The ride is pretty, and there are heaps of waterfalls to stop by near Pak Song. The Champasak Provincial Tourism Department puts out a nice few nice brochures including one on the Bolaven Plateau that details these including Tad Fane, Tad Champee, Tad Ueang, and Tad Pha Suam. Admission tends to be the same at every place, 5000 K per person, 3000 for the bike.
+
One waterfall not mentioned is Tad Sae, which is located off of Route 13 at a fairly large T-junction with a bunch of fruit sellers lining the road. Not as large as some of the others, it nonetheless offers a beautiful place to stop and eat or hang out for a while. (Note that if you search for Tad Sae on the Internet you will be directed to the one near Luang Prabang which is ''not'' the same one here.)
  
One waterfall not mentioned is Tad Sae, which is located off of Route 13 at a fairly large t-junction with a bunch of fruit sellers lining the road.  Not as large as some of the others it nonetheless offers a beautiful place to stop and eat or hang out for a while. (Note that if you search for Tad Sae on the Internet you will be directed to the one near Luang Prabang which is *not* the same one here.)
+
These are several Internet cafés on the corner near Nazim’s Indian restaurant. They charge around 6,000 kip per hour. The smart new Tour Lao Café on the southern end of the market plaza has WiFi.
 
+
These are several internet cafes on the corner near Nazim's Indian restaurant that charge around 6000k/h. The smart new 'Tour Lao' Cafe on the southern end of the market plaza has WiFi too.
+
  
 
'''Bowling'''
 
'''Bowling'''
  
As in Vientiane there is also a proper bowling alley located in town. About a 15-20 minute walk away from the center or a short tuk-tuk ride away head down the main road and turn right towards the big white building in the distance. It is not far away from the river so if you are over there already you can walk along there to find it.   Be warned though that if you want a ride home you should negotiate a tuk-tuk to stay since you won't find many patrolling there especially later in the evening.
+
As in Vientiane, there is also a proper bowling alley located in town. A 15- to 20-minute walk away from the centre or a short tuk-tuk ride away head down the main road and turn right toward the big white building in the distance. It is not far away from the river, so if you are over there already you can walk along there to find it. Be warned, though, that if you want a ride home you should negotiate a tuk-tuk to stay since you won’t find many patroling there, especially later in the evening.
 +
 
 +
'''Massage'''
 +
 
 +
Pakse is a great place to get massage as there are a variety of places and they are all cheaper than massage in Thailand. Most of the massage places are aggregated just south of road 13 near the shopping mall. There are 2 pricing options for massage: 35,000/hr or 40,000/hr. For services other than traditional prices may increase.
 +
* <do name="Style Massage" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="35,000/hr traditional 50,000/hr head neck and shoulders"> Style is pretty run down but one of the few places in town that explicitly offers head neck and shoulders. There's often a girl with a pink shirt out front. They do not wash your feet before traditional massage as most places in town do.</do>
 +
* <do name="Thanida Spa" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="35,000/hr traditional"> Thanida massage has pretty good ambiance but pretty week masseuses. Expect texting and even phone conversations during your massage. Also expect soy milk, a funny tea, and a cold moist towel post-massage.</do>
 +
* <do name="Dak Champa" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="35,000/hr traditional 45,000/hr foot and head neck and shoulders">Dak Champa is on the official Laos tourist authority map so it's easy to find. They have great ambiance and are very professional. You can choose a masseuse or masseur and they explicitly state no sex massage. This place actually seems to provide decent training for their staff so arrive with good expectations and you won't be disappointed. For deep-tissue ask for a masseur.</do>
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
*'''BCEL''' Bank (on Th 11, just next to Wat Luang in the town centre) changes money, cashs traveller cheques and does cash advance on credit cards. There is also an ATM in front of the building that now accepts most foreign cards as of December 2008. There are a lot more ATMs in Southern Laos these days. When heading south this is the last ATM until [[Kompong Cham]] in [[Cambodia]].  However, there is now an ATM in Attapeu, though be warned they all charge a criminal 20,000 kip per withdraw ($2) with a 700,000 kip ($75) per transaction maximum.
+
*'''BCEL''' Bank (on Th 11, just next to Wat Luang in the town centre) changes money, casehs travelers cheques, and does cash advance on credit cards. There is also an ATM in front of the building that now accepts most foreign cards. There are a lot more ATMs in Southern Laos these days. When heading south this used to be the last ATM until [[Stung Treng]] in [[Cambodia]] although food stalls on the Cambodian side of the border will gladly change dollars,kip, and Baht at unfavorable rates. There is now an ATM in Attapeu. All ATMs charge a 20,000-kip fee per withdrawal with a 1,000,000 kip per transaction maximum.
  
*The '''Lao Development Bank''' to the North of the city can exchange Kip to US$, vital if travelling onwards overland to Vietnam. Across the road, directly opposite the bank is an ATM which accepts international cards such as '''Cirrus'''. There is a limit of 700,000 Kip per transaction although you can withdraw numerous times. Those who are heading to Cambodia, gather a few riels to tide you over for your first few hours in Cambodia from the Lao Development Bank at No.13 Rd. They close at 3:30 pm.   
+
*The '''Lao Development Bank''' to the north of the city can exchange kip to dollars, vital if traveling onward overland to Vietnam. Across the road, directly opposite the bank is an ATM that accepts international cards such as '''Cirrus'''. There is a limit of 700,000 kip per transaction, although you can withdraw numerous times. Those who are heading to Cambodia should gather a few riels to tide you over for your first few hours in Cambodia from the Lao Development Bank at No.13 Rd. They close at 3:30 pm.   
  
* There is a '''Morning Market''' that lasts most of the day. It can be found about 500m south of the town centre near the Sedone River.
+
* There is a '''Morning Market''' that lasts most of the day. It can be found 500 metres south of the town centre near the Sedone River.
 
   
 
   
* The huge '''Talat Dao Heuang (New Market)''' is about 2 km south-east out of town on Road 13 near the Japanese bridge over the Mekong.
+
* The huge '''Talat Dao Heuang (New Market)''' is about 2 kilometres southeast out of town on Road 13 near the Japanese bridge over the Mekong.
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
  
The restaurants are concentrated on the main street between the roundabout and the French bridge. The variety is quite diverse for the size of the town. For a more genuine Lao eating experience have a look in the streets south of the main one.
+
The restaurants are concentrated on the main street between the roundabout and the French bridge. The variety is diverse for the size of the town. For a more genuine Lao eating experience have a look in the streets south of the main one.
  
* <eat name="Jaidee Bar and Restaurant" alt="" address="Road no. 11" directions="in front of the Sleeping Bus Station for the bus to Vientiane" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">They serve dinner, sandwiches and fruitshakes. An Italian and a laotian chef prepare the dishes. Free Wi-Fi.</eat>
+
* <eat name="Jaidee Bar and Restaurant" alt="" address="Road no. 11" directions="in front of the Sleeping Bus Station for the bus to Vientiane" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">They serve dinner, sandwiches, and fruit shakes. An Italian and a laotian chef prepare the dishes. Free WiFi.</eat>
  
*'''Delta Coffee''' is on the main road No. 13 across the street from the Champasak Palace Hotel, and is one of the best western food options in town, although they also have good Lao food, with a full range of pastas (20,000-30,000 kip), pizzas (35,000-50,000 kip), sandwiches, hamburgers (15,000-20,000 kip), and desserts baked on site in addition the their fine coffee; prices are quite reasonable and the staff friendly.
+
*'''Delta Coffee''' is on the main road No. 13 across the street from the Champasak Palace Hotel. It is one of the best Western food options in town, although it also has good Lao food, with a full range of pastas (20,000–30,000 kip), pizzas (35,000–50,000 kip), sandwiches, hamburgers (15,000–20,000 kip), and desserts baked onsite, in addition the their fine coffee; prices are reasonable and the staff friendly.
  
*'''Dornsokdee Restaurant''', on the main road No. 13 South opposite to the museum and in between IndoChina Bank and ANZ Bank. This restaurant is the top no.1 in the local which serves varieties of food, Thai Foods, Vietnamese Foods, International Foods, and Local Foods. However, the menu that makes this restaurant popular is Korean BBQ and Sukiyaki which is 'cook it yourself' style that can make you enjoy travel time together with your friends or partner. The price of food is reasonable compares to the value of food, however, fried rice starts only 10,000 kip (US $1.30). This is the must visit restaurant that is recommended when you visit Pakse.
+
*'''Dornsokdee Restaurant''', on the main road No. 13 south opposite to the museum and between IndoChina Bank and ANZ Bank. This restaurant is No.1 in the locale; it serves a  variety of food, including Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese. However, the menu that makes this restaurant popular is Korean barbecue and sukiyaki, which is “cook it yourself” style.
  
*'''Jasmin Restaurant''' is next door to Nazim and serves exactly the same dishes at the same price.
+
*<eat name="Jasmin Restaurant" alt="Indian Food" address="Road 13 kitty corner from Royal Pakse Hotel"> Jasmine is an Indian food restaurant that serves vegetarian dishes for 10,000 kip each. It is on road 13 and is very popular with falang. </eat>
  
*'''Baguette stalls''' can be found along the main street between the roundabout and the French bridge. A delicious small pate baguette generally runs to 5,000-6,000kip.
+
*<eat name="Nazim Restaurant" alt="Indian Food" address="Alley from road 12" directions="From the intersection adjascent to Jasmin and the Royal Pakse Hotel, travel north 2 buildings until you see the Nazim sign on the right. Follow the dirt alley until you see the Nazim sign" phone="030 956 0809" url="" hours="" price="" lat="15.12264" long="105.80003"> Nazim is an Indian food restaurant that serves vegetarian dishes for 9,000 kip each. Because of its new location (as of March 2013) it has had very few customers.</eat>
  
*'''Lan Kham Noodle House''', directly below Lan Kham hotel serves enormous bowls of noodle soup with fresh herbs and salad. Price from 15,000 - 17,000 Kip. Open from approx 10AM, closes early. Used to be very popular with the locals, especially the government workers. Now, not so much Current clients are mostly the foreign backpackers and the Asian travelers who stayed in nearby accomodations.
+
*'''Baguette stalls''' can be found along the main street between the roundabout and the French bridge. A small paté baguette costs 5,000–6,000kip.
  
*'''Royal Pakse Hotel''' Across the street and opposite corner from Nazim has a fairly extensive Lao/Thai and Indian menu also featuring Thai style sukiyaki with an a la carte selection of options to choose from.
+
*'''Lan Kham Noodle House''', directly below Lan Kham Hotel, serves enormous bowls of noodle soup with fresh herbs and salad. Price from 15,000 to 17,000 kip. Open from approximately 10 a.m., closes early. Used to be very popular with the locals, especially government workers, but is now more popular with foreign visitors.
  
*'''Korean BBQ'''(not real name) Walking down the main street past the BCEL ATM and turn right, walk down one block and turn left and you will find another 'cook it yourself' Korean BBQ style place on the corner. Featuring a more economical option than the hot pot above though the atmosphere inside can be overpoweringly smokey when busy, try to grab one of the few outside tables or come early/late.
+
*'''Royal Pakse Hotel''' kitty corner from Jasmine has a fairly extensive Lao–Thai and Indian menu also featuring Thai style sukiyaki with an a la carte selection of options. 
*<eat name="Cafe Sinouk" alt="Cafe Sinouk" address="No 11 Rd" directions="Very close to the Champasak Shopping Center" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Cafe has free wifi for patrons and fancy frappe drinks, cakes, and basic restaurant menu.</eat>
+
 
*<eat name="Bolaven Cafe" alt="" address="South Rd 13" directions="opp. Sang Aroun Hotel" phone="020 9787 4632" url="phapaksong.com" hours="08.00-20.30" price="20,000-30,000 for most dishes and all come with a complimentary coffee!" lat="15.1219" long="105.8">Classy and comfortable, with a blue theme. Western and Thai/Lao menu, many locals come in for a cappuccino. Free wifi. Excellent service and local coffee.</eat>
+
*'''Korean BBQ'''(not real name) Walk down the main street past the BCEL ATM and turn right, walk down one block and turn left and you will find another “cook it yourself” Korean barbecue-style place on the corner. It features a more economical option than the hot pot above, though the atmosphere inside can be overpoweringly smokey when busy. Try to grab one of the few outside tables or come early or late.
*<eat name="Pizza Boy" alt="" address="Th. 13" directions="Next to the Lan Kham Noodle House" phone="" url="" hours="" price="30,000-60,000" lat="" long="">Italian restaurant with decent pasta from 30,000kip, excellent espresso coffee at 7,000kip and tasty ice cream at a very reasonable 5,000kip for a (large) scoop. Pizzas were quite expensive at 45,000 for a Margherita or 60,000 if you wanted anything on it; I didn't partake but they looked more like a French style of pizza than Italian.</eat>
+
 
*<eat name="Hasan Indian Restaurant" alt="" address="Thanon 24" directions="Just North of main Road 13" phone="020 5555 5624" url="" hours="" price="" lat="+15° 7.19'" long="+105° 48.6'">A new (April 2012) and much welcome addition to the local food scene. The professional Indian cook-owner Hasan has a standard but very tasty Indian food menu. Vegetarian dishes 13000-15000 kip, meat and seafood 28000-35000 kip, breads 5000-10000 kip.</eat>
+
*<eat name="Cafe Sinouk" alt="Cafe Sinouk" address="No. 11 Rd" directions="Very close to the Champasak shopping centre" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Cafe has free wifi for patrons and fancy frappe drinks, cakes, and basic restaurant menu.</eat>
*<eat name="Nazim Restaurant" alt="Indian Food" address="Alley from road 12" directions="About 100 m from sign on main road 13 opposite Royal Pakse Hotel" phone="030 956 0809" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Nazim has reopened in September 2012, bringing back to Pakse the quality and reliability of the Nazim franchise in a new, quiet location, plus friendly and personal service from the Indian owner, a seasoned businessman more than eager to fulfill any taste with delicious Indian food at competitive prices.</eat>
+
*<eat name="Bolaven Cafe" alt="" address="South Rd 13" directions="opp. Sang Aroun Hotel" phone="020 9787 4632" url="phapaksong.com" hours="08.00-20.30" price="20,00–-30,000 for most disheswith a complimentary coffee." lat="15.1219" long="105.8">Classy and comfortable, with a blue theme. Western and Thai/Lao menu, many locals come in for a cappuccino. Free WiFi. Excellent service and local coffee. Fair trade and organic labelled option..</eat>
 +
 
 +
*<eat name="Pizza Boy" alt="" address="Th. 13" directions="Next to the Lan Kham Noodle House" phone="" url="" hours="" price="30,000-60,000" lat="" long="">Italian restaurant with pasta from 30,000 kip, pizzas 45,000–60,000 kip, espresso coffee at 7,000 kip and ice cream at 5,000 kip for a large scoop. .</eat>
 +
 
 +
*<eat name="Hasan Indian Restaurant" alt="" address="Thanon 24" directions="Just north of main Road 13" phone="020 5555 5624" url="" hours="" price="" lat="+15° 7.19'" long="+105° 48.6'">Standard but tasty menu. Vegetarian dishes 13,000–15,000 kip, meat and seafood 28,000–35,000 kip, bread 5,000–10,000 kip.</eat>
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
  
* Enjoy the sunset with a beer lao at the Mekong River. Go to the French bridge and then head south along the Mekong. After having passed the Wat you come across countless places to have a drink.
+
* Enjoy the sunset with a beer Lao at the Mekong River. Go to the French bridge and then head south along the Mekong. After having passed the wat you come across countless places to have a drink.
  
 
* '''Lotty''' is a nightclub
 
* '''Lotty''' is a nightclub
*<drink name="Katuad cafe" alt="" address="NE corner of Rt13 and 24th street" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="7AM-9PM" price="8-12000 kip" lat="" long="">Good cafe in the center of town. One of the only places in town with free wifi. Coffee is local and good. They have no qualms about staying for a few hours and actually will give you free tea after a while.</drink>
+
*<drink name="Katuad cafe" alt="" address="NE corner of Rt13 and 24th street" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="7AM-9PM" price="8-12000 kip" lat="" long="">Good cafe in the centre of town, and one of the only places in town with free WiFi. Coffee is local and good. They have no qualms about customers staying for a few hours, and may give you a free tea if you stay long enough.</drink>
*<drink name="Le Panorama" alt="Pakse Hotel" address="Bane Watlouang, Street N°4" directions="" phone="+856 31 21 21 31" url="www.paksehotel.com" hours="16.30h - 23.30h" price="40.000 - 85.000 Kip" lat="" long="">The only rooftop restaurant in Pakse! On the 7th floor of Pakse Hotel, with a beautiful view over the town and the Mekong. Western, Asian und Fusion Dishes, especially created for the restaurant by the new french chef. Not cheap, but the view makes up for it, and you'll find probably the best pizza and western dishes in town!</drink>
+
 
*<drink name="Victory Hi Tech" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Loud and dark local night clubs a couple of kilometres out of town down route 13. Packed with locals most nights and is about the only place in town you can kick on at until midnight. Beer Lao is 15,000K</drink>
+
*<drink name="Le Panorama" alt="Pakse Hotel" address="Bane Watlouang, Street N°4" directions="" phone="+856 31 21 21 31" url="www.paksehotel.com" hours="16.30h - 23.30h" price="40,000–85,000 kip" lat="" long="">The only rooftop restaurant in Pakse. On the 7th floor of Pakse Hotel, with a beautiful view over the town and the Mekong. Western, Asian, and fusion dishes, especially created for the restaurant by the new French chef. Not cheap, but the view makes up for it, and you'll find probably the best pizza and western dishes in town.</drink>
*<drink name="Jaidee Bar and Reastaurant" alt="" address="Street 11" directions="Front of VIP sleeping Bus Station" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Italian and Laotian dishes, fresh italian sandwich, fruitshakes, cocktail, and good info. FREE WIFI</drink>
+
 
*<drink name="Jaidee Bar and Restaurant" alt="" address="Street 11" directions="(Front of VIP sleeping Bus Station)" phone="" url="http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurant_Review-g670161-d2198090-Reviews-Jaidee_Bar_and_Restaurant-Pakse_Champasak_Province.html" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">An Italian and A laotian chef for the best of both cooking.
+
*<drink name="Victory Hi Tech" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Loud and dark local night clubs a couple of kilometres out of town down route 13. Packed with locals most nights and is about the only place in town you can kick on at until midnight. Beer Lao is 15,000 kip</drink>
Real Italian taste
+
 
We are in front of the Sleeping Bus Station inside the city to go Vientiane; a dinner, a sandwich, a fruitshake or just only for the FREE WIFI!!!</drink>
+
*<drink name="Jaidee Bar and Reastaurant" alt="" address="Street 11" directions="Front of VIP sleeping bus station" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Italian and Laotian dishes, fresh Italian sandwich, fruit shakes, cocktail, and good info. Free WiFi</drink>
 +
 
 +
*<drink name="Jaidee Bar and Restaurant" alt="" address="Street 11" directions="(Front of VIP sleeping bus station)" phone="" url="http://www.tripadvisor.it/Restaurant_Review-g670161-d2198090-Reviews-Jaidee_Bar_and_Restaurant-Pakse_Champasak_Province.html" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">An Italian and a laotian chef for the best of both cooking. Free WiFi</drink>
  
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==
Most hotels and guesthouses in Pakse can be found along the main street between the French bridge and the roundabout or a short way into its sidestreets. Prices in Pakse are very high compared to the rest of the country; even higher than Vientiane. It is also, quite inexplicably as there is absolutely nothing to do here, full of Western tourists and many of the guesthouses fill up quite early in the day. Expect to pay around double what you pay elsewhere in Laos and consider booking ahead.
+
Most hotels and guesthouses in Pakse can be found along the main street between the French bridge and the roundabout or a short way into its side streets. Prices in Pakse are high compared with the rest of the country, even with Vientiane.
  
* <sleep name="Arawan Hotel" alt="" address="Salakiew St" directions="turn right at the Mekong Bridge, 500m down the road next to Secondary School" phone="(856)3126034550" email="info@arawanhotelpakse.com" url="http://www.arawanhotelpakse.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Good location, right on the banks of the Mekong River. Stunning views from the outdoor pool. Great if you feel like a bit of a splurge.  They also offer cheaper rooms for US$35, but the deluxe rooms are well worth the money.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Arawan Hotel" alt="" address="Salakiew St" directions="turn right at the Mekong Bridge, 500 metres down the road next to secondary school" phone="(856)3126034550" email="info@arawanhotelpakse.com" url="http://www.arawanhotelpakse.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Good location, right on the banks of the Mekong River. Stunning views from the outdoor pool. Cheaper rooms are US$35, but the deluxe rooms are worth the money.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Daovieng hotel 2" alt="" address="13 & 35 Road phonesay village" directions="" phone="(031)214331" url="www.daovienghotel.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="$10" lat="" long="">Good clean, smallish rooms with air-con and cable tv. wifi is available in the lobby.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Daovieng hotel 2" alt="" address="13 &amp; 35 Road phonesay village" directions="" phone="(031)214331" url="www.daovienghotel.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="100,000–150,000 kip" lat="" long="">Good clean rooms with air-con, fridge, and cable TV, all of which only work when your room key is in the power slot. Single rooms are quite small.  Wifi is available in the lobby. Single/Double/Twin rooms were 100,000/130,000/150,000 kip as of 1/1/2013</sleep>
  
 
* '''Champasak Palace hotel''', the former royal palace on road 13 is probably the most upmarket option in town.
 
* '''Champasak Palace hotel''', the former royal palace on road 13 is probably the most upmarket option in town.
  
* '''Lan Kham Hotel''', on road 13 opposite the Lao Development Bank is clean and surprisingly has an OK lounge downstairs with large stacks of "TIME" and "Newsweek" to help ease the boredom in Pakse. Twin room with fan, toilet & shower for 90,000 Kip. Twin/Double with aircon, TV and fridge for 100,000 Kip, Free wifi but only at reception.
+
* '''Lan Kham Hotel''', on road 13 opposite the Lao Development Bank, is clean. Twin room with fan, toilet, and shower for 90,000 kip. Twin/Double with aircon, TV, and fridge for 100,000 kip, Free WiFi but only at reception.
  
* <sleep name="Lao Chaleun Hotel" alt="" address="Th 10" directions="" phone="251333" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="from 80,000kip for a single with cold water attached bathroom" lat="" long="">Staff are accommodating and single rooms although tiny are immaculately clean. February 2012.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Lao Chaleun Hotel" alt="" address="Th 10" directions="" phone="251333" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="from 80,000 kip for a single with cold water attached bathroom" lat="" long="">Staff are accommodating, and single rooms, although tiny are immaculately clean.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Noknoi Guest House" alt="" address="" directions="On road 13 just one block after katuad cafe on the corner opposite a little supermarket" phone="031 251 100" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Solid guest house. Clean standard rooms, complementary water and coffee. Some room for improvement but no deal breakers: woodwork is a bit rough, owners don´t really speak English. Cable TV is there but the signal is very noisy. Rooms from 50,000 kip. Air-con room with hot shower for 70,000 in January 2011. </sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Noknoi Guest House" alt="" address="" directions="On road 13 just one block after katuad cafe on the corner opposite a little supermarket" phone="031 251 100" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Clean standard rooms, complimentary water and coffee. Some room for improvement but are still okay. Cable TV is there but the signal is very noisy. Rooms from 50,000 kip. Air-con room with hot shower for 70,000 kip. </sleep>
  
* '''Pakse Hotel''' [http://www.hotelpakse.com] (''near the Champasak shopping centre'') offers a broad range of rooms. A great hotel with nice rooms, good service, helpful staff and a lovely roof-top restaurant. Room comes with good buffet breakfast. An economy room for one person (with ensuite) was $US20 in January 2010. In Aug 2011 $25 (200,000 kip). Can arrange tours to nearby sights.
+
* '''Pakse Hotel''' [http://www.hotelpakse.com] (''near the Champasak shopping centre'') offers a broad range of rooms. A great hotel with nice rooms, good service, helpful staff, and a lovely rooftop restaurant. Room comes with good buffet breakfast. An economy room with ensuite bathroom is 200,000 kip. They can arrange tours to nearby sights.
  
* '''Sabaidy 2 Guesthouse''', turn north off the main street at the crossing near the Green Discovery office. It's the only guesthouse in town with dorms (very basic). The shared showers have hot water. They also have basic rooms. 30k kip (4$) for the dorm - 45k kip / 60k kip for single or double rooms. Apparently being mentioned in the lonely planet completely got to these guys heads, as the rooms are overpriced, and they charge for everything extra, like keeping your bags while you check out the Bolevan plateau. They even charge extra for the WiFi (10,000 Kip/day). Laundry 15,0000 kip/kg. If you want you can rent a motorbike from here, among several other businesses around town. Have a day tour to boloven at 180-250,000 kip depending on the number of persons.
+
* '''Sabaidy 2 Guesthouse''', turn north off the main street at the crossing near the Green Discovery office. It’s the only guesthouse in town with dorms (very basic). The shared showers have hot water. They also have basic rooms. 30,000 kip for the dorm; 45,000–60,000 kip for single or double rooms. WiFi an extra 10,000 kip per day, and laundry 15,0000 kip per kilogram. Also rent motorbikes, and can arrange a day tour to Boloven for 180,000–250,000 kip, depending on the number of persons.
  
* <sleep name="Sedone River Guest House" alt="" address="Th. 11" directions="left immediately after the bridge, first street betweeen Th.13 and Th.21, right on the Se Don" price="50-70,000kip" phone="212158"> This guesthouse has friendly staff and a very pleasant garden overlooking the Se Don. 50,000kip for a fan room or 70,000kip for an AC room with hot water. These prices cover up to two people; you can pay 15,000 extra for a third. The AC rooms are enormous if a bit shabby. Cleanliness is middling; this isn't a spic and span modern guesthouse but has a bit of shabby character. Unfortunately due to the location by the river there are a LOT of mosquitos. February 2012.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Sedone River Guest House" alt="" address="Th. 11" directions="left immediately after the bridge, first street betweeen Th. 13 and Th. 21, right on the Se Don" phone="212158" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="50,000–70,000kip" lat="" long=""> This guesthouse has friendly staff and a pleasant garden overlooking the Se Don. 50,000 kip for a fan room or 70,000 kip for an air-con room with hot water. These prices cover up to two people; you can pay 15,000 extra for a third. The air-con are large if a bit shabby. Cleanliness is middling; this isn’t a spic-and-span modern guesthouse but has a bit of a shabby character. Unfortunately due to the location by the river and the insufficient insect netting there are a lot of mosquitos.</sleep>
 
   
 
   
* <sleep name="Thaluang Hotel" alt="" address="Street 21, Bane Thaluang" directions="Near intersection of Street 24" phone="(856-31) 251399" url="" checkin="" checkout="12pm" price="60-150,000 kip" lat="" long="">good location, helpful and knowledgeable staff, rooms are fairly old and could use some renovating (July 2011), air-con and hot water available, the most expensive room has four beds</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Thaluang Hotel" alt="" address="Street 21, Bane Thaluang" directions="Near intersection of Street 24" phone="(856-31) 251399" url="" checkin="" checkout="12pm" price="60,000–150,000 kip" lat="" long="">good location, helpful and knowledgeable staff, rooms are fairly old and could use some renovating (July 2011. Air-con and hot water available, the most expensive room has four beds</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Soutchai Travel" alt="" address="" directions="From the downtown stoplight on Road 13, go one block east (away from the bridge) and turn right (Daovieng 2 is at this corner), then take the first left and go two thirds down that street. About a 10-minute walk" phone="212921" url="" checkin="" checkout="12 pm" price="40,000 kip" lat="" long="">This small guesthouse has six upstairs rooms with ceiling fans that seem too hot during the daytime (although you can pay more to have air-con) but are very pleasant in the evening. Free Internet and WiFi. Laundry service. The bathroom with hot water is shared and on the ground floor.</sleep>
 +
 
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
Line 151: Line 157:
 
* [[Tadlo]] - a village with waterfalls and trekking opportunities.
 
* [[Tadlo]] - a village with waterfalls and trekking opportunities.
 
* [[Si_Phan_Don|Si Phan Don]] - Also known as 4,000 islands, is less than 3 hours away. Relax here for a few days by the Mekong river.
 
* [[Si_Phan_Don|Si Phan Don]] - Also known as 4,000 islands, is less than 3 hours away. Relax here for a few days by the Mekong river.
*Vientiane - among other options, an overnight bus is available (2 people to a bed; snack, blanket, and pillow included). Possible to book this at Sabaidy 2 Hotel.
+
*Vientiane As of April 2011, a ticket to and from Vientiane cost 210,000 kip per person when a one-seater bus is available, 170,000 kip to share a double with another stranger or 250,000 kip for double with lone occupancy if a one-seater/sleeper is not available. If a single seater (210,000 kip) is available, 340,000 kip for a double-seater/sleeper for either one or two person occupancy. Chitprasom buses tend to be newer as Kriang Kai has been around longer and has not updated its buses. When traveling from Pakse to Vientiane, take the Kriang Kai buses, as they will drop you off in the Vientiane town centre where their corporate office is located—a 2-minute walk from the Cultural Hall. All northbound buses, however, do stop at the Vientiane bus station, which is 9 kilometres from the town centre. If you are coming from Don Det and have not bought a through ticket, you can either get off at the Kriang Kai terminal and buy ticket there, or wait and get dropped in town and buy your ticket for Chitprasom.
 +
WARNING TO FEMALE TRAVELERS: there is a report of harassment on an overnight sleeping bus from Pakse to Vientiane.
  
 
* Cambodia - Travel onward to Cambodia from Pakse is now possible (as of March 2011), with visa-on-arrival facilities now in place at the southern border with onwards travel to [[Strung Treng]], [[Kratie]], [[Phnom Penh]], and even [[Siem Reap]]. Check transport providers carefully as some travellers have been reported being left at one destination, when they were booked for another.   
 
* Cambodia - Travel onward to Cambodia from Pakse is now possible (as of March 2011), with visa-on-arrival facilities now in place at the southern border with onwards travel to [[Strung Treng]], [[Kratie]], [[Phnom Penh]], and even [[Siem Reap]]. Check transport providers carefully as some travellers have been reported being left at one destination, when they were booked for another.   
  
Aug 2011, a single bus ride on VIP coach from Pakse to Phnom Penh, 13 hours, 170,000 kip, one hour at border, no problems. Sengchaluean bus company.
+
Aug 2011, a single bus ride on VIP coach from Pakse to Phnom Penh, 13 hours, the fare is now 210,000 including tuktuk pick-up from hotel via agent (Laos Adventure travel www.laoadventuretravel.com). For thise wishingto arrange themselves: the bus station is more than 5 km to the east, which costs 20,000 kip by tuk-tuk and the bus fare is $US27. There is only one departure time which is at 8:00 am (although stated in the ticket as 7:30 am). However, others report the cost starts at 300,000 kips for the direct bus, but can be nogatiated to 260,000.
 
+
As of Feb 2012, the above holds true but some additional info.. The fare is now 210,000 (7,890 kips to $US1 @ $26.6 Sengchaleuan Bus) including tuktuk pick up from hotel via agent (Laos Adventure travel www.laoadventuretravel.com) by far the unbeatable cheapest. By DIY is not wise, the bus station is more than 5 km to the east at 20,000 kips tuk-tuk ride plus the fare quoted by the booth attendant at $US27 flat. There is only one departure time which is at 8:00 am (although stated in the ticket as 7:30 am). Previous pathetic and unfortunate incident reports of passengers having to change different modes and types of transport on this trip and being left out for DIY passport processing are now resolved and updated as follows:
+
 
+
20 minutes on the last stop to the border, a fairly neatly groomed man will appear together with other foreign passengers. Holding a stack of passports collected from the foreigners that he tags along as he gets in the bus, he walks the aisle, announces that the border is near and those who have no visa should ready their $US30, distributes the Cambodian entry card and instructs everybody to fill it up. Those who already have visa should still ready their $US6 (reasons unknown but it may be the price of the departure stamp on the Laotian side, the entry stamp on the Cambodian side plus the Cambodian immigration card to be filled up included in the passport). This expediter instructs everybody to stay in place in their seats unless they want to unwind and stretch. As soon as he collects them and the bus stops, off he disappears just the same way as he appeared. After 40 minutes, he comes up and returns the passports stamped, with the visa sticker for those who have none, and the immigration card stamped and stapled. One can actually do it by himself, however it is impossible to inquire about the wheeling and dealing going on due to communication problems, it is best to shut up. If by DIY, chances are they may do the run-around red tape, what is $6 loss to a spoiled vacation trip? Even this author who didn't need this expediter's help by applying a pre-arrival visa for $20 has to give in to the $6 demand money.
+
 
+
At the next highway junction on the Cambodian side, this expediter jumps off, his job accomplished.
+
  
It would be wise to leave the processing to the expediter, it's worry free, it's hassle free. Not to condone the corruption that may be involved, but because of the ocean of language barrier that keeps the tourist from being well informed and taking decisions correctly, just better leave it to these runners, unless one has the luxury of time to be a reporter working for 20/20 stinging for scoops.     
+
20 minutes on the last stop to the border, a fairly neatly groomed man will appear together with other foreign passengers. Holding a stack of passports collected from the foreigners that he tags along as he gets in the bus, he walks the aisle, announces that the border is near and those who have no visa should ready their $US30, distributes the Cambodian entry card and instructs everybody to fill it up. Those who already have visa should still ready their $US6 (reasons unknown but it may be the price of the departure stamp on the Laotian side, the entry stamp on the Cambodian side plus the Cambodian immigration card to be filled up included in the passport). This expediter instructs everybody to stay in place in their seats unless they want to unwind and stretch. As soon as he collects them and the bus stops, off he disappears just the same way as he appeared. After 40 minutes, he comes up and returns the passports stamped, with the visa sticker for those who have none, and the immigration card stamped and stapled. One can actually do it by himself, however it is impossible to inquire about the wheeling and dealing going on due to communication problems, it is best to shut up. It would be wise to leave the processing to the agent as it means worry & hassle free.     
  
 
[[de:Pakse]]
 
[[de:Pakse]]
Line 177: Line 178:
 
{{outline}}
 
{{outline}}
  
Warning: For those proceeding to Cambodia by bus and making a pit stop at Pakse, dazed and just rudely awaken from sleep, do not ever be convinced to buy VIP bus tickets right away upon setting foot at the bus station. Guiltless tout/drivers will sales talk you to buy them at $US 75.0 - a blunder that should have covered the cost of air ticket from Vientiane to Phnom Penh. Or if you have the stamina to walk with your luggage for about 500 meters north where agencies line their "Main Street", you can proceed to buy the ticket or better still, directly flag a tuktuk to the bus station to where the Cambodia-bound buses depart, and eke out an additional 13 hours of cramp inducing trip.
+
Warning: For those proceeding to Cambodia by bus and making a pit stop at Pakse, dazed and just rudely awaken from sleep, do not ever be convinced to buy VIP bus tickets right away upon setting foot at the bus station. Guiltless tout/drivers will sales talk you to buy them at $US 75—a blunder that should have covered the cost of air ticket from Vientiane to Phnom Penh. Or if you have the stamina to walk with your luggage for about 500 metres north where agencies line their main Street, you can proceed to buy the ticket or, better still, directly flag a tuk-tuk to the bus station to where the Cambodia-bound buses depart, and eke out an additional 13 hours of cramp-inducing trip.
  
Better still, if you have one day to kill, stay for the night (for 100,000 kips or $US12.50) and leave early morning. The best offer so far is by Laos Adventure Travel at Road 12, off their "Main Street" after a few blocks east of the bridge, (Bhan Lak Muang) for 210,000 kips or $US26.00 compared to the rest of agents starting at 230,000 kips and above.
+
Better still, if you have one day available, stay for the night (for 100,000 kip) and leave early morning. The best offer so far is by Laos Adventure Travel at Road 12, off their "Main Street" after a few blocks east of the bridge, (Bhan Lak Muang) for 210,000 kips or $US26 compared with the rest of agents starting at 230,000 kip and above.

Revision as of 06:42, 18 March 2013

Pakse (Pakxe) is a city in the Champasak province of Southern Laos. It's one of the biggest towns in Laos and a major transport hub for southern Laos. If you plan to go to the Bolaven Plateau, Wat Phou or Si Phan Don you will probably have to spend some time here.

Pakse.JPG

Contents

Get in

By plane

Pakse International Airport is kilometres north of town and offers scheduled flights to Vientiane and Siem Reap.

Lao Arlines[1] offer direct flights from Bangkok, Thailand, and shall operate direct flights from/to Hochiminh city.

There are flights from Vientiane and Luang Prabang to Pakse on Lao Airlines. Tickets can be booked online or through a travel agent.

Visa extensions

Visa extensions are possible at the police station on Th. 10, just down the road from the Salachampa Hotel and Restaurant. The cost is US$2 per day plus a 5,000 kip “form fee.” The process is very easy; turn up in the morning with your passport and one photo, fill in a form, and come back in the afternoon for your extension.

By boat

There is a regular slow-boat service to Si Phan Don. Departure is around 8 a.m., but check the day before. The boat landing is near the mouth of the Xe Don river. The service is reported to no longer be operating, but you can ask for a private boat, which is of course very expensive on your own but can be shared with others to lower the individual cost.

By bus

Pakse has 4 bus stations you might arrive at:

The Northern Bus Terminal (serving locations north of Pakse) is located about 10 kilometres northwest of the city centre (15.1700 105.7600). Transportation via songthaew to the northern bus terminal is sometimes available at the northeastern side of the market opposite the shopping center (please find out what days/times).

The Southern Bus Terminal (aka 8km Bus Terminal) is located 8 kilometres to the east of the city center (15.113957, 105.875482) (30,000 kip by moto to the centre, or 10,000 kip in shared tuk-tuk). Songthaews to Si Phan Don 40,000 kip per person.

The Kriang Kai Bus terminal (aka 2km bus terminal) has VIP buses and is the arrival point and departure point for the international bus from/to Ubon Ratchatani (3 hours 200 Baht) in Thailand.

Chitprasom "bus station" (aka VIP bus terminal) which is just the shopping center at the town center. Transportation via songthaew to destinations outside of Pakse is available at Dao Huang market and the 8km market.

Get around

Most of the services you will use as a tourist are in walking distance from the city center. Further destinations within town will require a tuk-tuk ride or renting a motorbike. Tuk tuk rides charge per person and are about 3,000-5,000 kip for short rides and 10,000 to the further bus terminals. Songthaew transport within Pakse is almost non-existent.

See

Wat Luang, the biggest and most beautiful temple of Pakxe, and home of Buddhist Monk School. It is the best place to see a monk alm giving ceremony as you may be one of a handful of watching tourists as opposed to the multitudes at a similar ceremony in Luang Prabang.

Wat Phabad is the oldest and largest temple of Pakxe. It is believed to have a Buddha Footprint, from which its name is derived .

Ban Keosamphanh, a former French army camp, has the most beautiful green rice field of Pakxe and is home to the oldest market of Pakse. Mekong Bank is the most popular place and night centre point of Pakxe.

  • Big Buddha. In Aug 2011 a 'Big Buddha' temple complex was built across the river, adjacent to the Japanese bridge. More than a few steps to the top, a great view of the river and city.


Do

There's not so much to do in Pakse itself; however, it is a good base for travel to the Bolaven Plateau and Si Phan Don. But Pakse should be considered a staging point for archeological tourists in this part of Laos for two reasons: 1) it is where the Champasak Provincial Museum is located as an introductory to local archeology, and 2) it is an alternative to Champasak city as a staging point for those wanting to see Wat Phou. Wat Phou is a designated UNESCO site and boasts of as Laos’s counterpart to Angkor Wat/Angkor Thom: its the finest of its type outside Cambodia.

The museum is located close to the new market, 500 metres north of the banks of the Mekong.

It’s possible to organize a day trip to Wat Phou near Champasak, where you can also stay easily.

Rent a motorbike and head east toward Pak Song (Paxxong). The ride is pretty, and there are heaps of waterfalls to stop by near Pak Song. The Champasak Provincial Tourism Department puts out a nice few nice brochures including one on the Bolaven Plateau that details these including Tad Fane, Tad Champee, Tad Ueang, and Tad Pha Suam. Admission tends to be the same at every place: 5,000 kip per person and 3,000 kip for a bike.

One waterfall not mentioned is Tad Sae, which is located off of Route 13 at a fairly large T-junction with a bunch of fruit sellers lining the road. Not as large as some of the others, it nonetheless offers a beautiful place to stop and eat or hang out for a while. (Note that if you search for Tad Sae on the Internet you will be directed to the one near Luang Prabang which is not the same one here.)

These are several Internet cafés on the corner near Nazim’s Indian restaurant. They charge around 6,000 kip per hour. The smart new Tour Lao Café on the southern end of the market plaza has WiFi.

Bowling

As in Vientiane, there is also a proper bowling alley located in town. A 15- to 20-minute walk away from the centre or a short tuk-tuk ride away head down the main road and turn right toward the big white building in the distance. It is not far away from the river, so if you are over there already you can walk along there to find it. Be warned, though, that if you want a ride home you should negotiate a tuk-tuk to stay since you won’t find many patroling there, especially later in the evening.

Massage

Pakse is a great place to get massage as there are a variety of places and they are all cheaper than massage in Thailand. Most of the massage places are aggregated just south of road 13 near the shopping mall. There are 2 pricing options for massage: 35,000/hr or 40,000/hr. For services other than traditional prices may increase.

  • Style Massage. Style is pretty run down but one of the few places in town that explicitly offers head neck and shoulders. There's often a girl with a pink shirt out front. They do not wash your feet before traditional massage as most places in town do. 35,000/hr traditional 50,000/hr head neck and shoulders.
  • Thanida Spa. Thanida massage has pretty good ambiance but pretty week masseuses. Expect texting and even phone conversations during your massage. Also expect soy milk, a funny tea, and a cold moist towel post-massage. 35,000/hr traditional.
  • Dak Champa. Dak Champa is on the official Laos tourist authority map so it's easy to find. They have great ambiance and are very professional. You can choose a masseuse or masseur and they explicitly state no sex massage. This place actually seems to provide decent training for their staff so arrive with good expectations and you won't be disappointed. For deep-tissue ask for a masseur. 35,000/hr traditional 45,000/hr foot and head neck and shoulders.

Buy

  • BCEL Bank (on Th 11, just next to Wat Luang in the town centre) changes money, casehs travelers cheques, and does cash advance on credit cards. There is also an ATM in front of the building that now accepts most foreign cards. There are a lot more ATMs in Southern Laos these days. When heading south this used to be the last ATM until Stung Treng in Cambodia although food stalls on the Cambodian side of the border will gladly change dollars,kip, and Baht at unfavorable rates. There is now an ATM in Attapeu. All ATMs charge a 20,000-kip fee per withdrawal with a 1,000,000 kip per transaction maximum.
  • The Lao Development Bank to the north of the city can exchange kip to dollars, vital if traveling onward overland to Vietnam. Across the road, directly opposite the bank is an ATM that accepts international cards such as Cirrus. There is a limit of 700,000 kip per transaction, although you can withdraw numerous times. Those who are heading to Cambodia should gather a few riels to tide you over for your first few hours in Cambodia from the Lao Development Bank at No.13 Rd. They close at 3:30 pm.
  • There is a Morning Market that lasts most of the day. It can be found 500 metres south of the town centre near the Sedone River.
  • The huge Talat Dao Heuang (New Market) is about 2 kilometres southeast out of town on Road 13 near the Japanese bridge over the Mekong.

Eat

The restaurants are concentrated on the main street between the roundabout and the French bridge. The variety is diverse for the size of the town. For a more genuine Lao eating experience have a look in the streets south of the main one.

  • Jaidee Bar and Restaurant, Road no. 11 (in front of the Sleeping Bus Station for the bus to Vientiane). They serve dinner, sandwiches, and fruit shakes. An Italian and a laotian chef prepare the dishes. Free WiFi.
  • Delta Coffee is on the main road No. 13 across the street from the Champasak Palace Hotel. It is one of the best Western food options in town, although it also has good Lao food, with a full range of pastas (20,000–30,000 kip), pizzas (35,000–50,000 kip), sandwiches, hamburgers (15,000–20,000 kip), and desserts baked onsite, in addition the their fine coffee; prices are reasonable and the staff friendly.
  • Dornsokdee Restaurant, on the main road No. 13 south opposite to the museum and between IndoChina Bank and ANZ Bank. This restaurant is No.1 in the locale; it serves a variety of food, including Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese. However, the menu that makes this restaurant popular is Korean barbecue and sukiyaki, which is “cook it yourself” style.
  • Jasmin Restaurant (Indian Food), Road 13 kitty corner from Royal Pakse Hotel. Jasmine is an Indian food restaurant that serves vegetarian dishes for 10,000 kip each. It is on road 13 and is very popular with falang.
  • Nazim Restaurant (Indian Food), Alley from road 12 (From the intersection adjascent to Jasmin and the Royal Pakse Hotel, travel north 2 buildings until you see the Nazim sign on the right. Follow the dirt alley until you see the Nazim sign), 030 956 0809. Nazim is an Indian food restaurant that serves vegetarian dishes for 9,000 kip each. Because of its new location (as of March 2013) it has had very few customers. (15.12264,105.80003)
  • Baguette stalls can be found along the main street between the roundabout and the French bridge. A small paté baguette costs 5,000–6,000kip.
  • Lan Kham Noodle House, directly below Lan Kham Hotel, serves enormous bowls of noodle soup with fresh herbs and salad. Price from 15,000 to 17,000 kip. Open from approximately 10 a.m., closes early. Used to be very popular with the locals, especially government workers, but is now more popular with foreign visitors.
  • Royal Pakse Hotel kitty corner from Jasmine has a fairly extensive Lao–Thai and Indian menu also featuring Thai style sukiyaki with an a la carte selection of options.
  • Korean BBQ(not real name) Walk down the main street past the BCEL ATM and turn right, walk down one block and turn left and you will find another “cook it yourself” Korean barbecue-style place on the corner. It features a more economical option than the hot pot above, though the atmosphere inside can be overpoweringly smokey when busy. Try to grab one of the few outside tables or come early or late.
  • Cafe Sinouk (Cafe Sinouk), No. 11 Rd (Very close to the Champasak shopping centre). Cafe has free wifi for patrons and fancy frappe drinks, cakes, and basic restaurant menu.
  • Bolaven Cafe, South Rd 13 (opp. Sang Aroun Hotel), 020 9787 4632, [2]. 08.00-20.30. Classy and comfortable, with a blue theme. Western and Thai/Lao menu, many locals come in for a cappuccino. Free WiFi. Excellent service and local coffee. Fair trade and organic labelled option.. 20,00–-30,000 for most dishes, with a complimentary coffee.. (15.1219,105.8)
  • Pizza Boy, Th. 13 (Next to the Lan Kham Noodle House). Italian restaurant with pasta from 30,000 kip, pizzas 45,000–60,000 kip, espresso coffee at 7,000 kip and ice cream at 5,000 kip for a large scoop. . 30,000-60,000.
  • Hasan Indian Restaurant, Thanon 24 (Just north of main Road 13), 020 5555 5624. Standard but tasty menu. Vegetarian dishes 13,000–15,000 kip, meat and seafood 28,000–35,000 kip, bread 5,000–10,000 kip. (+15° 7.19',+105° 48.6')

Drink

  • Enjoy the sunset with a beer Lao at the Mekong River. Go to the French bridge and then head south along the Mekong. After having passed the wat you come across countless places to have a drink.
  • Lotty is a nightclub
  • Katuad cafe, NE corner of Rt13 and 24th street. 7AM-9PM. Good cafe in the centre of town, and one of the only places in town with free WiFi. Coffee is local and good. They have no qualms about customers staying for a few hours, and may give you a free tea if you stay long enough. 8-12000 kip.
  • Le Panorama (Pakse Hotel), Bane Watlouang, Street N°4, +856 31 21 21 31, [3]. 16.30h - 23.30h. The only rooftop restaurant in Pakse. On the 7th floor of Pakse Hotel, with a beautiful view over the town and the Mekong. Western, Asian, and fusion dishes, especially created for the restaurant by the new French chef. Not cheap, but the view makes up for it, and you'll find probably the best pizza and western dishes in town. 40,000–85,000 kip.
  • Victory Hi Tech. Loud and dark local night clubs a couple of kilometres out of town down route 13. Packed with locals most nights and is about the only place in town you can kick on at until midnight. Beer Lao is 15,000 kip
  • Jaidee Bar and Reastaurant, Street 11 (Front of VIP sleeping bus station). Italian and Laotian dishes, fresh Italian sandwich, fruit shakes, cocktail, and good info. Free WiFi
  • Jaidee Bar and Restaurant, Street 11 ((Front of VIP sleeping bus station)), [4]. An Italian and a laotian chef for the best of both cooking. Free WiFi


Sleep

Most hotels and guesthouses in Pakse can be found along the main street between the French bridge and the roundabout or a short way into its side streets. Prices in Pakse are high compared with the rest of the country, even with Vientiane.

  • Arawan Hotel, Salakiew St (turn right at the Mekong Bridge, 500 metres down the road next to secondary school), (856)3126034550 (), [5]. Good location, right on the banks of the Mekong River. Stunning views from the outdoor pool. Cheaper rooms are US$35, but the deluxe rooms are worth the money.
  • Daovieng hotel 2, 13 & 35 Road phonesay village, (031)214331, [6]. Good clean rooms with air-con, fridge, and cable TV, all of which only work when your room key is in the power slot. Single rooms are quite small. Wifi is available in the lobby. Single/Double/Twin rooms were 100,000/130,000/150,000 kip as of 1/1/2013 100,000–150,000 kip.
  • Champasak Palace hotel, the former royal palace on road 13 is probably the most upmarket option in town.
  • Lan Kham Hotel, on road 13 opposite the Lao Development Bank, is clean. Twin room with fan, toilet, and shower for 90,000 kip. Twin/Double with aircon, TV, and fridge for 100,000 kip, Free WiFi but only at reception.
  • Lao Chaleun Hotel, Th 10, 251333. Staff are accommodating, and single rooms, although tiny are immaculately clean. from 80,000 kip for a single with cold water attached bathroom.
  • Noknoi Guest House, (On road 13 just one block after katuad cafe on the corner opposite a little supermarket), 031 251 100. Clean standard rooms, complimentary water and coffee. Some room for improvement but are still okay. Cable TV is there but the signal is very noisy. Rooms from 50,000 kip. Air-con room with hot shower for 70,000 kip.
  • Pakse Hotel [7] (near the Champasak shopping centre) offers a broad range of rooms. A great hotel with nice rooms, good service, helpful staff, and a lovely rooftop restaurant. Room comes with good buffet breakfast. An economy room with ensuite bathroom is 200,000 kip. They can arrange tours to nearby sights.
  • Sabaidy 2 Guesthouse, turn north off the main street at the crossing near the Green Discovery office. It’s the only guesthouse in town with dorms (very basic). The shared showers have hot water. They also have basic rooms. 30,000 kip for the dorm; 45,000–60,000 kip for single or double rooms. WiFi an extra 10,000 kip per day, and laundry 15,0000 kip per kilogram. Also rent motorbikes, and can arrange a day tour to Boloven for 180,000–250,000 kip, depending on the number of persons.
  • Sedone River Guest House, Th. 11 (left immediately after the bridge, first street betweeen Th. 13 and Th. 21, right on the Se Don), 212158. This guesthouse has friendly staff and a pleasant garden overlooking the Se Don. 50,000 kip for a fan room or 70,000 kip for an air-con room with hot water. These prices cover up to two people; you can pay 15,000 extra for a third. The air-con are large if a bit shabby. Cleanliness is middling; this isn’t a spic-and-span modern guesthouse but has a bit of a shabby character. Unfortunately due to the location by the river and the insufficient insect netting there are a lot of mosquitos. 50,000–70,000kip.
  • Thaluang Hotel, Street 21, Bane Thaluang (Near intersection of Street 24), (856-31) 251399. checkout: 12pm. good location, helpful and knowledgeable staff, rooms are fairly old and could use some renovating (July 2011. Air-con and hot water available, the most expensive room has four beds 60,000–150,000 kip.
  • Soutchai Travel, (From the downtown stoplight on Road 13, go one block east (away from the bridge) and turn right (Daovieng 2 is at this corner), then take the first left and go two thirds down that street. About a 10-minute walk), 212921. checkout: 12 pm. This small guesthouse has six upstairs rooms with ceiling fans that seem too hot during the daytime (although you can pay more to have air-con) but are very pleasant in the evening. Free Internet and WiFi. Laundry service. The bathroom with hot water is shared and on the ground floor. 40,000 kip.


Get out

  • Bolaven Plateau - rent a motorbike. Talk to Sabaidy 2 Hotel for information on a 2-3 day loop and other destinations.
  • Tadlo - a village with waterfalls and trekking opportunities.
  • Si Phan Don - Also known as 4,000 islands, is less than 3 hours away. Relax here for a few days by the Mekong river.
  • Vientiane As of April 2011, a ticket to and from Vientiane cost 210,000 kip per person when a one-seater bus is available, 170,000 kip to share a double with another stranger or 250,000 kip for double with lone occupancy if a one-seater/sleeper is not available. If a single seater (210,000 kip) is available, 340,000 kip for a double-seater/sleeper for either one or two person occupancy. Chitprasom buses tend to be newer as Kriang Kai has been around longer and has not updated its buses. When traveling from Pakse to Vientiane, take the Kriang Kai buses, as they will drop you off in the Vientiane town centre where their corporate office is located—a 2-minute walk from the Cultural Hall. All northbound buses, however, do stop at the Vientiane bus station, which is 9 kilometres from the town centre. If you are coming from Don Det and have not bought a through ticket, you can either get off at the Kriang Kai terminal and buy ticket there, or wait and get dropped in town and buy your ticket for Chitprasom.

WARNING TO FEMALE TRAVELERS: there is a report of harassment on an overnight sleeping bus from Pakse to Vientiane.

  • Cambodia - Travel onward to Cambodia from Pakse is now possible (as of March 2011), with visa-on-arrival facilities now in place at the southern border with onwards travel to Strung Treng, Kratie, Phnom Penh, and even Siem Reap. Check transport providers carefully as some travellers have been reported being left at one destination, when they were booked for another.

Aug 2011, a single bus ride on VIP coach from Pakse to Phnom Penh, 13 hours, the fare is now 210,000 including tuktuk pick-up from hotel via agent (Laos Adventure travel www.laoadventuretravel.com). For thise wishingto arrange themselves: the bus station is more than 5 km to the east, which costs 20,000 kip by tuk-tuk and the bus fare is $US27. There is only one departure time which is at 8:00 am (although stated in the ticket as 7:30 am). However, others report the cost starts at 300,000 kips for the direct bus, but can be nogatiated to 260,000.

20 minutes on the last stop to the border, a fairly neatly groomed man will appear together with other foreign passengers. Holding a stack of passports collected from the foreigners that he tags along as he gets in the bus, he walks the aisle, announces that the border is near and those who have no visa should ready their $US30, distributes the Cambodian entry card and instructs everybody to fill it up. Those who already have visa should still ready their $US6 (reasons unknown but it may be the price of the departure stamp on the Laotian side, the entry stamp on the Cambodian side plus the Cambodian immigration card to be filled up included in the passport). This expediter instructs everybody to stay in place in their seats unless they want to unwind and stretch. As soon as he collects them and the bus stops, off he disappears just the same way as he appeared. After 40 minutes, he comes up and returns the passports stamped, with the visa sticker for those who have none, and the immigration card stamped and stapled. One can actually do it by himself, however it is impossible to inquire about the wheeling and dealing going on due to communication problems, it is best to shut up. It would be wise to leave the processing to the agent as it means worry & hassle free.




This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!


Warning: For those proceeding to Cambodia by bus and making a pit stop at Pakse, dazed and just rudely awaken from sleep, do not ever be convinced to buy VIP bus tickets right away upon setting foot at the bus station. Guiltless tout/drivers will sales talk you to buy them at $US 75—a blunder that should have covered the cost of air ticket from Vientiane to Phnom Penh. Or if you have the stamina to walk with your luggage for about 500 metres north where agencies line their main Street, you can proceed to buy the ticket or, better still, directly flag a tuk-tuk to the bus station to where the Cambodia-bound buses depart, and eke out an additional 13 hours of cramp-inducing trip.

Better still, if you have one day available, stay for the night (for 100,000 kip) and leave early morning. The best offer so far is by Laos Adventure Travel at Road 12, off their "Main Street" after a few blocks east of the bridge, (Bhan Lak Muang) for 210,000 kips or $US26 compared with the rest of agents starting at 230,000 kip and above.

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages

other sites