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'''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.
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'''Pakse''' (''Pakxe'') is the capital city of Champasak province of [[Southern Laos]], and the forth largest town in the country, serving as a major transport and commerce hub for southern Laos. If you plan to go to the [[Bolaven Plateau]], [[Wat Phou]], [[Si Phan Don]] (4,000 Islands), the [[Xe Pian National Protected Area]], or [[Lao Ngam]] and [[Tad Lo]] in neighboring Salavan province. Pakse is an ideal base with its relaxing atmosphere on the Mekong and Sedone Rivers, friendly locals, ubiquitous riverside restaurants and bars, and numerous massage clinics.
  
 
[[Image:Pakse.JPG|thumb|240px|]]
 
[[Image:Pakse.JPG|thumb|240px|]]
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===By plane===
 
===By plane===
  
Pakse International Airport is kilometres north of town and offers scheduled flights to [[Vientiane]] and [[Siem Reap]].
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Pakse International Airport is 8 kilometers north of town and '''Lao Arlines[http://www.laoairlines.com/]''' offers scheduled flights to [[Vientiane]], [[Savannakhet]], [[Siem Reap]], [[Bangkok]], and [[Ho chi minh city]]. Tickets can be booked online, through a travel agent, or directly at the airport.
 
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'''Lao Arlines[http://www.laoairlines.com/] offer direct flights from [[Bangkok]], [[Thailand]], and shall operate direct flights from/to [[Hochiminh city]].
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A tuk-tuk or moto into the town costs US$1-3.
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There are flights from Vientiane and Luang Prabang to Pakse on Lao Airlines. Tickets can be booked online or through a travel agent.
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=== Visa extensions ===
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===By boat===
 
===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.
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The regular slow-boat service to [[Don Khong]] is no longer operating, but you can arrange for a private charter from the hotels and travel agents but it's very expensive. Quoted US$250 so ideally shared with others and negotiate hard to lower the individual cost.
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There is an ad-hoc boat service opposite the Inthira hotel in [[Champasak]], 30km south of Pakse, price on application and can be arranged from the hotel.  It is much more expensive than overland travel, expect to pay US$100+ per boat, seats approximately 6 people with luagage.
  
 
=== 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 10 kilometres north of the city center (15.1700 105.7600). The latter is located 8 kilometres to the south (30,000 kip by moto from the center, or 10,000 kip in shared tuk-tuk). Getting to right station with tuk-tuk is easy if you just tell the driver which place you are heading.
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Pakse has 4 bus stations:
  
“VIP” buses from and to [[Vientiane]] operate from near the Champasak shopping center in the town center. The journey takes about 10 hours and should cost 170,000 to 190,000 Kip depending on whether you buy the ticket in the bus station or at tour agencies.
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Chitpasong Bus Terminal (aka VIP bus terminal) is the most likely bus station you'll arrive at or depart from if you are traveling between Pakse and Vientiane, which is next to the Sedone River and close to the old French Bridge, near the Champasak Shopping Center, and in the town center. Tickets to Vientiane cost 170,000 Kip, but keep in mind this is for half of a bunk that is shared with another person. If you want a bunk for yourself you will need to purchase two tickets (in the low season 300,000 Kip).
  
There are a couple of VIP bus companies; two of the popular ones are Chitprasom and Kriang Kai. Chitprasom (all sleeper buses) operate out of a station close to the shopping center near the town center. Kriang Kai (all sleeper buses) operate from a private bus station 2 kilometres from the town center near the afternoon food market. 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 to be ridden alone 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 center 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 center. 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.
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Kriang Kai Bus Terminal (aka 2km bus terminal) has older sleeper buses to and from Vientiane (170,000 Kip for shared bunk), and is the arrival point and departure point for the international bus from/to Ubon Ratchatani (3 hours 200 Baht) or Bangkok in Thailand. Samlors and tuk tuks will transport you to the town center for about 15,000 Kip.  
  
WARNING TO FEMALE TRAVELERS: there is a report of harassment on an overnight sleeping bus from Pakse to Vientiane.
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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).
  
VIP buses from and 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.
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The Southern Bus Terminal (aka 8km Bus Terminal) is mostly used by locals, with slower local buses, and is located 8 km 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.  
  
There are also direct services from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (and points north) leaving 6.45 a.m. and arriving Pakse around 8.00 p.m. in a best-case scenario. Phnom Penh Soriya Transport advertises this service, but sometimes its agents will sell tickets on Lao-based Sengchaluean VIP Bus (which is nicer but still has no toilet). Sengchaleuan services can connect with a night bus to Vientiane, for those with a masochistic streak.
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Transportation via songthaew to destinations outside of Pakse is available at Dao Huang market and the 8km market.
 
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Minibuses head to and from Si Phan Don for 55–60 kip. 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 40,000 kip per person. Expect chickens and fish as your companions.
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==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 5,000 kip and US$1 to the bus station.
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Most of the services you will use as a tourist are in walking distance from the city center, including the restaurants along the river front, pool halls and the bowling alley.  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.
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As of April 2014, the main street (13), is undergoing major roadworks while a new sewer systematic is installed. The streets can be muddy in parts where the work has not yet been completed, however all traffic is currently using just one half of the carriageway bidirectionally.  Intermittent wooden planks offer access to motorbikes to businesses located on the uncompleted stretch.  Walking around is not a problem but be sure to have appropriate footwear in wet weather and to take care in avoiding heavy machinery.
  
 
==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. 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.
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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 .
 
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.
 
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 center point of Pakxe.
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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>
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*<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.
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there is now a concrete road to the top easily driven in a car.</see>
  
  
 
==Do==
 
==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. It’s got the finest of its type outside Cambodia.
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Pakse is a good base for travel to the [[Bolaven Plateau]] where coffee fields and waterfalls galore await, the idyllic river islands of  [[Si Phan Don, also known as 4,000 Islands]], eco-tours, trekking and village stays in [[Sepian National Protected Area]], the Angkor temple complex [[Wat Phou]], and to the indigenous villages and waterfalls of the Tad Lo area of Lao Ngam district, Salavan province. Pakse itself makes for a great 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 introduction 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.
 
The museum is located close to the new market, 500 metres north of the banks of the Mekong.
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'''Bowling'''
 
'''Bowling'''
  
As in Vientiane, there is also a proper bowling alley located in town. A 15- to 20-minute walk away from the center 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.
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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.
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'''Massage'''
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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.
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* <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>
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* <do name="Thanida Spa" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="35,000/hr traditional" lat="" long="" email="" fax=""> Thanida massage has pretty good ambiance but pretty weak 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>
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* <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>
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* <do name="Keo Oudone" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="30,000/hr traditional and 10,000 Kip to use their traditional sauna" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">This place is a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the trip. It's located about 100 meters off of Road No. 38, on the same road that leads to a golf course.</do>
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'''Tours'''
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* '''Green Discovery Laos''' [http://www.greendiscoverylaos.com//] is Laos' pioneer in Adventure Travel and Ecotourism since 2000. They offer far more than 100 unique tour programs all around the country, involving trekking, kayaking/rafting, cycling and rock climbing.
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'''Enjoying the Mekong'''
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There are several riverside restaurants/pubs, many playing live music in the evenings, lining the Mekong River that many visitors to Pakse unfortunately don't visit.
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
*'''BCEL''' Bank (on Th 11, just next to Wat Luang in the town center) 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.
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*'''BCEL''' Bank (on Th 11, just next to Wat Luang in the town centre) changes money, cashes traveller's 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.   
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*The '''Lao Development Bank''' to the north of the city can exchange kip to dollars, vital if travelling 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 center near the Sedone River.
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* 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.
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* The huge '''Talat Dao Heuang (New Market)''' is about 2 kilometres south-east 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 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.
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The vast majority of restaurants are concentrated on the river front, there are around 50, several offering live music and four floating on the Mekong.  These are all local outfits and offer mainly Laos cusine in large portions for cheap prices. Guide books and Internet sites focus on the main street between the roundabout and the French bridge. These are targeted exclusively to tourists and are frequently bland and overpriced. For a more genuine Lao eating experience have a look along the river and 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 fruit shakes. An Italian and a laotian chef prepare the dishes. Free WiFi.</eat>
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*'''Daolin''' is on the main road No. 13 next to Sang Aroun Hotel. It is one of the the most popular options in town with the  backpacker set and offers Lao, Thai, Vietnamese, and Western dishes. above average prices but good service. Daolin also serves ice cream, coffee, including espresso, and pastries from LaoVida and occasionally pies from local guy Gerry.
  
*'''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.
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*'''Dok Mai Lao''' is new to the food scene in Pakse, owned by a very gentle and kind, enterprising young Lao gentleman. The restaurant is a groovy little spot specializing in Italian food, with plenty of vegetarian options including eggplant parmegiani, for around 25,000 Kip for a plate of pasta. It is located two blocks away from the Daolin restaurant featured above, on the road perpendicular to Road No. 13.
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*<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 45,000–70,000 Kip, espresso coffee at 7,000 Kip and ice cream at 5,000 Kip for a large scoop.  This place also surprisingly serves up arguably the best western breakfasts in town, with generous helpings of bacon and fried potatoes, and has more comfortable seating than most cafes in town.</eat>
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*'''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 Thai 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, service varies.
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*'''Khua Pakse Lao-Thai Food''' is on the main road No. 13 next to the Champasak Palace Hotel and across the street from Delta Coffee. It is a good option for inexpensive and tasty Thai/Lao food.
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*'''Restaurant Touy''' is located on the corner of Road No. 38. It is easiest to find if you take Road No.13 heading east of the town center, and then turn right at the street just before the Toyota dealership (two blocks past the roundabout). This restaurant serves good Thai food fast and cheap (phone: 020.9768.4933).  
  
 
*'''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.
 
*'''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.
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*'''Jinya Japanese Restaurant''' is the only Japanese restaurant in Pakse, and is located next to the Champasak Shopping Mall (near the Mekong River) and down 10th Street from the Sinouk Cafe.
  
*'''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.
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*<eat name="Jasmin Restaurant" alt="Indian Food" address="Road 13 kitty corner from Royal Pakse Hotel" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""> 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 foreigners. </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 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.
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*<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 a variety of vegetarian dishes for 9,000-15,000 Kip each and meat dishes for 20,000-25,000 Kip each. Because of its new location (as of March 2013) it has had very few customers and offers a Lao style of Indian food.</eat>
  
*'''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.
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*<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 and bland menu, indistinguishable from the other Indian restaurants in town. Vegetarian dishes 13,000–15,000 kip, meat and seafood 28,000–35,000 kip, bread 5,000–10,000 kip.</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.
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*'''Champady''' is located in the town center, half a block off of Road 13 on the same road that passed next to Jasmin Restaurant. They serve a variety of Thai and Lao food and some western options, including a hamburgers (12,000 Kip) and plates of chips/french fries (11,000 Kip. They also serve coffee and other drinks. The service is good as well.
  
*<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>
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*<eat name="Cafe Sinouk" alt="Cafe Sinouk" address="No. 11 Rd" directions="Very close to the Champasak shopping centre" phone="" url="http://sinoukcafe.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Cafe has free wifi for patrons and fancy frappe drinks, cakes, european and local cuisines. Enjoy a signature premium Sinouk coffee while in this coffee growing region of Laos.</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 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>
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*<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>
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*<eat name="Katuad cafe" alt="" address="NE corner of Rt13 and 24th street" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="7AM-9PM" price="8-12000 kip" lat="" long=""> Cafe in the centre of town which offers WiFi. Coffee is local sourced and they have no qualms about customers staying for a few hours, and  may give you a free tea if you stay long enough.</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'">The Indian cook–owner, Hasan, offers a standard but tasty menu. Vegetarian dishes 13,000–15,000 kip, meat and seafood 28,000–35,000 kip, breads 5,000–10,000 kip. UPDATE January 2013: Hasan is now working in Vientiane, and the cook is a local Lao lady...</eat>
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*'''Na Dao''' is on the corner of Road No. 14 near the Japanese bridge. This is one of the fanciest restaurants in town, and was famous in Vientiane before the owner moved it to Pakse in late 2012. The restaurant serves French cuisine, and while it is fairly expensive by Laos standards, it is significantly less expensive than what it would cost back in France. If you're celebrating a special occasion or just looking to splurge one night this is the place. They're open Monday-Saturday, 10-13:30 and 16:00-22:00.
  
*<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.</eat>
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*'''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.
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
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* 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
+
*<drink name="Louk Sai La" alt="" address="On the Mekong River about halfway between the bowling alley and the Japanese bridge." directions="" phone="" url="" hours="5:00pm to 11:30pm" lat="" long="">Live music most nights, sitting on the Mekong River with great views of the Japanese bridge lit up at night, and almost always packed with locals. Along with plenty of beer, they also serve food.</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, 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="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.</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 15,000 kip</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 15,000 kip</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>
+
*'''2B Travel - Bar''' This small bar just opened its doors. It's close to the Vietnamese consulate and Sabaidy 2 Guesthouse and Thaluang Guesthouse and near Route 13. This small bar offers free travel information and has a small menu with snacks, breakfast and sandwiches. Beer Lao is 10,000 Kip. Beerlao (standard, Gold and Dark), Nam Khong Beer, Tiger, Heineken, ABC Draught, Huda and Carslberg available.
 
+
*<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 side streets. Prices in Pakse are high compared with the rest of the country, even with Vientiane.
 
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, 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>
+
===Budget===
  
* <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>
+
*<sleep name="Alisa Guesthouse" alt="" address="Road13 Lukmueang village" directions="(Opposite of Saeng-a-loun hotel and next to Bolaven cafe)" phone="031251555" url="" checkin="2:00PM" checkout="12:00PM" price="" lat="" long="">Double or twin bed 120.000kip , Tripple bed 150.000kip and Family room 200.000kip. The hotel is recently constucted and rooms have Aircon, TV with several channels in English, French and German plus hot showers and free wifi. New genuine honda motobikes for rent 60.000kip for Honda wave and 100.000kip for Automatic motobikes with discounts for longer periods. You will need to leave your passport as security but these are securely stored. If you're a first time or novice rider, well worth spending more on an automatic bike as the road and traffic conditions around Pakse does take a reasonable amount of concentration so if right foot braking and left foot gear changes are not second nature, it's wise to go for the simplier option. Bus tickets available and laundry 15.000kip/Kg.  Staff have a wide range of English language sills from OK to nonexistent.</sleep>
  
* '''Champasak Palace hotel''', the former royal palace on road 13 is probably the most upmarket option in town.
+
* <sleep name="Nangnoi Guest House" alt="" address="" directions="Close to Road 13 (one block block behind this main road on road 5)" phone="030 9562544" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Clean standard rooms, complimentary water and coffee. Dorm rooms for 30,000 kip, private rooms (single) with fan and hot shower 50,000 Kip, double room with hot shower and fan for 70,000 Kip. Free WIFI, motorbike rental and bustickets for sale. Friendly staff. </sleep>
  
* '''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="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="">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>
 +
 
 +
* '''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.  Has been made popular by travel guides and other places offer a better standard for less cash.  They offer motorbikes for rent but potentially because of the popularity of the place and the fact that they draw a younger backpacker crowd, most are well used.  Check your bikes tires, handling and brakes before agreeing a rental.  As of April 2014, the only place to rent bigger 250cc dirt bikes, not normally out front but parked at the back of the hotel.  All old and well used, not worth the 380,000kip per day fee.
  
 
* <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="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="">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>
+
* '''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 (40,000 for a single in low-season) kip for single or double rooms. WiFi an extra 10,000 kip per day, no laundry service and motorbike rental anymore. (warning: bedbugs)
  
* '''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.
+
* <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>
 
+
* '''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="50,000–70,000kip" phone="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 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="60,000–150,000 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="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>
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*<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>
 
*<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>
  
 +
===Mid-range===
 +
 +
* '''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.
 +
 +
 +
===Splurge===
 +
 +
* <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>
 +
 +
* '''Champasak Palace Hotel''', the former royal palace on road 13.
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Mekong Pakse Hotel" alt="" address="No. 62 Khemkhong Rd. Pakse village" directions="On the Mekong River, about halfway between the old French Bridge and the newer Lao Japan Friendship Bridge" phone="(856) 31218445" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="28" lat="" long="" email="chanthavong@hotmail.com or tim_chanthavong@yahoo.com">Good location, right on the banks of the Mekong River. Rooms with a view of the Mekong River are US$28.</sleep>
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Champasak Grand Hotel" alt="" address="Lao Japanese Bridge, Mekong Riverside Rd." directions="" phone="(856) 31255111" email="res@champasakgrand.com" url="http://www.champasakgrand.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="Rooms start at $45" lat="" long="">Probably the most upmarket option in town.</sleep>
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
* Bolaven Plateau - rent a motorbike. Talk to Sabaidy 2 Hotel for information on a 2-3 day loop and other destinations.
+
'''Around Pakse'''
* [[Tadlo]] - a village with waterfalls and trekking opportunities.
+
Places to visit from your base in Pakse include:
 +
* Bolaven Plateau - rent a motorbike. All roads are in good condition by Laos standards, no need for an off road or performance bike, a Honda Wave is easily enough even with a passenger. All places that offer motorcycle rental will provide maps.  Average time to complete the loop is 2-3 days, but it could be done in one if you don't plan to visit the natural wonders along the way.  
 +
* [[Tadlo]] - A village in Lao Ngam district, Salavan province.  Mainly comprised of guests houses catering to those doing the Bolaven Plateau loop.  Laid back place with quite a number of 'traditional' backpackers who went for a night and never left.  Several good waterfalls in the area and some 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.
 
  
* 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.   
+
==Traveling On==
 +
 
 +
* [[Vientiane]]
 +
As of April 2011, a ticket to and from Vientiane cost 210,000 kip per person when a one-seater bus is available (Kieng Kai bus company only), 170,000 kip to share a double with another stranger or 340,000 kip for double with lone occupancy if a one-seater/sleeper is not available, or you don't mind spending the extra Kip for the comfort. Chitprasom buses tend to be newer as Kiang Kai has been around longer and has not updated its buses. When traveling from Pakse to Vientiane, you might consider taking the Kiang 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 Kiang Kai terminal and buy ticket there, or wait and get dropped in town and buy your ticket for Chitprasom.
 +
 
 +
Laos Airlines have a regular scheduled flights from Pakse to Vientiane, check their website for days and prices. Considerably more costly that a night bus but only takes 1 hour 15 minutes. Very small airports which results in a fast and efficient service.
 +
 
 +
* [[Attapeu]]
 +
There are several buses everyday to Attapeu (5 hours - via Sekong) leaving from the KM 8 southern bus station. Some useful morning buses are 8am, 10am.
 +
 
 +
* '''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.
 
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.  
+
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.
 +
 
 +
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.
 +
   
 +
 
 +
* '''Thailand - [[Ubon_Ratchathani]]'''
 +
There are two ways to get between Pakse and Ubonratchathani (Ubon - also spelt Ubol).
 +
 
 +
''International VIP bus''
 +
From Pakse there is a direct VIP bus to Ubon with two departures per day from Pakse 8:30am and 3pm. The bus departs from the International bus terminal at KM2 bus station, costs 60,000kip or 200baht and takes about 3 hours to reach Ubon.
 +
 
 +
''Minivan to Vangtao/Chongmek border''
 +
While not as convenient as the international bus, if you are planning to catch the 12:45 NokAir flight from Ubon the international bus is a bit tight and the minivan option will enable you to get the airport in plenty of time. Minivans depart from the roundabout near the Pakse New Market by the bridge over the Mekong River and depart when full. Minivans start very early from around 6am. To make the 12:45 flight, a minivan departing Pakse around 7:30 should give you plenty of time. The minivans on the Lao side will take you only to the vangtao border and cost 20,000 kip. Minivans depart when full but generally don't take long to fill up.
 +
 
 +
Once you arrive at the border check point it is a 5-10 minute walk to Lao immigration. If you have a lot of bags you can hire men with carts to carry your bags all the way to the Thai side of the border. They will walk with you all the way until you reach the Thai immigration and then they'll meet you at the exit point. The cost for a cart is 80baht. Immigration on both sides is fairly straight forward. Once you get through you can hire a private van to take you direct to Ubon (for about 800-1200 baht), or you can get a tuktuk from the exit to Thai immigration to the Chongmek bus station - about 1km down the road - for 20 baht per person. Public minivans from Chongmek to Ubon bus station cost 100 baht and leave every half hour. Plan 2:30-3 hours by minivan for the full trip from Pakse to Udon.
 +
 
  
 
[[de:Pakse]]
 
[[de:Pakse]]
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{{cityguide}}
 
{{cityguide}}
 
{{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—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.
 

Latest revision as of 15:25, 30 April 2014

Pakse (Pakxe) is the capital city of Champasak province of Southern Laos, and the forth largest town in the country, serving as a major transport and commerce hub for southern Laos. If you plan to go to the Bolaven Plateau, Wat Phou, Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands), the Xe Pian National Protected Area, or Lao Ngam and Tad Lo in neighboring Salavan province. Pakse is an ideal base with its relaxing atmosphere on the Mekong and Sedone Rivers, friendly locals, ubiquitous riverside restaurants and bars, and numerous massage clinics.

Pakse.JPG

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Pakse International Airport is 8 kilometers north of town and Lao Arlines[1] offers scheduled flights to Vientiane, Savannakhet, Siem Reap, Bangkok, and Ho chi minh city. Tickets can be booked online, through a travel agent, or directly at the airport.

Visa extensions[edit]

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[edit]

The regular slow-boat service to Don Khong is no longer operating, but you can arrange for a private charter from the hotels and travel agents but it's very expensive. Quoted US$250 so ideally shared with others and negotiate hard to lower the individual cost.

There is an ad-hoc boat service opposite the Inthira hotel in Champasak, 30km south of Pakse, price on application and can be arranged from the hotel. It is much more expensive than overland travel, expect to pay US$100+ per boat, seats approximately 6 people with luagage.

By bus[edit]

Pakse has 4 bus stations:

Chitpasong Bus Terminal (aka VIP bus terminal) is the most likely bus station you'll arrive at or depart from if you are traveling between Pakse and Vientiane, which is next to the Sedone River and close to the old French Bridge, near the Champasak Shopping Center, and in the town center. Tickets to Vientiane cost 170,000 Kip, but keep in mind this is for half of a bunk that is shared with another person. If you want a bunk for yourself you will need to purchase two tickets (in the low season 300,000 Kip).

Kriang Kai Bus Terminal (aka 2km bus terminal) has older sleeper buses to and from Vientiane (170,000 Kip for shared bunk), and is the arrival point and departure point for the international bus from/to Ubon Ratchatani (3 hours 200 Baht) or Bangkok in Thailand. Samlors and tuk tuks will transport you to the town center for about 15,000 Kip.

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 mostly used by locals, with slower local buses, and is located 8 km 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.

Transportation via songthaew to destinations outside of Pakse is available at Dao Huang market and the 8km market.

Get around[edit]

Most of the services you will use as a tourist are in walking distance from the city center, including the restaurants along the river front, pool halls and the bowling alley. 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.

As of April 2014, the main street (13), is undergoing major roadworks while a new sewer systematic is installed. The streets can be muddy in parts where the work has not yet been completed, however all traffic is currently using just one half of the carriageway bidirectionally. Intermittent wooden planks offer access to motorbikes to businesses located on the uncompleted stretch. Walking around is not a problem but be sure to have appropriate footwear in wet weather and to take care in avoiding heavy machinery.

See[edit][add listing]

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. there is now a concrete road to the top easily driven in a car.  edit


Do[edit][add listing]

Pakse is a good base for travel to the Bolaven Plateau where coffee fields and waterfalls galore await, the idyllic river islands of Si Phan Don, also known as 4,000 Islands, eco-tours, trekking and village stays in Sepian National Protected Area, the Angkor temple complex Wat Phou, and to the indigenous villages and waterfalls of the Tad Lo area of Lao Ngam district, Salavan province. Pakse itself makes for a great 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 introduction 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.

  • 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.  edit
  • Thanida Spa. Thanida massage has pretty good ambiance but pretty weak 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Keo Oudone. This place is a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the trip. It's located about 100 meters off of Road No. 38, on the same road that leads to a golf course. 30,000/hr traditional and 10,000 Kip to use their traditional sauna.  edit

Tours

  • Green Discovery Laos [2] is Laos' pioneer in Adventure Travel and Ecotourism since 2000. They offer far more than 100 unique tour programs all around the country, involving trekking, kayaking/rafting, cycling and rock climbing.

Enjoying the Mekong There are several riverside restaurants/pubs, many playing live music in the evenings, lining the Mekong River that many visitors to Pakse unfortunately don't visit.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • BCEL Bank (on Th 11, just next to Wat Luang in the town centre) changes money, cashes traveller's 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 travelling 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 south-east out of town on Road 13 near the Japanese bridge over the Mekong.

Eat[edit][add listing]

The vast majority of restaurants are concentrated on the river front, there are around 50, several offering live music and four floating on the Mekong. These are all local outfits and offer mainly Laos cusine in large portions for cheap prices. Guide books and Internet sites focus on the main street between the roundabout and the French bridge. These are targeted exclusively to tourists and are frequently bland and overpriced. For a more genuine Lao eating experience have a look along the river and in the streets south of the main one.

  • Daolin is on the main road No. 13 next to Sang Aroun Hotel. It is one of the the most popular options in town with the backpacker set and offers Lao, Thai, Vietnamese, and Western dishes. above average prices but good service. Daolin also serves ice cream, coffee, including espresso, and pastries from LaoVida and occasionally pies from local guy Gerry.
  • Dok Mai Lao is new to the food scene in Pakse, owned by a very gentle and kind, enterprising young Lao gentleman. The restaurant is a groovy little spot specializing in Italian food, with plenty of vegetarian options including eggplant parmegiani, for around 25,000 Kip for a plate of pasta. It is located two blocks away from the Daolin restaurant featured above, on the road perpendicular to Road No. 13.
  • Pizza Boy, Th. 13 (Next to the Lan Kham Noodle House). Italian restaurant with pasta from 30,000 kip, pizzas 45,000–70,000 Kip, espresso coffee at 7,000 Kip and ice cream at 5,000 Kip for a large scoop. This place also surprisingly serves up arguably the best western breakfasts in town, with generous helpings of bacon and fried potatoes, and has more comfortable seating than most cafes in town. 30,000-60,000.  edit
  • 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 Thai 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, service varies.
  • Khua Pakse Lao-Thai Food is on the main road No. 13 next to the Champasak Palace Hotel and across the street from Delta Coffee. It is a good option for inexpensive and tasty Thai/Lao food.
  • Restaurant Touy is located on the corner of Road No. 38. It is easiest to find if you take Road No.13 heading east of the town center, and then turn right at the street just before the Toyota dealership (two blocks past the roundabout). This restaurant serves good Thai food fast and cheap (phone: 020.9768.4933).
  • 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.
  • Jinya Japanese Restaurant is the only Japanese restaurant in Pakse, and is located next to the Champasak Shopping Mall (near the Mekong River) and down 10th Street from the Sinouk Cafe.
  • 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 foreigners.  edit
  • 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 a variety of vegetarian dishes for 9,000-15,000 Kip each and meat dishes for 20,000-25,000 Kip each. Because of its new location (as of March 2013) it has had very few customers and offers a Lao style of Indian food. (15.12264,105.80003) edit
  • Hasan Indian Restaurant, Thanon 24 (Just north of main Road 13), 020 5555 5624. Standard and bland menu, indistinguishable from the other Indian restaurants in town. 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') edit
  • Champady is located in the town center, half a block off of Road 13 on the same road that passed next to Jasmin Restaurant. They serve a variety of Thai and Lao food and some western options, including a hamburgers (12,000 Kip) and plates of chips/french fries (11,000 Kip. They also serve coffee and other drinks. The service is good as well.
  • Cafe Sinouk (Cafe Sinouk), No. 11 Rd (Very close to the Champasak shopping centre), [3]. Cafe has free wifi for patrons and fancy frappe drinks, cakes, european and local cuisines. Enjoy a signature premium Sinouk coffee while in this coffee growing region of Laos.  edit
  • Katuad cafe, NE corner of Rt13 and 24th street. 7AM-9PM. Cafe in the centre of town which offers WiFi. Coffee is local sourced and 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.  edit
  • Na Dao is on the corner of Road No. 14 near the Japanese bridge. This is one of the fanciest restaurants in town, and was famous in Vientiane before the owner moved it to Pakse in late 2012. The restaurant serves French cuisine, and while it is fairly expensive by Laos standards, it is significantly less expensive than what it would cost back in France. If you're celebrating a special occasion or just looking to splurge one night this is the place. They're open Monday-Saturday, 10-13:30 and 16:00-22:00.
  • 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.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • 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.
  • Louk Sai La, On the Mekong River about halfway between the bowling alley and the Japanese bridge.. 5:00pm to 11:30pm. Live music most nights, sitting on the Mekong River with great views of the Japanese bridge lit up at night, and almost always packed with locals. Along with plenty of beer, they also serve food.  edit
  • Le Panorama (Pakse Hotel), Bane Watlouang, Street N°4, +856 31 21 21 31, [4]. 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. 40,000–85,000 kip.  edit
  • 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  edit
  • 2B Travel - Bar This small bar just opened its doors. It's close to the Vietnamese consulate and Sabaidy 2 Guesthouse and Thaluang Guesthouse and near Route 13. This small bar offers free travel information and has a small menu with snacks, breakfast and sandwiches. Beer Lao is 10,000 Kip. Beerlao (standard, Gold and Dark), Nam Khong Beer, Tiger, Heineken, ABC Draught, Huda and Carslberg available.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

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.

Budget[edit]

  • Alisa Guesthouse, Road13 Lukmueang village ((Opposite of Saeng-a-loun hotel and next to Bolaven cafe)), 031251555. checkin: 2:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. Double or twin bed 120.000kip , Tripple bed 150.000kip and Family room 200.000kip. The hotel is recently constucted and rooms have Aircon, TV with several channels in English, French and German plus hot showers and free wifi. New genuine honda motobikes for rent 60.000kip for Honda wave and 100.000kip for Automatic motobikes with discounts for longer periods. You will need to leave your passport as security but these are securely stored. If you're a first time or novice rider, well worth spending more on an automatic bike as the road and traffic conditions around Pakse does take a reasonable amount of concentration so if right foot braking and left foot gear changes are not second nature, it's wise to go for the simplier option. Bus tickets available and laundry 15.000kip/Kg. Staff have a wide range of English language sills from OK to nonexistent.  edit
  • Nangnoi Guest House, (Close to Road 13 (one block block behind this main road on road 5)), 030 9562544. Clean standard rooms, complimentary water and coffee. Dorm rooms for 30,000 kip, private rooms (single) with fan and hot shower 50,000 Kip, double room with hot shower and fan for 70,000 Kip. Free WIFI, motorbike rental and bustickets for sale. Friendly staff.  edit
  • Daovieng hotel 2, 13 & 35 Road phonesay village, (031)214331, [5]. 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.  edit
  • 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. Has been made popular by travel guides and other places offer a better standard for less cash. They offer motorbikes for rent but potentially because of the popularity of the place and the fact that they draw a younger backpacker crowd, most are well used. Check your bikes tires, handling and brakes before agreeing a rental. As of April 2014, the only place to rent bigger 250cc dirt bikes, not normally out front but parked at the back of the hotel. All old and well used, not worth the 380,000kip per day fee.
  • 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.  edit
  • 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 (40,000 for a single in low-season) kip for single or double rooms. WiFi an extra 10,000 kip per day, no laundry service and motorbike rental anymore. (warning: bedbugs)
  • 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Pakse Hotel [6] (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.


Splurge[edit]

  • Arawan Hotel, Salakiew St (turn right at the Mekong Bridge, 500 metres down the road next to secondary school), (856)3126034550 (), [7]. 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.  edit
  • Champasak Palace Hotel, the former royal palace on road 13.
  • Mekong Pakse Hotel, No. 62 Khemkhong Rd. Pakse village (On the Mekong River, about halfway between the old French Bridge and the newer Lao Japan Friendship Bridge), (856) 31218445 (). Good location, right on the banks of the Mekong River. Rooms with a view of the Mekong River are US$28. 28.  edit
  • Champasak Grand Hotel, Lao Japanese Bridge, Mekong Riverside Rd., (856) 31255111 (), [8]. Probably the most upmarket option in town. Rooms start at $45.  edit

Get out[edit]

Around Pakse Places to visit from your base in Pakse include:

  • Bolaven Plateau - rent a motorbike. All roads are in good condition by Laos standards, no need for an off road or performance bike, a Honda Wave is easily enough even with a passenger. All places that offer motorcycle rental will provide maps. Average time to complete the loop is 2-3 days, but it could be done in one if you don't plan to visit the natural wonders along the way.
  • Tadlo - A village in Lao Ngam district, Salavan province. Mainly comprised of guests houses catering to those doing the Bolaven Plateau loop. Laid back place with quite a number of 'traditional' backpackers who went for a night and never left. Several good waterfalls in the area and some 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.

Traveling On[edit]

As of April 2011, a ticket to and from Vientiane cost 210,000 kip per person when a one-seater bus is available (Kieng Kai bus company only), 170,000 kip to share a double with another stranger or 340,000 kip for double with lone occupancy if a one-seater/sleeper is not available, or you don't mind spending the extra Kip for the comfort. Chitprasom buses tend to be newer as Kiang Kai has been around longer and has not updated its buses. When traveling from Pakse to Vientiane, you might consider taking the Kiang 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 Kiang Kai terminal and buy ticket there, or wait and get dropped in town and buy your ticket for Chitprasom.

Laos Airlines have a regular scheduled flights from Pakse to Vientiane, check their website for days and prices. Considerably more costly that a night bus but only takes 1 hour 15 minutes. Very small airports which results in a fast and efficient service.

There are several buses everyday to Attapeu (5 hours - via Sekong) leaving from the KM 8 southern bus station. Some useful morning buses are 8am, 10am.

  • 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.

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.


There are two ways to get between Pakse and Ubonratchathani (Ubon - also spelt Ubol).

International VIP bus From Pakse there is a direct VIP bus to Ubon with two departures per day from Pakse 8:30am and 3pm. The bus departs from the International bus terminal at KM2 bus station, costs 60,000kip or 200baht and takes about 3 hours to reach Ubon.

Minivan to Vangtao/Chongmek border While not as convenient as the international bus, if you are planning to catch the 12:45 NokAir flight from Ubon the international bus is a bit tight and the minivan option will enable you to get the airport in plenty of time. Minivans depart from the roundabout near the Pakse New Market by the bridge over the Mekong River and depart when full. Minivans start very early from around 6am. To make the 12:45 flight, a minivan departing Pakse around 7:30 should give you plenty of time. The minivans on the Lao side will take you only to the vangtao border and cost 20,000 kip. Minivans depart when full but generally don't take long to fill up.

Once you arrive at the border check point it is a 5-10 minute walk to Lao immigration. If you have a lot of bags you can hire men with carts to carry your bags all the way to the Thai side of the border. They will walk with you all the way until you reach the Thai immigration and then they'll meet you at the exit point. The cost for a cart is 80baht. Immigration on both sides is fairly straight forward. Once you get through you can hire a private van to take you direct to Ubon (for about 800-1200 baht), or you can get a tuktuk from the exit to Thai immigration to the Chongmek bus station - about 1km down the road - for 20 baht per person. Public minivans from Chongmek to Ubon bus station cost 100 baht and leave every half hour. Plan 2:30-3 hours by minivan for the full trip from Pakse to Udon.




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