Champasak is a province of Southern Laos. It's best known for a series of Khmer ruins, collectively named a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the Champasak Cultural Landscape.
Pakse is the transport hub of the region, with an airport, bus service and limited boat access off the Mekong. For Champasak and the South, there are more expensive minivans (110,000 kip return to Si Pan Don) from a couple of travel companies ('Pakse Travel' and 'Explore Asia') in Pakse town centre (nearly always packed with bleach blond 20 somethings, don't expect any leg room).
From Pakse southern bus station, took songthaew (starting 9am until 11 am; could be very crowded, 20,000 Kip) to Champasak (~2h) or Than bhan khop (2h15), near crossing to Wat Phu. In the latter case, you have about 30min walk to Wat Phu entrance.
- Motorbike - rent a motorbike in Pakse and ride it here. Cross the Mekong in Pakse via the Lao-Nippon friendship bridge. There is a very new and amazing good road to Champasak. Also, you can ride up the road to Wat Phu and stop and taste the various foods the street vendors sell (little to no English spoken).
Most places in Champasak, including Wat Phou, can be visited as day trips from Pakse.
- Wat Phu (Vat Phou). A c. 12th century Hindu temple built in the days of the Khmer Empire in the style of Angkor. The temple is still in use as a Buddhist site. The park is only open during certain hours (such as 9am to 4:30 pm.). 30,000 Kip for temple and museum and 15,000 for golf car (the entrance gate is far from the temple about 800 metres).
- Khone waterfalls on the border with Cambodia.
- Champasak spa, ☎ 02056499739. 10am to 7pm. Clean place. Really good service. Professionnal. Nice view on the mekong. Differents types of massage (herbal - 95 000kip/1h, oil, feet massage, hair treatment). You can relax and take a tea in the garden.
- Restaurants - at hotels
- Street vendors - along the road to Wat Phu
- Champasak with love. Sleep : This place is a restaurant, but now they offer room. (Open spring 2014) 45 000 kip for fan room. 85 000 kip for A/C room. Bicycle rental for 15 000kip. Bathrooms are really clean and rooms too. (Nice) music playing all day. Nice terrasse on the Mekong. The staff doesn't really speak english but they make efforts to be the most helpful possible.
It seems bus Champasak - Pakse are only available in morning 7am-8am 20,000 Kip, else you need to hitchhike/take taxi.