Pakse is the capital of Champasak province in Laos. Pakse (pop. 70.000) is one of the biggest towns in Laos and a major transportation hub for southern Laos. If you plan to go to the Bolaven Plateau or Si Phan Don you will probably have to spend some time here.
There is a regualar slow-boat service to Si Phan Don. Departure is around 8am but check the day before. The boat landing is near the mouth of the Xe Don river.
"VIP" buses from/to Vientiane operate from near the Champasak shopping centre in the town centre, while transport from/to the south uses the bus station 8km south of town. The journey takes about 10 hours and should cost around USD8.
"VIP" buses from/to Thailand via the Chong Mek border crossing take about 2 hours and charge USD5 (200 baht)
This is a small town so walk around. Otherwise there are enough tuk tuks around. A trip to the market will cost around 5000 kip and USD1 to the bus station.
It's possible to organize a day-trip to Wat Phu near Champasak, where you can also stay easily.
Rent a motorbike and head east towards Pak Song (Paxxong). The ride is pretty, and there are heaps of waterfalls to stop by near Pak Song. Admission tends to be the same at every place, 5000 K per person, 3000 for the bike.
A large market is some km south of town on Road 13 near the Mekong bridge.
Nazim, Phonsavan hotel, serves Indian dishes at about 10000-20000 Kip. Portions are small, food is ok. Plenty of vegetarian options. Jasmin is next door and serves exactly the same dishes at the same price.