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.
Pakse International Airport is some km north of town and offers scheduled flights to Vientiane and Siem Reap. Tuk-Tuks and Motos will carry you to the town for US$1-3.
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 US$8.
"VIP" buses from/to Thailand via the Chong Mek border crossing take about 2 hours and charge US$5 (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 US$1 to the bus station.
There's not so much to do in Pakse but this is the base for travel to the Bolaven Plateau and Si Phan Don.
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.
- BCEL Bank (on Th 11, just next to Wat Luang in the town centre) changes money, cashs traveller cheques and does cash advance on credit cards. There is also an ATM in front of the building. When heading south this is the last ATM until Kompong Cham in Cambodia.
- There is a Morning Market that lasts most of the day. It can be found about 200 m south of the town centre.
- The huge Talat Dao Heuang (New Market) is about 2 km south-east out of town on Road 13 near the Japanese bridge over the Mekong.
The restaurants are concentrated on the main street between the roundabout and the French bridge. The variety is quite diverse for the size of the town. For a more genuine Lao eating experience have a look in the streets south of the main one.
- Nazim Restaurant, on the main street next to the Phonsavan hotel, serves Indian dishes at about 10000-20000 Kip. Portions are small, food is ok. Plenty of vegetarian options.
- Jasmin Restaurant is next door to Nazim and serves exactly the same dishes at the same price.
- Baguette stalls can be found along the main street between the roundabout and the French bridge.
- 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.
Most hotels and guesthouses in Pakse can be found along the main street between the French bridge and the roundabout or a short way into its sidestreets.
- Sabaidy 2 Guesthouse, turn north off the main street at the crossing near the Green Discovery office, the place is very popular with backpackers. It's the only guesthouse in town with dorms (very basic). The shared showers have hot water. They also have basic rooms. 2$ (dorm) - 5$ (double room).
- Pakse Hotel  (near the Champasak shopping centre) offers a broad range of rooms.
- Champasak Palace hotel, the former royal palace on road 13 is probably the most upmarket option in town.