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.
Pakse has two bus stations for public transport. One serving traffic to north and one to south. Station serving to north is located a couple of kilometers north of city centre. Station serving to south is located 8 kilometers to south. Getting to right station with tuktuk is easy if you just tell the driver which place you are heading to.
"VIP" buses from/to Vientiane operate from near the Champasak shopping centre in the town centre. The journey takes about 10 hours and should cost around 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.
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.
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.
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.