Pakse is the biggest city in the Champasak region. To have a safe and memorable trip it is sensible for tourists planning a visit to Pakse and Champasak to come with a good idea of what essentials they will need to bring, how to get around, and what sights and attractions should be on a traveler’s to-do list.
In this article, find out what to expect on a trip to Pakse and Champasak on arrival. It explains what visitors need to get ready before departing and what travelers will experience as soon as they step out of the airport terminal.
Essentials to Bring With You to Pakse and Champasak
When flying directly to Pakse airport from abroad, visitors from 49 countries will need a Laos eVisa before arriving for trips of up to 30 days. This arrival destination is one of the 5 locations where travelers can easily and quickly enter the country with an electronic visa.
To register travelers will need to apply online at least 72 hours before flying. The process only takes around 15 minutes to complete and the visa should be approved in around 1 business day. Passengers then only need to print off and carry their Laos visa approval letter with them for arrival at Pakse airport.
Another important essential that travelers should pack for Laos is protection against mosquito-borne illnesses. Pakse and Champasak are located far south in the country and there is a high risk of malaria in the region.
It is therefore advised to carry antimalarials on a trip and to bring plenty of bug spray. This should be especially the case when visiting between April and August when the weather conditions in Laos are especially hot and humid.
Getting to and From Pakse Airport
On arrival at Pakse airport, visitors will find a number of available options for travel to Pakse city 8km away or Champasak city approximately 43km further south. Each of these offers different levels of convenience and cost depending on the necessities of the traveler.
- Taxi: Taxis offer a slightly more private and luxurious means of getting around the area. These cost around $9 to Pakse city center cost and around $40 to Champasak.
- Tuk-Tuk: Tuk-tuks offer a much cheaper if slightly more open-air option for arriving passengers. Prices are as little as $4 to Pakse.
- Boat: After arriving in Pakse, travelers can hire a private boat to Champasak city for under $5.
Tourists planning on traveling down to Si Phan Don to explore the famed Four Thousand Islands directly from Pakse International may need to consider other options. Whilst it is possible to take a taxi directly to the site, this can be very costly, at over $130.
It’s more common and much cheaper to catch a bus from Pakse city center to get to the islands. This will take around 3 hours and will arrive at the nearby town of Ban Nakasang just a short boat ride from Si Phan Don itself.
Getting Around Pakse and Chamapasak
On arrival in either Pakse or Champasak, there are numerous ways to get around. The cities themselves can be easily navigated on foot, allowing tourists to explore at their own pace.
Yet, there are many other ways to get around. In Laos, visitors are never far from a tuk-tuk if they want a speedy and cheap form of transport. However, tourists that want to get out into the countryside to see the sights at their own leisure may find that rental bicycles and motorbikes are the best way to explore.
What to See and Do Around Pakse and Champasak
Pakse and Champasak both have their own unique charms. There is plenty to see and do for tourists once they’ve arrived whether their goal is to experience the cultural, culinary, or natural wonders of Laos and the Champasak region.
Things to Do in Pakse
The city itself offers many great amenities and attractions. Yet, just a short distance away, visitors can also explore a number of spectacular natural and historic sights.
Some of the must-see destinations in and around Pakse include:
- Boleavan Plateau
- Pakse market
- Wat Phu
- Wat Luang
- Ban Tong night market
- The Mekong River
- The Big Buddha
Where to Visit in Champasak
Champasak was once the home to royal family in the country. Whilst its glory days of being the seat of royalty may be over it is still a must-see destination in Laos.
The city is full of wats, pagodas, and ancient temples, as is befitting of a once royal city. For those that get tired of temples, there are plenty of waterfalls, jungle treks, and markets to explore as well.
The absolutely unmissable sights to experience in Champasak include:
- Wat Phu Museum
- Phu Kao
- Wat Muang Kang
- Oum Moung Temple
- Don Deung Island
- Champasak Spa
Whichever of these two amazing destinations travelers choose to visit, they can be sure of beautiful views, wonderful food, and a warm welcome. By arriving prepared for what to see and do and carrying a valid tourist visa, visitors will be able to enjoy this amazing region to the full.