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Last updated : Nov 2009
Southern Laos
Southern Laos - Laos TravelPuppy
Khammouane

Khammouane province can be reached from Vientiane by bus. The area is presently being researched for its potential as a location for ecotourism. Its interesting limestone caves, formations, rivers and jungles make it an ideal atmosphere.

Tha Kek, its capital is a great starting place to visit other attractions, such as the That Skihotabang, an amazing stupa built by King Nanthasen in around the tenth century and the Tham Xieng Lap Caves.

Savannakhet

Savannakhet province can be easily reached by bus from Khammouane. Located between Vietnam and Thailand, the province functions as the perfect trading junction between the 2 countries. Much of the town’s architecture is French colonial, including a huge Catholic church, although there are several Buddhist temples worth a visit such as Wat Sainyaphum.

One can actually walk through the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a former secret supply route used by the North Vietnamese Army to move military equipment to South Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, the trail was bombed by the United States and areas of this destruction can still be seen. However, the trail can only be visited with a guide as large areas of the trail still have unexploded bombs.

Champassak

Champassak province has the capital called Pakse which is quite easily accessible by air from Vientiane. Pakse has various ethnic minority groups, much of the Bolaven Plateau and the renowned, although rarely visited, Wat Phu temple. Wat Phu was built around the 5th century close to the fresh spring water on top of a mountain by the Khmer Hindus, who consequently settled their empire at its former capital – Angkor Wat (Cambodia).

Visitors can enjoy the magnificent views across the Mekong valley from the temple. The complex is easily accessible by chartered boat along the Mekong River. Additional excursions worthy of taking are to the Bolaven Plateau, where visitors can ride elephants and enjoy trekking. Also to Sii Pan Dan (4,000 Islands), where islands form during the rainy season on the Mekong River. One can also see amazing waterfalls and the endangered irriwaddy dolphins.
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