Inside Vietnam: Cambodia Laos

Champasak

Champasak, gateway to the 4,000 Islands and home to celebrated UNESCO temple Wat Phou. Explore the islands, head out in search of remote waterfalls or take a fantastic river cruise on the magnificent Mekong River, the most relaxing way to explore Asia's most laid-back country.

Champasak Map

“An afternoon scaling the stones steps of Wat Phou is a rewarding experience for the spiritual atmosphere and the fantastic views across Laos.”

Ruth Hubbard, Product Manager

Champasak is both the name of a province and a town located in southern Laos. Life moves at a very slow pace here (even by Lao standards) revolving around the ebb and flow of the Mekong, rice harvests and coffee breaks. The town is no more than a few roads stretching along the river front which for most visitors serves simply as a ferry port to a small number of tranquil riverside resorts.

Champasak is home to more than 20 wats or temples which make up the Champasak Cultural Cultural Landscape. The most famous is the UNESCO World Heritage site Wat Phou, an atmospheric Khmer ruin. It's all about the location; climbing up steep stone steps to the main shrine, the site offers stunning views across Laos with the temple ruins stretching out beneath you.

Archaeologists believe a temple has existed on the Wat Phou site as early as the 5th century, but the main temple complex was built and added to during the 11th and 13th centuries in the Angkorian heyday when Champasak Province was part of the mighty Khmer empire. The temple's design is unique as a long row of linga statues line the entrance way leading up to the main shrine where the main linga is bathed in mountain spring water. The mountain itself was dedicated to the worship of the Hindu god Shiva, the destroyer.

Wat Phou later became a centre of Theravada Buddhist worship, which it remains today. In February each year a three day festival takes place at Wat Phou around the time of the full moon. Lao people present offerings at the shrine and on the final day a parade of local monks receive alms.

Recommended Accommodation in Champasak

The following are some of our favourite accommodation options in Champasak.

Experiences in Champasak

Champasak offers a wealth of exciting experiences that will help you get beneath the surface of the local culture. See below for a few of our favourites

Weather in Champasak

The Climate Guide for Champasak is perfect for planning your holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Daytime Temperature (°C) 30 32 34 34 33 31 30 30 30 30 30 30
Min Night-time Temperature (°C) 16 21 24 24 24 24 24 24 23 23 22 19
Hours of Sunshine (Daily) 9 8 9 7 7 5 5 4 5 6 7 8
Hours of Daylight (Daily) 11 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 12 12 11 11
Heat and Humidity Discomfort Moderate High Very High Very High Very High Very High High High High High High Moderate
Days with some Rainfall 3 3 4 9 17 24 24 28 19 15 4 3
Monthly Rainfall (mm) 5 10 23 75 213 387 366 480 304 141 53 13
UV Index (Maximum) 10 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11 9 9