Champasak lies in the western bank of the slow-flowing Mekong River, southwestern Laos. It is one of the 3 principalities that succeeded the Lao kingdom of Lan Xang. A modest place, Champasak is popular with backpackers who are either visiting Wat Phu or who have been attracted by the generally very relaxed pace of life.
Without the hustle and bustle of Pakse and certainly without the crowds of Don Dhet and Don Khon, Champasak retains the best of both worlds, all well-wrapped-up in a blanket of traditional Lao hospitality.
Champasak was once, 1400 years ago, the centre of power in the lower Mekong basin, later a revered outpost of the Khmer Angkor Empire and later still one of the three kingdoms to rule over the remains of Lane Xang.
The Khmer-period ruins of Wat Phu, some 8 km to the southwest of “town”, were granted their UNESCO World Heritage status in 2001.
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