is a city in the Champasak province of Laos. It's 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.
How to get in Pakse, Pakxe?
Pakse International Airport is some km north of town and offers scheduled
flights to Vientiane and Siem Reap.
Bangkok Airways offer direct flights from Bangkok, Thailand.
Tuk-Tuks and Motos will carry you to the town for US$1-3.
to Pakse, Pakxe
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
tro Pakse, Pakxe
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. Public transport is
naturally cheaper than "VIP" buses.
"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 (March 2008)150.000 /170.000 Kip depending on whether you buy
the ticket in the bus station or at tour agencies.
"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
to see and activities in Pakse, Pakxe.
There's not so much to do in Pakse but this is the base for travel to the
Bolaven Plateau and Si Phan Don.
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. The
Champasak Provincial Tourism Department puts out a nice few nice brochures
including one on the Bolaven Plateau that details these including Tad
Fane, Tad Champee, Tad Ueang, and Tad Pha Suam. Admission tends to be the
same at every place, 5000 K per person, 3000 for the bike.
One waterfall not mentioned is Tad Sae which is located off of Route 13 at
a fairly large t-junction with a bunch of fruit sellers lining the road.
Not as large as some of the others it nonetheless offers a beautiful place
to stop and eat or hang out for a while. (Note that if you search for Tad
Sae on the internet you will be directed to the one near Luang Prabang
which is *not* the same one here.)
These are several internet cafes on the corner near Nazim's Indian
restaurant that charge around 6000k/h. The smart new 'Tour Lao' Cafe on
the southern end of the market plaza has WiFi too.
As in Vientiane there is also a proper bowling alley located in town.
About 15-20 min walk away from the center or a short tuk-tuk ride away
head down the main road and turn right towards the big white building in
the distance. It is not far away from the river so if you are over there
already you can walk along there to find it. Be warned though that if you
want a ride home you should negotiate a tuk-tuk to stay since you won't
find many patrolling there especially later in the evening.
* BCEL Bank (on Th 11, just next to Wat Luang in the town centre) changes
money, cashs traveller cheques and does cash advance on credit cards.
There is also an ATM in front of the building that now accepts most
foreign cards as of December 2008. There are a lot more ATMs in Southern
Laos these days. When heading south this is the last ATM until Kompong
Cham in Cambodia. However, there is now an ATM in Attapeu, though be
warned they all charge a criminal 20,000 kip per withdrawl with a 700,000
kip per transaction maximum.
* The Lao Development Bank to the North of the city can exchange Kip to
US$, vital if travelling onwards overland to Vietnam. Across the road,
directly opposite the bank is an ATM which accepts international cards
such as Cirrus. There is a limit of 700,000 Kip per transaction although
you can withdraw numerous times.
* There is a Morning Market that lasts most of the day. It can be found
about 500m south of the town centre.
* The huge Talat Dao Heuang (New Market) is about 2 km south-east out of
town on Road 13 near the Japanese bridge over the Mekong.
Place to eat / Restaurants
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.
* Nazim Restaurant, on the main street next to the Phonsavan hotel, serves
Indian dishes at about 10000-20000 Kip. Portions are small, food is OK.
Plenty of vegetarian options.
* Jasmin Restaurant is next door to Nazim and serves exactly the same
dishes at the same price.
* Baguette stalls can be found along the main street between the
roundabout and the French bridge.
* Lan Kham Noodle House, directly below Lan Kham hotel serves enormous
bowls of noodle soup with fresh herbs and salad. Price from 15,000 -
17,000 Kip. Open from approx 10AM, closes early.
* Royal Pakse Hotel Across the street and opposite corner from Nazim has a
fairly extensive Lao/Thai and Indian menu also featuring Thai style
sukiyaki with an a la carte selection of options to choose from.
* Korean BBQ(not real name) Walking down the main street past the BCEL ATM
and turn right, walk down one block and turn left and you will find
another 'cook it yourself' Korean BBQ style place on the corner. Featuring
a more economical option than the hot pot above though the atmosphere
inside can be overpoweringly smokey when busy, try to grab one of the few
outside tables or come early/late.
* Enjoy the sunset with a beer lao at the Mekong River. Go to the French
bridge and then head south along the Mekong. After having passed the Wat
you come across countless places to have a drink.
* Lotty is a nightclub
Hotel, Lodge Guest House for sleep in Pakse.
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
* Sabaidy 2 Guesthouse, turn north off the main street at the crossing
near the Green Discovery office, the place is very popular with
backpackers. It's the only guesthouse in town with dorms (very basic). The
shared showers have hot water. They also have basic rooms. 2$ (dorm) - 5$
* Pakse Hotel (near the Champasak shopping centre) offers a broad
range of rooms.
* Champasak Palace hotel, the former royal palace on road 13 is probably
the most upmarket option in town.
* Lan Kham Hotel, on road 13 opposite the Lao Development Bank is clean
and surprisingly has an OK lounge downstairs with large stacks of "TIME"
and "Newsweek" to help ease the boredom in Pakse. Twin room with fan,
toilet & shower @ 50,000Kip. Twin/Double with aircon, TV and fridge @
* Tadlo - a village with waterfalls and trekking opportunities.
* Si Phan Don - Also known as 4,000 islands, is less than 3 hours away.
Relax here for a few days by the Mekong river.
* Don't book a minibus service to Phnom Penh out of Pakse. We booked one
from the 'Green Discovery' tour shop and were stranded in krattie a few
hours later with no passage to Phnom penh until the next day. Book with a
legitimate bus company if possible!!
For more information of Laos visit