Vat Phou

Located near the Mekong River in Champasak Province (around 45 km from Pakse), Vat Phou is a ruined temple complex reflecting the typical Khmer architecture in the period of the 7th to 12th centuries. Vat Phou, along with Shestrapura – the famous ancient city, and some archeological sites along the riverbanks were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.

Vat Phou laos

The name Vat Phou when translated into English means “Mountain Temple” referring to its location on the mountainside overlooking the ruined city. The temple was built facing the east and its age is originally older than the Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which is a great pride of the Laos people. Like other Angkor constructions, symbolism plays an important role in both the location and general design of the temple. Vat Phou was built as the important worshipping place that represents the embodiment of god Shiva who is always described as the shape of Phallic. Not far from the temple is the spring associated with the goddess Parvati, Shiva’s wife. Nowadays, monks from spiritual sites and locals still collect this water as they believe it has magic.

Vat Phou 2

Visiting Vat Phou, besides getting more knowledge about culture, art, architecture, and history, you can also slowly hike and enjoy the fresh air. Other interesting attractions that can be combined in your trip to Vat Phou include Don Deng island, Dao Heuang market, Friendship Mall, and Wat Luang temple.

Tourists can take daily domestic flights to Pakse from Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Savannakhet. In Pakse, it is comfortable to use a private car with a tour guide who will help you to understand thoroughly the Vat Phou temple complex. Getting around, you can experience the motorcycle taxi (samlo) or rent a bicycle at any shop in the town. For adventurous traveling, riding the motorbike to explore the great loop is also a popular choice.

Vat Phou Laos travel infomation

Climate, the best time to visit

The weather from March to May is hot with an average temperature of 40ºC that is a challenge for climbing up the mountain. The months from May to October see high chances of rainfall creating slippery muddy roads leading to the temple. The best time to visit Vat Phou is the dry season lasting from November to March with pleasant weather and the beautiful flower blooming season in April.

Festivals and holidays

The traditional Vat Phou Temple Festival is annually celebrated in February.

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