I traveled the 40km from Pakse to Champasak by boat,   Scenery wise there was not a lot to see, but it was nice to have the cool fresh air and the Mekong river to ourselves.  There were four of us aboard.  Champasak town consists of a narrow main road which follows the river with a few French colonial-era buildings and Lao wooden houses on either side of the road, a few temples and shops.  There was not a lot of traffic on the roads, some small trucks,a few cars and motorbikes,cows and buffalo's.   The main reason to visit Champasak are the Khmer-period ruins of Wat Phu which are 8km-10km from town.


All of these images were taken with a Canon EOS 50D with a EFS 15-85mm lens except for the first one.


This image was taken from my guest-house overlooking the river,it shows a luxury floating hotel boat which has come from Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands)  and Wat Phu,  and a barge waiting to cross the river.  

EF 100-400mm lens    1/500 sec   at f/8    ISO 200

 

This image was taken from my guest-house overlooking the river,it shows a luxury floating hotel boat which has come from Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands)  and Wat Phu,  and a barge waiting to cross the river.

I hired a wonky Chinese bicycle from the guest-house to find Wat Phu,it was hard work pedaling in the afternoon sunlight.There were many potholes and a long stretch was under construction.  Upon arrival I decided to go in and buy a ticket although my t-shirt was wet and dust was clinging to me.

 

(Vat Phou) or Wat Phu is a Khmer religious complex which later became a center of Theravada Buddhist worship,which it remains today.  In 2001 UNESCO granted it World Heritage Site Status.  The second photo shows a reservoir with the Phu Pasak mountain range in the background.  The mountain was sacred to the local people centuries before the construction of Wat Phu.  The complex extends 1400m up the mountain.


(Vat Phou) or Wat Phu is a Khmer religious complex which later became a center of Theravada Buddhist worship,which it remains today.  In 2001 UNESCO granted it World Heritage Site Status.  The second photo shows a reservoir with the Phu Pasak mountain range in the background.  The mountain was sacred to the local people centuries before the construction of Wat Phu.  The complex extends 1400m up the mountain.

 

A causeway lined with sandstone posts leads up to a large terrace.

A causeway lined with sandstone posts leads up to a large terrace.

 


 On the terrace two buildings known as north and south palaces were being renovated,the exact use

 On the terrace two buildings known as north and south palaces were being renovated,the exact use

 On the terrace two buildings known as north and south palaces were being renovated,the exact use

 On the terrace two buildings known as north and south palaces were being renovated,the exact use

 


On the terrace two buildings known as north and south palaces were being renovated,the exact use
of these buildings is still unknown.

 

A large group of Thai tourists nears the end of the middle level,it was interesting to watch Thai people having to walk so far.Maybe they were on a religious pilgrimage,they were very quiet and seemed to revere the site,stopping at every Buddhist statue or carving,praying,lighting incense and offering flowers.

A large group of Thai tourists nears the end of the middle level,it was interesting to watch Thai people having to walk so far.Maybe they were on a religious pilgrimage,they were very quiet and seemed to revere the site,stopping at every Buddhist statue or carving,praying,lighting incense and offering flowers.

 

A large group of Thai tourists nears the end of the middle level,it was interesting to watch Thai people having to walk so far.  Maybe they were on a religious pilgrimage,  they were very quiet and seemed to revere the site,stopping at every Buddhist statue or carving,praying,lighting incense and offering flowers.

 

A wide angle view of the complex looking down towards the Mekong riv

A wide angle view of the complex looking down towards the Mekong river.


A wide angle view of the complex looking down towards the Mekong river.

 

    This souvenir and drink stall had a lot of business selling cold drinks and snacks on the upper level.

    This souvenir and drink stall had a lot of business selling cold drinks and snacks on the upper level.


    This souvenir and drink stall had a lot of business selling cold drinks and snacks on the upper level.

 

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  This is a side view of the sanctuary on the top level.   The Buddhist statues inside are new.

 

    Here is one of the many sandstone carvings on this site.

 


 Here is one of the many sandstone carvings on this site.

 

One morning I decided to take a barge across the river and visit the village of Ban Muang and surrounding area,I ended up walking for about five hours.

 

One morning I decided to take a barge across the river and visit the village of Ban Muang and surrounding area.   I ended up walking for about five hours.   A barge is just two sampans with a wooden board tied or nailed down for stability,and one or two outboard motors to propel it.

 

      In Ban Muang there was a floating restaurant near to the boat landing.

 

In Ban Muang there was a floating restaurant near to the boat landing.

 

   A wide angle view taken from Ban Muang. The fields, Mekong river and floating restaurant can be

 

A wide angle view taken from Ban Muang. The fields, Mekong river and floating restaurant can be
seen, and across the river the mountains in Champasak.

 

  Typical rural Laos,farm houses with a fenced in area to stop the animals from straying.



Typical rural Laos,farm houses with a fenced in area to stop the animals from straying.

 

 

I finally managed to get up early enough to catch the sunrise which started about 05:40.  At first I thought that nothing would be visible because of the cloud cover, but this made it all the more dramatic with the strong colors forcing their way through the clouds.

I finally managed to get up early enough to catch the sunrise which started about 05:40.  At first I thought that nothing would be visible because of the cloud cover, but this made it all the more dramatic with the strong colors forcing their way through the clouds.

I finally managed to get up early enough to catch the sunrise which started about 05:40.  At first I thought that nothing would be visible because of the cloud cover, but this made it all the more dramatic with the strong colors forcing their way through the clouds..

I finally managed to get up early enough to catch the sunrise which started about 05:40.  At first I thought that nothing would be visible because of the cloud cover, but this made it all the more dramatic with the strong colors forcing their way through the clouds.

 

I finally managed to get up early enough to catch the sunrise which started about 05:40.   At first I thought that nothing would be visible because of the cloud cover, but this made it all the more dramatic with the strong colors forcing their way through the clouds.

 

These children were all shouting at me to take their photograph,their mother was laughing so I took a few shots

 

These children were all shouting at me to take their photograph,their mother was laughing so I took a few shots.

 

This little girl was guarding the family store.

 

This little girl was guarding the family store.

 

As in other places in Laos most peoples lives in the revolve around agriculture, there are lots of two-wheel tractors on the roads.


 

As in other places in Laos most peoples lives in the revolve around agriculture, there are lots of two-wheel tractors on the roads.

 

  A taxi carries sticky rice baskets on its roof.

 

A taxi carries sticky rice baskets on its roof. 

I'm guessing that this is some sort of government building with the large grounds and tended lawns


 

    This last photo is of a riverside restaurant where I had the Lao staple of Laap and sticky rice with

 

This last photo is of a riverside restaurant where I had the Lao staple of Laap and sticky rice with.


 
Beer Lao.   Champasak province covers an area of 15,415 square kilometers,its an interesting place to see
 

Beer Lao.   Champasak province covers an area of 15,415 square kilometers,its an interesting place to see
and travel around.  There is so much that I did not see because I had no experience of riding a motorbike,  This will be near to the top of things to do in 2013.       Khunklit.