On my way to the 4,000 Islands in southern Laos, I stopped for a couple of days at the rather sleepy town of Pakse. I didn’t think there was much to do or see in Pakse itself to deserve a detour, but there are a couple of nice day trips you can take from there.
One of them will take you to the rather interesting ruins of Wat Phou (also spelled “Phu”). Although, as usual, there was a temple on that site since much earlier, what remains today corresponds to a Khmer temple built between the 11th and 12th centuries, at the height of the Khmer empire that also left us the amazing Angkor in Cambodia.
The Khmer heritage is obvious at first sight. The structures, the stone carvings and the general allure of the remains are clearly reminiscent of those found at the Angkor temples. While the state of preservation of the site is not great, the location makes it well worth a visit. I have a bunch of other photos I took that day, but I’m not sure there are enough of them good enough to write a full-length post about it.
As you can tell from this photo, I went there at the end of the dry season, so most of the vegetation had a drab and wilted look. It was also a hazy day. Due to all this, I had to work a little on the RAW file to make those colours pop. I quite like the twin palm trees on the left, which cut an even prouder and more striking figure than the ruins on the right.
What do you think? Have you guys been at Wat Phou? Let me know in the comments!