Sights of Savannakhet
It is very easy to orientate in the Savannakhet, He is a small town of just a couple of streets that run parallel and perpendicular, that although the names of the streets are in Laotian language and houses have no numbers, there are scattered throughout the city posters in English where to indicate the location of the points of tourist interest in the city of Savannakhet.
We recommend you download the Tourist map of Savannakhet for the exact location of all the sights of Savannakhet.
Colonial buildings in Savannakhet
Walking through the ramshackle and quiet streets of Savannakhet is probably the best that can be done in the city. The city oozes French colonial influence, where the historic centre of Savannakhet, owns a few buildings of beautiful colonial architecture that have deteriorated with the passage of time.
All the colonial buildings of Savannakhet are private property, not being able access the inside (with the exception of buildings converted into businesses, as for example the restaurant Dao Savan).
The so-called historic centre of Savannakhet, the plaza Talat Yen is the place where we can admire the most beautiful buildings of Savannakhet. The walk from the Church of Santa Teresa to the ferry station, is without a doubt, the best living example of colonial buildings of Savannakhet.
For those travelers who want to know more about the colonial buildings and the historic centre of Savannakhet, we recommend the permanent exhibition and free what's on the second floor of Lin completo de Café (see cafes and restaurants in Savannakhet).
Savannakhet Provincial Hospital
Savannakhet Provincial hospital is located to the South of the city of Savannakhet, along the River, on the way to the only resort of the city. Another example of French colonial architecture of Savannakhet.
The Church of Santa Teresa
The only Catholic Church in the city of Savannakhet is the Church of Santa Teresa. It is a building of the year 1920, built by the French who today still operating, with masses to first thing in the morning every day of the week except Saturday.
The Church of Santa Teresa of Savannakhet is a white building not just decoration or even stained glass. The small entrance as a patio decorated with flowers is probably spotlight.
The Church of Santa Teresa is located right outside the square and Talat Yet their doors in the evening, you can see some street vendors (mainly food stalls).
Square Talat Yen
Talat Yen plaza is the center of the city of Savannakhet, where most of the historical buildings of the city (colonial style buildings) and the vast majority of tourist spots in Savannakhet, in addition to the few restaurants and cafes in the city.
The walk from the Church of Santa Teresa to the Mekong River is very nice, where you can see the colonial buildings in its maximum splendor. From plaza Talat Yen get a perpendicular Street where you will find small shops called shop houses, at the end of the Avenue from the plaza Talat Yen is the tourist office of Savannakhet. In the same square Talat Yen, there are benches and tables of stone, also a small fair attraction for children.
Night Market Savannakhet
Fall afternoon and until it is closed night, Talat Yen square becomes the night of Savannakhet market. It is a street market just activity and almost desolate in which just over 3 private homes and some street stalls offer food and drink. The speciality is grilled meats and vegetables, prices that Yes, very economical.
Las Casas Store or " shop houses"
One of the streets which depart from the square Talat Yen is filled with small colourful shops called store houses or shop houses. These small stores shop houses are small local businesses, e.g. laundries, bazaars, shops, musical instruments, etc., which although colorful and eye-catching, are not intended for purchases of foreign audience. However in the shop houses can buy water and some itching. The buildings that House the houses shop shop houses were built between 1930 and 1950.
Temples of Savannakhet
Being a mostly Buddhist country Laos and due to its proximity with Thailand, we can find at any point in the geography of Laos multitude of temples or Wat. The city of Savannakhet wasn't going to be less, with several Wat great beauty and good state of conservation.
All the temples of Savannakhet are free access.
Temple largest and oldest of Savannakhet is Wat Xaiyaphoum. It is a Buddhist temple in the year 1542, whose architecture is the best example of the traditional architecture of Savannakhet. The Xaiyaphoum Temple is located opposite the Mekong River, today this Wat is used as Temple and as a school for monk trainees.
Inside Wat Xaiyaphoum is the Ho Tay Pidok library where are preserved manuscripts of 200 years old made of palm leaf.
Wat Xaiyaphoum is the setting chosen by the inhabitants of Savannakhet to the celebration of Laotian new year (Bi Mi Lao) and the festival of boat racing on the river Mekong (festival Boun Suang Huea).
Xaiyamoungkhoun Temple / Wat Sayamungkhun / Vat Xayamoungkhoun
Wat Xaiyamoungkhoun is a small temple close to the Church of Santa Teresa. There are just 3 buildings and a small courtyard inside the grounds of Wat Xaiyaphoum.
Chinese temple in Savannakhet
Close to Talat Yen from Savannakhet plaza rises a colourful Chinese temple, whose striking exterior facade is decorated with dragons and Chinese motifs.
The Dinosaur Museum
One of the most interesting tourist attractions of Savannakhet is the Museum of dinosaurs, located 1 km north of the city centre, next to the tennis courts (between the old market and the mekong River).
Savannakhet province found many skeletons of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals are very present in the city of Savannakhet, both in the Dinosaur Museum and at the roundabout of the dinosaurs.
The exhibition of the Museum of dinosaurs from Savannakhet consists of remains fossils of dinosaurs (for example an impressive dinosaur tread and a Tyrannosaurus rex tooth) and highlights from the Museum, dinosaur skeletons from 4 different classes. These dinosaur skeletons date from the Triassic and Cretaceous periods (ichthyosaurs, iguanodon, theropods and sauropods). A curious fact in Laos to dinosaurs known with the name of giant lizards.
All these fossils and skeletons of dinosaurs have been extracted from the excavation at Ban Tang Vay, district Xonbouly, found in 1930 by the French. The excavation was abandoned in 2000.
Schedule and ticket price of the Dinosaur Museum
Savannakhet Dinosaur Museum is Open every day of the week during hours of 9:00 to 11:30 and 13:30 to 16:00. The price of the ticket are 10,000 kip (about 1€) for foreigners and 3000 kip for Laotians.
The Museum of Savannakhet
After the post office building is the Museum of Savannakhet, also called the Savannakhet provincial Museum. It's a small exhibit on the history of the province of Savannakhet. Consisting of remains and various artifacts (e.g. pieces of artillery), and an exhibition of photographs from the period. The building of the Museum of Savannakhet is a French colonial building in very good condition.
Schedule and ticket price Savannakhet Museum
Savannakhet provincial Museum is Open from Monday to Friday in opening hours 8:00 to 12:00 and 13:30 to 16:00. The entrance to the Museum of Savannakhet is free.
The Old Market Savannakhet
The old market of Savannakhet (old market) is an abandoned building to the North of the city. The building of arcades, of 2 storeys in height with white facades and red roofs, currently houses a small, makeshift street restaurant.
Opposite the old market of Savannakhet (old market), we have the new market of Savannakhet. It is a square block of small houses in 2 heights, where can I buy local handicrafts of Laos and Thailand. In this same market we have the only restaurant serving European food, the Cafe Chez Boune. On the other side of the market of Savannakhet are only banks, ATMs and bureaux de change in the city.
The Mekong River passing through Savannakhet
The city of Savannakhet was built on the right bank of the Mekong River. A stroll along the road that runs next to the river is a good way of spending time in Savannakhet. We have a Bank of the Mekong River Savannakhet (Laos) and on the other side of the river is Thailand, Mukdahan province.
The Intersection of Dinosaurs
The dinosaurs are very present in the city of Savannakhet, not only in the Museum's dinosaurs, but that also on the outskirts of the city, on the way to the bridge of friendship with Thailand, is the Rotunda of dinosaurs (called intersection of dinosaur or dinosaur junction).
Although you don't really have any tourist attraction, it is rather curious to see sculptures of giant dinosaurs at a roundabout on the outskirts of Savannakhet.
What to see and do in Savannakhet Province
On the outskirts of the city of Savannakhet have a few places that are worth visiting. You need to rent a bike to visit them all in one day, although it is possible to travel by bike part of the way (eg That Ing Hang stupa and Bungva lake).
Highlights of attractions of Savannakhet province are the Lake Bungva, the famous stupa That Ing Hang, the village and ruins of Phonsim, Phonsim Turtle Lake, Park Dong Natad Lake Nong Lom and the giant trees and Ban Nateuy village where the salt factory is located.
That Ing Hang Stupa (Stupa In HengAdd)
The stupa That Ing Hang is a construction of 9 meters high dating back to the year 1548, commissioned by King Marukhanakhone, where, according to popular beliefs, lies one of the bones of Buddha. The stupa That Ing Hang is one of the sacred Buddhist sites most important of Savannakhet and a Lao national treasure.
During the time of French Indochina That Ing Hang stupa was an important trading post.
Legend says that the name of this stupa, That Ing Hang, is because Buddha delivered a sermon in the village between 2 trees That Ing Hang.
Address, hours and admission price to That Ing Hang Stupa
The stupa That Ing Hang is located 15 kilometres west of Savannakhet, in the village Ban That (see Tourist map of Savannakhet). The stupa is open to the public every day of the week in hours from 8:00 until 17:00.
The price of the ticket are 5,000 kip (approximately 0.5€), Laotians are exempt from paying entry.
Important note: women can access the stupa That Ing Hang whenever they wear Laotian traditional skirt called Sinhs, which can be rented close to the stupa upon payment of a donation.