Information about Savannakhet
The city of Savannakhet is the capital of the province of the same name, Savannakhet province. This city, the third most populous city in Laos, is under the administration of France from the year 1896.
Savannakhet literally means territory of gold, referring to its fertile lands and its history, ranging from the Sikhottaboun Empire to French prehistory through Indo-China (in Savannakhet skeletons of dinosaurs have been found).
However most of the buildings in the city are in a poor state of conservation, the quiet streets have little tourist interest, the leisure options offered by the city are very limited and the tourist industry is conspicuous by its absence. Savannakhet is a city that you love or hate, since not being tourism income, the presence of a traveler goes completely unnoticed in the city, which continues with its leisurely pace and its activity apart from foreign visitors.
This last point is the great value of Savannakhet, a city to discover where they can walk the streets and visit its monuments without prying eyes, without being surrounded by hawkers and without a tourist path preset. In Savannakhet feels as one inhabitant of the city, where stroll through Savannakhet is a unique sensation that not found in any other city in Laos. Our recommendation is that Savannakhet is the first city to visit in Laos, since other Laos points eclipsed completely to Savannakhet if we change the order of the itinerary.
Transportation in Savannakhet: How to get to Savannakhet?
Getting to Savannakhet is easy task, Savannakhet is very well connected either by plane, by road using the bus or car across the Bridge of friendship between Laos and Thailand, or in boat catching a Ferry along the Mekong River. Although there is trains, the city of Savannakhet in Laos it has no train station.
Savannakhet International Airport
Savannakhet City has its own international airport (see Savannakhet Airport(), where the only company which operates is Lao Airlines, with daily flights to Thailand, Vientam, Cambodia and China, in addition to domestic flights to major cities in Laos.
Bus of Savannakhet
In Savannakhet, there is a unique bus station, located about 3 km North from the center of the city (see Map of Savannakhet(), which operate different buses covering the domestic routes to Pakse and Vientiane mainly, and also international routes to Thailand and Cambodia.
Friendship Bridge between Laos and Thailand
Get to Savannakhet from Thailand overland is an easy task, since construction of the friendship bridge between Laos and Thailand, by where daily there are buses and private cars. The majority of Thais who crossed the friendship bridge address Savannakhet, make it to attend the Savan Vegas casino that is located a few metres from the border post (see Hotels and accommodation in Savannakhet).
It is possible to cross the Mekong River with origin or destination Thailand from Savannakhet. Savannakhet Ferry station is located at the end of the plaza Talat Yen, ferry station which also has Immigration Office to process the input to Laos. There are 3 ferry a day where its price varies if it's a daily or weekend day, although no more than the 3€. The journey (Thailand) Mukdahan - Savannakhet (Laos) is 10 minutes.
Transportation in Savannakhet: move Savannakhet
In Savannakhet no taxis or buses, as there are only tuk-tuk, although the tuk-tuk is not focused on tourists, but using primarily the local population. Therefore it is very difficult to find transportation to night or away from the center of Savannakhet (e.g. Mall Savan-Itecc).
Note: the few tuk - tuk from the town of Savannakhet are often at the Ferry Station.
The most advisable to move through Savannakhet is walking, although it is also possible to rent a bike for 1€ a day (10,000 kip) and for those who want to explore the surroundings of Savannakhet, rent a motorbike semi-automatic can be for 8€ a day (80,000 kip).
The bikes are usually available in hotels, inns and guesthouses in the city. You can also rent a bike there in the cafes around the square Talat Yen (see street map of Savannakhet). To rent a scooter few options are the Ratsavongseuk Street junction with the Church of Santa Teresa (to the West of the square Talat Yen).
Money, banks, exchange offices and ATMs in Savannakhet
There are 3 banks as well as in Savannakhet of ATMs 24 hours a day and currency exchange in the interior of the Bank Office during business hours. Banks and ATMs are grouped at the end of the Ratsavongseuk Street, next to the old market of Savannakhet (old market).
BFL (Banque Franco Lao) ATMs allow you to take out a maximum of 2,000,000 kip (approximately 200€) charging a Commission of 40,000 kip (4€) for operation. Other banks allow to remove only 1,000,000 kip but charging a Commission of 30,000 kip.
Leisure in Savannakhet
The leisure options are very limited in Savannakhet. In the Centre of Savannakhet only have film Khounsavan cinema, museums and some cafes, where if we are lucky we can listen to live music (for example in coffee Chai Dee, see) cafes and restaurants in Savannakhet).
On the outskirts of Savannakhet, have commercial Savan-Itecc Centre where we can play bowling, going to the cinema and do some shopping (I recommend to go by moto or tuk-tuk that you wait, because get return transportation will be very difficult to tell).
Located in the outskirts of Savannakhet, after passing the Mall Savan-Itecc lies Savannakhet Stadium, sports stadium which houses mainly football matches of Savannakhet FC, which plays in the National League from Laos.
Shopping in Savannakhet
The city of Savannakhet is not suitable for shopping, just a couple of stores throughout the city. At the end of the Talat Yen square, right in front of the ferry is the largest store of Savannakhet called Walkman Village where you can buy clothes, shoes, accessories, backpacks and suitcases (see) street map of Savannakhet).
To the West of the square Talat Yen, after the Chinese temple, have a colorful street lined with small stores called Shop Houses. On the street of shops of Savannakhet, the street of the shop houses, we have laundry, bazaars, food stores and a musical instruments shop where they sell guitars.
In the northern part of the city, next to the ATM, is the area called the old market, the market in the city of Savannakhet. Although the building of the old market of Savannakhet is abandoned, just on the sidewalk across the street is the market of Savannakhet, where there are small shops where you can buy souvenirs and crafts.
These are the little shopping center of Savannakhet, to make other purchases the best is to go to Savan-Itecc shopping center located on the outskirts of the city. But we recommend shopping in Luang Prabang and Vientiane.
Sights of Savannakhet
The little resort town of Savannakhet has the odd point of interest highlighted. For this I recommend reading the article What to see and do in Savannakhet, where we do a review of the colonaiales buildings of Savannakhet, the Church of Santa Teresa, the Museum's dinosaurs, Savannakhet provincial Museum and the stupa That Inghang.
The Savannakhet Tourist Office
At the end of the plaza Talat Yen is the Tourism Office of the city of Savannakhet, where is possible to buy maps of the city and take a tour through the area. Most of these maps that sold in the tourist office, available at the cafes in the area (e.g. in Lin completo coffee) free of charge.
- What to see and do in Savannakhet points of tourist interest in and around Savannakhet
- Tourist Map of Savannakhet Up street and city map of Savannakhet Area
- Where to eat in Savannakhet you have to eat in the city of Savannakhet in Laos
- Where to sleep in Savannakhet look at the hotels in Savannakhet, where to sleep
- Pakse information and city map of Pakse, the capital of Champasak
- Visa to Laos I can? Process the on -arrival visa for Laos in Savannakhet airport?