Vat Phou Phou or Wat also called Wat Phu Champasak the ruins at the foot of Phu Kao Mountain on the outskirts of Pakse (Laos). Information Vat Phou, plane ticket price, opening hours and transport to Wat Phou

Vat Phou

In the Champasak Plains, on the outskirts of Pakse, we have the complex Vat Phou. It's ruins, Temple, shrine and Museum of Khmer civilization at the foot of the mountain Phu Kao, with more than 1000 years old, reminiscent in some ways to the famous temples of Angkor.

Temple, museum and ruins of Vat Phou

The Vat Phou Temple, also called Wat Phou or Wat Phu in Laotian, was declared World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2001.
Vat Phou complex rises on the banks of the Mekong River, between a stream and mountain Phu Kao, with a geometric shape perfect using natural elements such as axes. This city pre-angkoriana expresses the Hindu vision of the fusion between man and nature and is one of the best examples in the development of the Khmer civilization Laos during the V to the 15th.

Vat Phou - Pakse - Laos
Vat Phou - Pakse - Laos

Vat Phou: Angkor Temples Pakse

The Vat Phu shrine ruins include a extension of 1.5 km, with a height at the end of 100 metres. From the highest point of Wat Phou, the perspective of this temple of Pakse, reminiscent of the nearby Temples of Angkor in the city of Siem Reap (Cambodia).

Wat Phou Museum in Pakse, Laos
Wat Phou Museum in Pakse, Laos
Shrine of Vat Phou, Pakse (Laos)
Shrine of Vat Phou, Pakse (Laos)

Information Vat Phou

Visit to Vat Phou consists of a visit to the Museum and a walk by the remains of Vat Phou. Structures that make up Vat Phou can divirse in 5 groups: the main complex, the terraces, the sanctuary, Brook sacred and Hindu remains.

The museum of Wat Phu

Access to the grounds of Wat Phu, in the same place where the box office is located we have the Museum of Wat Phu. This museum is relatively modern and small, where sculptures, engravings and Wat Phu archaeological remains can be seen.

The main complex of Wat Phou

Without a doubt the most beautiful part of all Vat Phou is the complex of Wat Phou. Upon arrival we found a artificial lake, which represents the ocean. The road is marked by a row of posts in stone with beautiful engravings.

Sanctuary Wat Phou, Pakse (Laos)
Sanctuary Wat Phou, Pakse (Laos)

After leaving behind the row of poles of rock, we have 2 rectangular buildings and a central courtyard. Even if you don't know for sure, thought that these buildings had a religious function and that a building was designed to accommodate men and other building women.

Ruins of Vat Phou in Pakse Champasak
Ruins of Vat Phou in Pakse Champasak

The row of stone posts ends at the foot of Phu Kao Mountain, where they begin to climb the stairs to the top of the Vat Phou complex.

Wat Pho Champasak Province, Pakse, Laos
Wat Pho Champasak Province, Pakse, Laos

The terraces of Vat Phou

After crossing the rows of stone posts, we have stairs that lead us to the terraces of Vat Phou. These terraces are formed by rows of form elongated in different layers of height, which in ancient times were flanked by buildings on both sides, unfortunately these buildings collapsed. Only they can be seen engraved in stone sandstone of the goddess Shiva dating back to the 11th century.

Ruins of Wat Phu in Pakse, southern Laos
Stairs to Wat Phu in Pakse, southern Laos

Wat Phu Champasak Pakse ruins
Wat Phu Champasak Pakse ruins

The Shrine of Vat Phou

After climbing the stone stairs and cross the terraces of Wat Phu, we find a small building with 3 doors which is the shrine of Vat Phou. The central door is a Buddha image where to this day, people keep coming to pray at this altar.

Altar at Wat Phou, Pakse (Laos)
Altar at Wat Phou, Pakse (Laos)
Ruins of Vat Phou - Pakse - Laos
Ruins of Vat Phou - Pakse - Laos

Wat Phu remains in Hindu and stone sculptures

The most modern buildings of all Vat Phou are located to the North of the complex Vat Phou. Next to these Buddhist buildings we can find some beautiful carvings in stone of the 13th century that have the shape of elephants, crocodiles and snakes.
Stone sculptures in the ruins of Wat Phou, Phu Kao (Pakse)
Stone sculpture at Wat Phou

Opening hours and entrance fee at Vat Phou

Vat Phou: visiting hours

The complex Vat Phou is Open every day of the week from 8:00 to 18:00 without interruption. Vat Phou Museum closes before the complex, Museum hours are from 8:00 to 16:30.

Ticket price at Vat Phou

To enter the grounds of Vat Phou, it is necessary to buy entry are valid for 1 day. Tickets can be bought directly at the ticket office of Vat Phou, the entrance fee is 35,000 kip per person (approximately 3€).

Tourist Guide to Vat Phou

In the grounds of Vat Phou, it is possible to hire the services of a tour guide by 100,000 kip by Group (aprox 9€) for the Museum, Wat Phu, 200,000 kip per group for the Nang AIDS and Tao Tao temples, only 400,000 kip per group for Muang Kang pagoda and Temple Tome.

More information on the official website of Vat Phou: vatphou -

Transportation to Vat Phou: how to go to Vat Phou?

The temple and ruins of Vat Phou are 40 km south of Pakse, about 6 km from the Mekong River. There is no regular line or not public transport buses to go to Vat Phou, the only alternative is the shuttle from Pakse.

In the city of Pakse rent a scooter can be for 60,000 kip per day (approximately 6€) or hire a mini bus or van. As a more luxurious option, they are the cruises on the Mekong.

Vans or mini-buses are tourist, not being able to hire only the transportation, but you need to hire a tour (either in Pakse tourist office or any local travel agency, for example Pakse Travel, next to the BFL Bank).
A whole day by Vat Phou tour usually cost 300,000 kip (approximately 28€), price which includes the transportation of return to Pakse, Vat Phou entrance, food and a ride on elephant in the village of Ban Kietkhong.

Related Vat Phou

  • Pakse Pakse City, the starting point for visiting Si Phan Don (4000 Islands) and Vat Phou
  • Si Phan Don 4000 Islands of the Mekong River, south of Pakse route to Cambodia
  • Savannakhet General tourist information and the colonial city of Savannakhet