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“A beautiful peaceful place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wat Phu

Wat Phu
Champasak, Laos
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Ranked #2 of 3 Attractions in Champasak
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Cultural
Attraction details
NZ
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“A beautiful peaceful place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

We visited Wat Phu not knowing what to expect after seeing the amazing temples in Siem Reap, and assumed that nothing could compare. We were really surprised, although the place is small and we couldn't access the buildings, the surroundings are just beautiful and the steep walk up to the top of the steps is well worth it, the views are amazing. We are so pleased that we visited, highly recommended.

Visited December 2013
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Bath, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A charming place, but worth it only if you are in the area”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

This is a fairly small but attractive site. It wasn't too crowded when we were there, an afternoon on a Saturday in January. It was originally a Hindu temple built in the 11th century. It's laid out symmetrically around a ceremonial way on an east-west axis leading up a hillside to the sanctuary at the top. It has terraces joined by steep staircases, lined by frangipani trees. There are some lovely carvings on the lintels of the temple doors, and there is a wonderful view from the top. It's well worth a visit if you are in the area. I am a great fan of old temples and spend ages wandering around, leaving no stone ungazed-upon. But still, it only took one and a half hours to see the site. There are only really 3 buildings reasonably intact, the 2 big halls either side at the bottom (which are the same, and which you can't enter) and the small sanctuary at the top. Lonely Planet call this 'one of the highlights of any trip to Laos' but I think this is more a comment on the lack of Laos highlights than the wonders of the Wat. We were at Savannakhet, and made a journey of 6.5 hours on a public bus with an overnight in Pakse, then a tuk tuk to Chamasak and a motorbike to the temple, an overnight at Champasak, then the same back to Savannakhet again, just to see this place, because people had praised it so much. Frankly, despite my love of old temples, I have to admit it wasn't worth all that effort. There are many, many old temple sites in the world much more impressive than this.

Visited January 2014
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Australia
Top Contributor
179 reviews 179 reviews
68 attraction reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“It is not Angkor Wat...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

...but it is a nice place to visit between Pakse and Si Phan Don. We visited on a Saturday and it was packed with local visitors, but apparently it is very quiet on weekdays. The museum is small but very informative, and it may be better to visit it before the archeological site to get a better idea. We liked the atmosphere of Champasak (much nicer than Pakse).

Visited January 2014
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Vientiane
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

Wat Phu is a must see in Laos.
Combine a stay at uber--relaxed Champasak with a visit to the beautiful Wat Phu.
Take your time, and don't rush your visit (Like everywhere in Laos)
Offered on-side information is minimal, so if you are interested in the history and the story of Wat Phu, a guide is recommended.
See my pictures for difference between wet- and dry-season

Visited June 2013
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Chiang Mai, Thailand
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Nice location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

Nice temple and scenery a very nice walk way with lots of great frangipanee trees. Lower part easy accessible the uper part a bit tough for orderly people, but nice to visit.
The book about the temple is very nice and recommendable.

Visited January 2014
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