Pakse Tourism Eyes Hilltop Buddha

Pakse Tourism Eyes Hilltop Buddha

Bernie Rosenbloom

Pakse seems branded as a gateway to Vat Phou, the 4,000 Islands, and the Bolaven Plateau. While it recently received full city status, Pakse is generally viewed as a 1-day tourism destination. However, Champasak provincial authorities are looking to turn this trend around, and sees potential in the hilltop Vat Phou Salao and its giant sitting Buddha.

Vat Phou Salao and its Buddha present a platform with a panorama covering the Mekong and Xe Don Rivers converging at Pakse. On a clear day, visitors can clearly see the Bolaven Plateau. Early birds can catch the sunrise over the eastern horizon, or late risers can enjoy the view in the shade of the late afternoon.

The Dao-Heuang Group was granted a concession for the site more than five years ago and has built a road up the hill. The group will build other facilities sometime this year, a Champasak official told the Vientiane Times.

An ongoing inspection by provincial authorities and potential investors proved a valuable source of information about appropriate facilities – such as a restaurant and gift shop along with improving the area - for the site, according to Mala Chanthalam from the province’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department.

Once the survey is completed, authorities will draw up a draft tourism management plan for submission to an investor for the site’s development. 

Easy access to a great view with a religious site, restaurant and gift shop would be a welcome addition to Pakse, and will likely draw tourists. Only time will tell what else is on the drawing board for Vat Phou Salao.

For more information on What to Do in Pakse, click here.

Source: Vientiane Times

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