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Vat Phou. Angkor Wat’s cousin in a different light Laos

Vat Phou.  Angkor Wat’s cousin in a different light Laos

The unique layout of Khmer architecture at Vat Phou earned it UNESCO World Heritage status in 2001 and makes it one of the highlights of any visit to southern Laos. Although it is a small site compared to Angkor Wat, climbing Vat Phou’s stairs in the shade of frangipani trees and gazing down on the beautiful landscape gives the site a mystical atmosphere.

Vat Phou not only represents a historic site with ancient buildings, but according to historians, is also one of the world’s best examples of the planning and engineering of a landscape that reflects the religious beliefs and economic approaches of both ancient Khmer architecture and the Hindu religion.

The Vat Phou temple complex is the cultural heart of a wider historical landscape on the plains of Champassak, ranging from the Mekong River to the Phou Kao Mountains. Temples, water channels, tanks, quarries, field systems, settlement sites, and the ancient road to Angkor Wat are the other remains that have been found in the area.

Successive Khmer rulers and kings never forgot their origins or the importance of Vat Phou and made regular donations for maintenance. Later, Vat Phou became an active Buddhist sanctuary and remains so to this day. Every year, pilgrimage takes place during the full moon in February and attracts many worshippers. It is known today as the Vat Phou Festival and is the largest festival in southern Laos.

 Getting there

By Air: Flights to Pakse from Vientiane, Bangkok, Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City.

By Bus: International bus from Da Nang, Hue, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap  and Ubon Ratchathani.

 Sleeping

Inthira Champasack

Ban Vat Amard, Champasak District, Champasak Province, Laos
Tel: +856 -31 511011

 www.inthira.com

Nakorn Lodge

Ban Nakorn 042, Champasak 1601, Champasak Province, Laos
Tel: +856-20-98177964

Dok Champa Guesthouse

Ban Watmuangsen, Champasak
District, Champasack Province, Laos

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