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Why Golden Buddha pakse is special ?
The southern Laos city of Pakse was designed and constructed a century ago by the French colonial administration. It is a pleasant city, and, as it is surrounded on three sides by water, it is usually cool (relatively). The city is also the largest city and the provincial capital of the Champasak province.
A sign of the slowly improving economy of the city and province (and the country) is the creation of a tourist area to the south of the city, adjacent to the 'Japanese Bridge', across the Mekong River. This still park is highlighted by a 'Big Buddha' on a hill top, who gaze moves across the city.
What to explore at Golden Buddha pakse?
The temple is a great place to watch a sunset and see the river. The Buddha is quite impressive once you climb past the abandoned construction. Plus, it's popular with locals - which certainly isn't the case with a lot of western tourist activity in Laos. Say hi to some friendly people who will be curious about you making the trek up the hill!
By the way, the food stalls at the bottom serve some interesting grill items, spicy noodle/cucumber/snail salad and cold beer in case you are hungry/thirsty after the climb. Cheap as chips, large beerlao 10k Kip!
To reach this statue one must first cross the bridge from the city. This can be down on foot, but a bike or rental vehicle is the better option. Then the ascent of the steps. Then before you is the Buddha. Around and behind the Buddha are several structures in partial stages of construction. There are a prayer hall, exhibitions, and a restaurant or two.
- “Fantastic Statue and view”
- “A nice jog up”
- “Good view over Pakse and Mekong”
- “Wonderful river view.”
- “Beautifully made up”
Tips for you
While entering Pakse we noticed a huge Buddha statue in the mountain overlooking Pakse. Right then and there I knew I will visit. The next day we took a Tax to the bottom of the mountain and decided to take the steeeeeeep stairs to the statue. And there were A LOT of stairs. Half way up I was wondering if I would make it up there. 3/4 way up I was thinking what did I get myself into. When I reached the top I had the Rocky theme song playing in my head and actually would've thrown my arms in the air and jumped, just like in the movie...if I had the energy for it. But once up there, the view was spectacular and the Buddha Statue was very impressive. If you have a young child with you, or elderly person or even are overweight, I recommend taking a car to the top.