On our way to the south we have visited the Mekong river towns of Tha Khaek, Savannakhet and Pakse, with their lowland Lao communities, decadent French colonial arquitecture and lethargic lifestyles. The central “waist” of Laos is full of emerald green mountains, pristine rivers, dramatic waterfalls, huge caves and rugged karst terrains. Our staying is been very short in each place, more as a stopover to catch the bus to the next town, but enough to pay a brief visit to these little towns.
Tourism is much less developed in central and southern Laos than in the north, which means that here you can travel in a more independent manner and really interact with the local people, speacially if you travel by local bus or songthaew (converted pick-ups or trucks with two wooden benches down either side packed with passengers).
Pakse is the capital of Champasak province, one of the most visited in Laos, with Wat Phu Champasak (Angkor-period ruins), the Mekong river islands of Si