The town of Pakse is in southern Laos, near the Thai border. The main attraction of Pakse is the proximity to a number of interesting places including the Khmer archaeological site of Wat Phu Champasak which was built by the founder of the first Khmer empire, Jayavarman II. It is much smaller than Angkor but still a rival to that ancient empire. Other attractions in this region include the 4,000 islands of Si Phan Don near the Cambodian border; elephant trekking in Ban Khiet Ngong and Southeast Asia's highest waterfall, Khong Phapeng. If you more adventurous and are looking for insights into the traditional Laotian life on the islands, visit Don Kho (near Pakse) and Don Deng (near Champasak Town).

Getting here: There are daily flights to Pakse from Vientiane (1hr 15mins) and 3 flights a week from Luang Prabang (1hr 50mins) on Lao Airlines.